Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Reading John Dominac Crossan's memior

A Friend lent me her copy of John Dominic Crossan's memior, It's a Long Way from Tipperary thinking I might like it. I read some of his writing about the Holocaust many years ago but I haven't been very interested in the Jesus Seminar stuff, so I wasn't sure whether I'd like the book. But I am enjoying it quite a lot.

Here are two quotes that made me go "Aha!"

When I read, in the New Testament, that Jesus called God "Father" or when I hear, in a seminar, that my colleague can believe in God only as "Father," I recognize that my own early experiences filter that title into a very different consciousness. It is not, on the one hand, just a general distaste for patriarchal hierarchy and the delusion that God must be, literally or metaphorically, male rather than female, father rather than mother. If, in fact, you want a parent metaphor for God, I think father is much more appropriate than mother. It is the mother who is publicaly knowable, visibly provable, and legally certifiable. You do not need faith to know a mother. You need faith to know a father, because he is known only on the mother's word and sometimes not even that (at least in the days before DNA testing).

p. 37

Writing about his younger years studying for the priesthood and being taught that the vow meant "no personal possessions and that all things were held in common. What you were given was for your use (ad usum) and not for your possession":

The vow of poverty is not about poverty, but about community. It does not mean personal destitution, but communal possession. It is, actually, a subdivision of the vow of obedience.

p. 63

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