Thursday, October 13, 2011

Watch your perspective

“As with any other attempt to place ideas in context, comparing and contrasting the cognitive environment are both important. One of the most obvious dangers in this process is that we impose our modern cognitive environment on the ancients simply because we have failed to recognize that our own categories are not relevant to the ancients’ way of thinking. For instance, it was long claimed that Enuma Elish should not be considered a creation text because nothing was actually “made” by Marduk. This claim arises out of a basic assumption that the ancient understanding of the creative act should correspond to our own—or even more so, that creative activity can only be construed in one way (our modern way!). Consequently, the first important guideline to bear in mind is that we cannot seek to construe their world in our terms.”—Genesis 1 as Ancient Cosmology, page 6

<idle musing>
A very important, and usually overlooked point. We are frequently asking the wrong kinds of questions from the text. We need to see the text with fresh eyes, eyes that aren't glazed over with preconceived ideas of what it is saying.
</idle musing>

No comments: