Daily Archives: 2007-10-06 17:01:02 UTC

Psychology of people under Burmese dictatorship

Yet one more classic on ABC Radio National’s All in the Mind series with Natasha Mitchell:

See Burma: ‘I resist in my Mind only’ — Podcast and live-streaming now available; transcript online soon.

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Dysfunctional fundamentalist families (5): devaluation of feelings

Continuing notes from Leaving the Fold (Marlene Winell) begun in Dysfunctional fundamentalist families (1):

(i’m keeping the full series here in the “RELIGION:Book reviews:Winell” category in right column)

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The wrong questions to ask about myths — and the gospels

Ancient myths and the gospels are not modern novels but it’s tempting to ask questions about their characters and plots as if they were. Questions like, Why did such and such a person do this and not that? Are there not too many unlikely coincidences in this story to make it plausible? Ancient myths are not concerned with the psychological motivations and development of characters the way modern novels are. Nor do their parts have to hang together in the same unifying way.

Characters can be introduced without any explained motivation for their arrival or the actions they perform. What matters is the consequences they effect.

It is the same with reading the gospel of Mark. But before discussing that, a look at Mario Liverani’s chapter on the myth of Adapa (I know, Adapa is eons removed from the gospel, but the tools required for interpreting it are more applicable to the gospels than are the tools required for modern literary criticism): read more »