Friday, January 16, 2015

Vows as bargaining chips

In its most fundamental sense, a vow is a conditional promise. In the ancient Near East, vows were most frequently used as a means of bargaining with the divine. While one could loosely identify the expression of vows as “prayers,” they were, nevertheless, primarily negotiating tools. Human beings used them to enlist heavenly assistance and gain advantage in situations that were perceived to be beyond mortal influence.— Cursed Are You!, page 35

<idle musing>
Not a whole lot has changed, has it? We still try to bargain with God, promising him this, that, or something. And in the end, it's all about control. We want to be in control. And we think that by making a vow we can "get God on our side."

Nope. Nothing really has changed—except they were a bit more honest about it than we are...
</idle musing>

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