Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Anger

“The prototypical script of anger in the Hebrew Bible needs to be understood not in terms of an American or Japanese model but on its own terms. It arises in response to perceived wrongdoings more than mere frustrations over daily affairs. It is concerned with ethical issues and is communal, directed not toward things but toward people. It almost always results in some form of estrangement and frequently leads to violence. Consequently, it tends to be evaluated negatively but, because of its moral dimensions, it also has positive qualities. The associative networks of biblical anger pertain to the concepts of jealousy, fire, evil, extreme violence, and pouring out—far more than to the Western associations with being mad, inner fluids rising, or explosiveness.”— From Fratricide to Forgiveness: The Language and Ethics of Anger in Genesis , page 87

<idle musing>
Interesting, isn't it, that we get mad at things when they don't go our way, but the Israelites would get mad about ethical and communal issues. I wonder who should be considered more "civilized"?
</idle musing>

1 comment:

Edward T. Babinski said...

We get frustrated today. I wonder how calm Jesus might have stayed if he was waiting in a long line in the supermarket on Christmas Eve while the lady up front started writing a check after her credit card didn't clear.