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John Stephens
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2003 10:57 am    Post subject: Improv Archives Reply with quote

Hi Scott,

You should link the last frame of MEADOW OF THE DAMNED to part 2 for the benefit of readers who don't read the Improv every day [rare as they may be]. Very funny comic.

I'm back in school and my new schedule has been a strain on the comic. I'll be updating the site soon, I promise!

TTFN!
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2003 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Done!

Thanks for the heads-up, John.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2003 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yay!
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John Stephens
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2003 4:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Improv Archives Reply with quote

Anonymous wrote:
I'm back in school and my new schedule has been a strain on the comic. I'll be updating the site soon, I promise!


My story featuring Johnny Appleseed will begin shortly, and there is a preview online at BEARDEDBABY.NET. I've jumped into this project with the full editorial support of my 3-year-old daughter [almost, birthday on December 17], and we are having a lot of fun putting Appleseed into a larger mythological context. Hopefully I'll get the foundation online during the winter recess.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2003 7:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Improv Archives Reply with quote

Anonymous wrote:
Hi Scott,

You should link the last frame of MEADOW OF THE DAMNED to part 2 for the benefit of readers who don't read the Improv every day [rare as they may be]. Very funny comic.

Well you inspired me to re-read M.O.D. (I'm snowed in here, so, what else am I gonna do?) and I realized that I, too, am in Lame Hell, because I don't get any premium channels, either. Of course, that fact is magnified when you're stuck in the house all weekend. It's a cold day in hell, yes it is.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2004 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

in the original script of MEADOW of the DAMNED, Scott McCloud wrote:
MEANY: Skies, please... [snaps fingers] Ahem your sins:

[...]

Joshua Kupperman, your sins were also performed on the job.

For six years, you were an office clerk at a minor software company, but whenever your boss wasn't looking, you were secretly viewing comics on the internet...

KUPPERMAN: I was working on a graphic novel, I --

MEANY: SILENCE!!


McCloud almost attacked his core reader group.
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icepick
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2004 9:33 pm    Post subject: Hell Reply with quote

The meadow of the damned is one of my favorite improvs!

Speaking of hell, has anyone here read the C.S. Lewis book "The Great Divorce"?

Whether you are "religious" or not it is an utterly cool book. People that are in Hell can take a bus ride to Heaven and stay there if they wish. But they become almost transparent and are unable to bear heaven. They meet their loved ones and argue and turn away from them because they cant stand to be face to face with their failures and faults. In the end most of them go back to Hell and are "happier" in sadness, denial, and in blaming others than facing who they really are.
His idea of Hell is way different too, he describes hell as always being that dark twilight between dusk and night and continually raining. No fire, or flames. People can have anything they want, any kind of house, but the rain always gets through, and they continually move because they cant stand being near others.

Lewis is said to have believed in purgatory, so that probabally had something to do with this invention of a non traditional Hell.

Even if you don't believe in a real heaven or hell, the idea that people's end up where they actually want to be-happy or not is intriguing.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2004 2:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's intersting. Peter Kreeft, author of a collection of Catholic apologetics* essays, seems to have a similar vision of hell; his essays on Heaven and hell are filled with most beautiful and thoughtful images, especially compared to the rest of the book, which is mostly very conservative and authoritarian in tone.

It is obvious, though, that he is a fan of Lewis.

Kreeft describes Heaven as the eternal consumation of Love and Truth; Hell he describes as any eternal fixations that prevent the consciousness from beholding the beatific vision of God. This seems to have some confluence in the writings of other prophets, apostles, and saints, but theologians, unfortunately, have misread the metaphors and created a gross caricature that becomes more and more distorted throughout the ages.

*Apologetics, it should be noted, has nothing to do with an "apologetic" manner; it is a branch of theology concerned with defending the faith.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2004 7:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

John Stephens wrote:

Kreeft describes Heaven as the eternal consumation of Love and Truth; Hell he describes as any eternal fixations that prevent the consciousness from beholding the beatific vision of God. This seems to have some confluence in the writings of other prophets, apostles, and saints, but theologians, unfortunately, have misread the metaphors and created a gross caricature that becomes more and more distorted throughout the ages.

That phrase eternal fixations that prevent people from beholding God is awesome.

In the Old Testament one of the descriptions of Hell is "where the worm does not die". While in a physical sense it seems to refer to the everlasting destruction of your flesh, destroyed, but lingering on as worm food forever. I also believe that it refers to the lingering emotional and mental anguish that comes from an eternity to ponder a wasted life.

In the Lewis book I mentioned, there is one section where one of the characters in Hell says that he had looked forward to meeting all sorts of interesting people in hell, but they all have moved so far away from the center of "town" they cant be found. He continues and says that someone travelled out to locate one of these famous people, and located Napoleon, but when they came to his house they found him pacing back and forth for hours on end saying, "it was my advisor's fault, it was josephine's fault, it was the church's fault".


Does anyone know what the Muslim idea of Hell is like?
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2004 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

icepick wrote:
Does anyone know what the Muslim idea of Hell is like?


As in Christianity, there is likely wide range of ideas varying in depth and insight. My friend Ibrahima is a very devout and intelligent Muslim from Senegal, and in his community, hell is a taboo subject - he told me he would do some research. In his words: God is merciful, and would not deny his grace to anyone -- but the cleansing may be bad enough.

Reminds me of a quote from Cahpter Nine of the Baghavad Gita:
the voice from God's chariot wrote:
though a man be soiled
in a life of sin
let him but love me
rightly resolved
in utter devotion;
i see no sinner:
that man is holy

holiness soon
will refashion his whole nature
to peace eternal
o, son of kunti
the one who loves me
will not perish

even those who belong to the lower castes, women vaishyas, and sudras too, can reach the highest spiritual realization, if they will take their refuge in me. need i tell you that this is also true of the holy brahmins and poius philosopher-kings?

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2004 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another quote from the Gita, I should add, speaks of those who fail to embrace God as "drawn by ravenous desire to endless returning." Even though it makes use of the reincarnation metaphor, the fundamental image is the same. The denizens of hell create their own torment, here and hereafter.

The crucified Rabbi spoke of the Kingdom in the present tense, and Christians tend to forget that. If sincere faith can be measured at all, I think that it manifests in the beatiffic humility and laughter that the faithful fill their lives with.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2004 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

icepick wrote:
Does anyone know what the Muslim idea of Hell is like?
That would be a world where the only comic strip being published in every newspaper is Johnny Hart's B.C. No, wait, that's EVERYBODY'S Hell.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2004 3:14 pm    Post subject: Hell Reply with quote

Sorry this sort of sounds ignorant , but which religions of east asia have a concept like hell?
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2004 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well without thinking about it too hard, I'm inclined to say that most of the religions one associates with eastern Asia include some concept of reincarnation, so a hell doesn't really enter into it.

A quick look though seems to indicate that there are sects of these religions, such as Buddhism, which do include a belief in hell--specifically that one can be reborn into a hell. Here's a link: http://members.tripod.com/~oaproject/religion.html
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2004 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Christopher Lundgren wrote:
A quick look though seems to indicate that there are sects of these religions, such as Buddhism, which do include a belief in hell--specifically that one can be reborn into a hell. Here's a link: http://members.tripod.com/~oaproject/religion.html


Good link, real informative. It looks like eastern religions are even more diverse than the western world(and maybe more mixed together)
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2004 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

icepick wrote:
It looks like eastern religions are even more diverse than the western world(and maybe more mixed together)

The western world has some pretty diverse religions, we just tend to look at the big three monotheistic faiths as the mainstream since they have pretty much taken the center stage. Having emerged from the same source, the Abrahamic faiths are not actually very different at all [differences mainly of inflection], but if you look at everything west of Suez, there is a good deal of cultural and religious diversity.

East of Suez, it's a totally different worldview. Life is an illusion and you have many incarnations to become illuminated and break the endless cycle of birth & dying, which is almost a kind of purgatory.

I think the Abrahamic faiths [and other movements inspired by them] are unique in putting GOD in the role of the creator of the primordial stuff; in almost every other system, the divinities were biproducts or emanations of nature. The biggest problem with a monism is that if we don't have a story that vicariously accounts for the existence of evil and imperfection, we have to admit that GOD isn't perfect. This didn't seem to be a big problem before about the 5th century before the Common Era [if it can responsibly be called that, being based on a contrived date of the birth of Christ]; ancient people had no problem imagining their gods with every kind of human derangement. It was around the 5th century BCE that there seems to have been a global revolution in terms of the idea of compassion - the Gita, Buddha, Isaiah, Lao Tzu & Confucious, and dozens of others. By that time it was too late to rewrite the Torah, but it wasn't too late to reimagine it in the context of a new spiritual clarity.

Unfortunately for the history of religion, the level of clarity and creative insight that blossomed durring this period hasn't been high on the agenda of many religious or secular leaders since, compared to the vast majority dedicated to their own positions of influence and power.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2004 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

John Stephens wrote:

Unfortunately for the history of religion, the level of clarity and creative insight that blossomed durring this period hasn't been high on the agenda of many religious or secular leaders since, compared to the vast majority dedicated to their own positions of influence and power.


I just finished watching an interview on NOW with Bill Moyer where they interviewed a lady who wrote a book called "What is Wrong With Islam". She was saying that Islam had a long tradition of free thought and free exchange of ideas, and that is was very common for there to be large salons where people would exchange ideas(some of these salons even ran by women). She also said that the Quoran does not set forth any specific type of government to be followed in Muslim countries. She was also a lesbian, so by her own confession she is "on the fringe". But the idea of the Quoran espousing free and open interpretation is fascinating-Anybody know what she is talking about?
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2004 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

icepick wrote:
I just finished watching an interview on NOW with Bill Moyer where they interviewed a lady who wrote a book called "What is Wrong With Islam". She was saying that Islam had a long tradition of free thought and free exchange of ideas, and that is was very common for there to be large salons where people would exchange ideas(some of these salons even ran by women). She also said that the Quoran does not set forth any specific type of government to be followed in Muslim countries. She was also a lesbian, so by her own confession she is "on the fringe". But the idea of the Quoran espousing free and open interpretation is fascinating-Anybody know what she is talking about?

That's exactly correct. During the Dark Ages, all of the intellectual treasures of Western Civilization were preserved and advanced by Muslim scientists, geometers, and falsafas [philosophers], who believed that religion adapts us to the inner life of GOD, while science adapts us to the outer world created by GOD. In the late Middle Ages, Euclids famous encyclopedias of geometry - THE ELEMENTS - survived only in Arabic translation. The most significant contributions to algebra were developed by Mohammed ibn-Musa al-Khwarizmi, in his book KITAH AL-JABR WA AL-MUQABALA [THE SCIENCE OF RESTORATION & REDUCTION] and from this title we mangled the word "al-jabr" into the word "algebra" that we use today.

It should also be noted that under the Ottomon Empire, Jewish citizens were treated MUCH better than under the Christian leadership of the subsequent Inquisition. The word "jihad" that we hear so often actually means any kind of struggle or effort, and Muslims communities throughout the world have always waged jihad to create peaceful egalitarian communities.

Al-Qur'an, like the Bible, has been twisted by many religious leaders to suit their own agendas, but in its essence, it is very simple. Every chapter begins with the words: In the name of GOD, most benevolent, ever-merciful.

By the way, don't let anyone ever tell you that Allah is a different GOD than the YaHWeH of Judaism and Christianity. Allah is a contraction of Al-illah, whcih literally means "the god," which distiguishes it from polytheistic deities in the same way that the capital G does in English. In point of fact, it is intimately related to the words El and Elohim ["god" and"gods"] which are both used to refer to the Hebrew GOD, and Eloha, the word Yeshua reportedly pronounced on the cross.

P. S. Another friend of mine said that Hell was all they talked about in the Saudi academy he grew up in in D.C. He vividly recalled the horrifying imagery of the seven levels of hell.

That's all for now!
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2004 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

John Stephens wrote:
That's exactly correct. During the Dark Ages, all of the intellectual treasures of Western Civilization were preserved and advanced by Muslim scientists, geometers, and falsafas [philosophers], who believed that religion adapts us to the inner life of GOD, while science adapts us to the outer world created by GOD.

It should also be noted that under the Ottomon Empire, Jewish citizens were treated MUCH better than under the Christian leadership of the subsequent Inquisition. The word "jihad" that we hear so often actually means any kind of struggle or effort, and Muslims communities throughout the world have always waged jihad to create peaceful egalitarian communities.


The lady on the interview actually pointed out there is a word that sounds like jihad-but represents this peaceful struggle of idealogy. Last semester when I was learning about the history of Spain, my teacher was pointing out all of the contributions of the Moors, and how the civilization was equitable and allowed other religions. Having never heard this I asked him, "So what happened to Islam? Why is it the way it is today?"-he didnt have much of an answer-being a Spanish professor-it really wasn't his schtick. What do you say to those people who say that Islam has been spread by the Sword and not by only the Word of the Prophet? Spain's history seems to bear some of that out, of course the catholic monarchs that followed were certainly no prizes for tolerance and fair treatment of minorities.


John Stephens wrote:
Al-Qur'an, like the Bible, has been twisted by many religious leaders to suit their own agendas, but in its essence, it is very simple. Every chapter begins with the words: In the name of GOD, most benevolent, ever-merciful.


Like you said this twisting has almost always been a result of those unscrupulous leaders trying to either control people for political purposes, gain. One of the real common aims of religious leadership in all faiths is the separation of the clergy and laity as two different classes. But did you ever notice, at least in Judaism and Christianity how there are individuals like Martin Luther and Jesus who jerk the slack out of these leaders and return to heart of worship and faith? What sort of reformers have their been in Islam? Or has it continued down the path of excessive fundamentalism?(This is not a rhetorical question-I'm asking cause I don't know)


John Stephens wrote:

By the way, don't let anyone ever tell you that Allah is a different GOD than the YaHWeH of Judaism and Christianity. Allah is a contraction of Al-illah, whcih literally means "the god," which distiguishes it from polytheistic deities in the same way that the capital G does in English. In point of fact, it is intimately related to the words El and Elohim ["god" and"gods"] which are both used to refer to the Hebrew GOD, and Eloha, the word Yeshua reportedly pronounced on the cross.


I do know that one of the big differences between Islam and Christianity it the idea that God is one and he has no son. I always found the references in Genesis such as "let US make man in OUR own image" , and of course like you pointed out, the word Elohim contains the idea of a plurality of identities. How does Islam reconcile that passage of scripture?

John Stephens wrote:

P. S. Another friend of mine said that Hell was all they talked about in the Saudi academy he grew up in in D.C. He vividly recalled the horrifying imagery of the seven levels of hell.


Wow, seven levels! But werent you pointing out earlier that the Muslim hell is more of a temporal place of punishment like purgatory than an eternal abode like the Lake of Fire wrote about in Revelation?
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2004 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Forgot to login since I am at work-that was my too-long post.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2004 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

icepick wrote:
Last semester when I was learning about the history of Spain, my teacher was pointing out all of the contributions of the Moors, and how the civilization was equitable and allowed other religions. Having never heard this I asked him, "So what happened to Islam? Why is it the way it is today?"
That's because they were Moors, and not Arabs. Islam originated with the Arabs, and they quickly went around converting everybody by the sword. A bit later, the Arabs fells out of power, and the power in the Islamic world shifted to the various peoples the Arabs had conquered and converted: The Moors, Egyptians, Persians, Turks, etc. These people tended to be more secular and tolerant of other faiths than the Arabs had been. Jews and Christians still were not allowed the same rights as Muslims in these states, but they were allowed to keep their own faiths and practice them without fear of retribution.

As for what happen to Islam in recent years, I think it all stems from the growth of Wahhabism, which came out of the Arabian penisula some two centuries ago. Wahhabism is an extreme funtametalism, that really took hold I think after the fall of the Turkish Ottoman Empire following the end of WWI. The clerics wanted a return to the glory days of Mohammed. Then things really got out of hand when they found out was oil sitting underneath them, and like Jahid Clampet, they got rich overnight. The Arab oil barrons are not the same people who built the great Islamic civilazations of centuries past. They are more like the Beverly Hillbillies. They were simple nomadic goat herders who got lucky by strikin' Black Gold.

Of course, then you have the Sheites further east. Don't ask me when they got so nuts, because I don't have a clue. I assume it has something to do with the Ayatollas, but what do I know. I talk out of my ass half the time.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2004 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rip Tanion wrote:
That's because they were Moors, and not Arabs. Islam originated with the Arabs, and they quickly went around converting everybody by the sword. A bit later, the Arabs fells out of power, and the power in the Islamic world shifted to the various peoples the Arabs had conquered and converted: The Moors, Egyptians, Persians, Turks, etc. These people tended to be more secular and tolerant of other faiths than the Arabs had been. Jews and Christians still were not allowed the same rights as Muslims in these states, but they were allowed to keep their own faiths and practice them without fear of retribution.


Hmm... let me say that I can ONLY speak for this point, I don't know much of anything about Arab history after the Crusades, but I do know a bit about that as I JUST turned in my final paper on my class "Jews in the Middle Ages."

The first Muslim coquerers of Spain were "tolerant" in some sense, though they wouldn't have called it that. The initial wave of Islam set up a society of enormoulsy effective central control (based in the political capital of the Medieval Islamic empire, Bagdahd) which eventually fell apart and segmented into separate states.

It should be mentioned that the literature of the Koran sees the world as divided into two distinct realms - the Zone of Islam and the Zone of War, and since you and I are sitting (with high probability) in a non-Islamic state, guess what? We're in the Zone of War. Insofar as "religous tolerance" is inherent in the Koran there was no tolernace for political authorty that is not Islamic.

There were faiths open to people within the Zone of Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, though Muslims could not convert to Christanity or Judaism (you basically had to be born into one of those faiths). The Koran stipulated that there was a jizya or poll tax (as in, a tax on a person, not a tax on voting which wasn't really something anyone thought about in the middle ages), and there was also an agreement called the Pact of Umar which assured the Jews and Christians (collectively called dhimmis, which literally meant "protected people") the right to live unmolested within Islamic society.

What struck me in the course was that there was a connection between the economic prosperity of both the Christian and Islamic worlds and the treatment of religious minorites. (the Jews in Christian Europe were treated much, much more poorly than the Jews in Spain or elsewhere in the Islamic empire - a LOT of time has passed, you could just as legitimately ask your question in the other direction - what went wrong for the Islamic middle east to change things so drastically, what went right for Christian Europe to change things so drastically?) The birth of the enormous Islamic Emipre connected the entire North African coast with regions as far away as India, and the trade that happened was enorumously beneficial. However, as the empire fragmented and trade routes became harder to travel, this prosperity decreaced into the Late Middle Ages as did the condition of minorites within the Islamic world.

That was a ramble, but I've already written a well organized paper on this and didn't want to have to write another one.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2004 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rip Tanion wrote:
That's because they were Moors, and not Arabs [...] I talk out of my ass half the time.

Your first sentence triggered my racist radar southern honky style - until I read your last sentence. A good test for ridiculous prejudice in a statement is to substitute another group:
Code:
That's because they were Moors, and not Negroes.
That's because they were Moors, and not Jews.

Seriously, though, the rest of your post seems pretty fair.

icepick wrote:
Wow, seven levels! But werent you pointing out earlier that the Muslim hell is more of a temporal place of punishment like purgatory than an eternal abode like the Lake of Fire wrote about in Revelation?

I tried to say that there is likely a range of ideas of varying depth and insight; it's a mistake to look at Islam as a uniform culture. My friend went to a Wahhabi school, which he described pretty consistently with Rip's message. Ibrahima, on the other hand, is from Senegal, and his grandfather was a sage and mystic named Shaykh Ahmed Al Baki who refused the authority of the French colonialists:
in the introduction to Shaykh Ahmed Al Baki's GOD'S SACRED IDENTITY, translator Moustapha Mbacke wrote:
The Shaykh was sentenced to exile and several days after his departure, as he was being deported aboard a ship to Gabon, the French attempted to prevent him from praying aboard the boat. The Shaykh took his prayer mat and threw it in the midst of the Atlantic Ocean. He jumped on the mat, performed his noon prayer and climbed back on the boat. This ocured in high seas between Senegal and Guinea. He alludes to this when he wrote,

"Whoever seeks to drown me in the ocean inspired me to draw nigh to GOD."
Ibrahima's faith is much more contemplative & tranquil, and his voice abounds in the joy that GOD has given him.

I have dozens of Muslim friends and aquaintances from all around the world: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Egypt, Iran, Africa, Thailand, Vietnam, ect. Their lives reflect the simplicity and abundant serenity of their faith. Because of the actions of a handful of extremists, Islam's simple piety is distorted in the minds of folks who don't get to know the Muslims in their extended communities. You are probably aware of the same contrast in Christianity.

simrob wrote:
It should be mentioned that the literature of the Koran sees the world as divided into two distinct realms - the Zone of Islam and the Zone of War, and since you and I are sitting (with high probability) in a non-Islamic state, guess what? We're in the Zone of War. Insofar as "religous tolerance" is inherent in the Koran there was no tolernace for political authorty that is not Islamic.

I'm sorry to pick on you, because you seem to really know your stuff - even though you may be a little tired of working on it. I just wanted to extract this statement because I it's misleading. The Qur'an is not a book that contains a detailed worldview. It's revelation is a reinterpretation of Judaism & Christianity within the context of the Prophet's Arabia. The text of the Qur'an assumes that the reader is familiar with the Prophet's cultural context, which is not espoused in the book.

There are numerous sacred texts called hadith & sunna which purport to provide this context, to guide Muslims in their interpretation of the Qur'an, and most of what you are talking about is based on an interpretation inflected through somebody's hadith or sunna. However, Muslims everywhere are totally divided over which of these texts are authoritative, and many Muslims even reject them altogether as the work of the Devil.

As a student, I think the value of historic and mythic context is incalulable, but from what I read, these interpretations of Al-Qur'an are inflected by somebody's agenda.

icepick wrote:
But did you ever notice, at least in Judaism and Christianity how there are individuals like Martin Luther and Jesus who jerk the slack out of these leaders and return to heart of worship and faith? What sort of reformers have their been in Islam? Or has it continued down the path of excessive fundamentalism?

I have to look into that. Some of my favorite poets are Rumi and Hafiz, who are decidedly driven by the ecstatic rapture of their faith, rather than the sword, but i don't know in terms of history if they had any social impact on others whose idea of Islam was something other than surrender to GOD [which is what "Islam" means; it is etymologically linked to "shalom" and "salem"].

icepick wrote:
I do know that one of the big differences between Islam and Christianity it the idea that God is one and he has no son. I always found the references in Genesis such as "let US make man in OUR own image" , and of course like you pointed out, the word Elohim contains the idea of a plurality of identities. How does Islam reconcile that passage of scripture?

In the Qur'an, GOD often uses the words "We," and "us." But you're right about one thing - in Islam, the idea of Isa as a god is idolatry. "Hear, O Israel, the LORD our god is One LORD."
Al-Quran wrote:
Isa, son of Maryam,
illustrious in this world and the next,
and one among the honored,
Who will speak to the people when in the cradle
and when in the prime of life,
and will be among the upright and doers of good.
[...]
When GOD said: "O Isa, I will take you to Myself and exalt you,
and rid you of infidels,
and hold those who follow you
above those who disbelieve till the Day of Resurrection.
[...]
For GOD the likeness of Isa is as that of Adam
whom He fashioned out of the dust and said "Be" and he was.
This is the truth from your Lord,
so do not be in doubt.
[...]
O people of the Book,
let us come to an agreement
on that which is common between us,
that we worship no one but GOD,
and make none His compeer,
and that none of us take any others for lord apart from GOD.

I think that's all. I forget if I was trying to make a point or not. ;')
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John Stephens
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2004 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Muslims would not take your quotes from Genesis as evidence of a trinity, because the Qur'an is seen as GOD setting the record straight. Muslims tend to believe that the Hebrew and Greek texts were corrupted over time, and they think there is pretty good evidence that the Arabic is still pretty close to the original.

It is likely that the Yahwist cult that developed into Judaism emerged from a polytheistic background. Take note of this:
Genesis 3:20-24 wrote:
The man named his wife Eve, because she was the mother of all the living. The Lord God made garments from skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them. And the Lord God said, ?Now that the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil, he must not be allowed to stretch out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.? So the Lord God expelled him from the orchard in Eden to cultivate the ground from which he had been taken. When he drove the man out, he placed on the eastern side of the orchard in Eden sentries who used the flame of a whirling sword to guard the way to the tree of life.

The mother of all living? That's a pretty outlandish title considering the present situation. Also notice who exactly is driven out of the garden.

Indeed, it was the man who had become like one of "us," and the man was driven out of the garden. There is a great deal of evidence that Asherah [the goddess of the sacred tree] was for a long time worshipped in the temples of YaHWeH. Is the Mother of All Living the consort of YaHWeH destroyed by monotheists purifying their faith?
Genesis 4:1 wrote:
... Then she said, ?I have created a man just as the LORD did!?

This may also be fairly translated "I have created a man with YaHWeH."

It's just on account of imagination. There is a richness of mythic imagery in these stories - and voices other than the voice of GOD.
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