Daily Archives: 2007-10-09 15:33:59 UTC

Leaderless Jihad

Leaderless Jihad

Another MHR (“most highly recommended”) Podcast of a Late Night Live (LNL) program on ABC Radio National (only available online another few weeks).

Dr Marc Sageman, an expert on terrorism and counter-terrorism, uses historical analogies to argue that Islamic jihadism does have a limited shelf life. He believes that the zeal of jihadism is self-terminating and that eventually its followers will reject violence as a means of expressing discontent. Given this scenario, do we have our counter-terrorism strategy right? — blurb on the LNL Leaderless Jihad program website.

Additional links to Marc Sageman’s works: read more »

Mark’s Judas problem: binding the kiss and the sword

(updated 6:50 am)

If Mark wanted to show that the Twelve were not reliable witnesses and that they collectively withered and died at the Passion of Jesus, he had a problem with Judas. (For background discussion to this see my earlier post.)

Judas (always labeled “one of the twelve” as if that association alone were enough to taint his reputation) worked well enough to stage a betrayal scene. But the betrayal also created a problem. read more »

Comparing the myths of Adapa and Adam, prototypes of priest and humankind

I found Liverani’s comparative analysis of the Babylonian and Hebrew myths interesting enough to share here. He dismisses earlier attempts to force relationships between the former with the Genesis account as failures because they attempt to impute themes and meanings where they do not really exist.

Liverani does see a structural relationship between the two myths, however, and when that structure is understood then not only points of comparison stand out, but also an explanation for their differences becomes apparent. read more »

Dysfunctional fundamentalist families (7): avoidance of responsibility

I used to think that the best thing I could possibly do to get along with my spouse was to stay close to, even closer to, um, someone else!

Having a God who fills all our emotional needs can be great when it comes to our relationships with others. We can all claim the status of being “children” and focus on our own personal relationship with our heavenly Parent — and pray for one another, and our growing children. Easy. Or if we don’t like it sounding easy we could rather pray with sweat and tears and great agony of love for others. Make ourselves as saintly as possible.

But then when we return to our families we can feel closer to God than to them. read more »