Saturday, 20 October 2012

Sacred Witness 1


Author: Susanne Scholz
Title: Sacred Witness: Rape in the Hebrew Bible
Publisher: Minneapolis MN: Fortress Press, 2010
Details: 279 pages; solid notes for the most part; no bibliography but index of authors, index of bible and other ancient texts and index of subjects. Nonetheless, a bibliography of cited sources would have been helpful.

I am going to do a number of blogs on this book over the next few weeks. It is an important book and in many ways, I can appreciate what she was trying to do. However, it epitomizes many of the issues that I have dealt with in one way or another in this blog. For example, the Bible is normative and "sacred", thus limiting the available options in her analysis - but more of that later. Already it is clear that there are serious methodological issues coming out of the introduction.

I often start academic books on contentious issues by reading the conclusion, and various parts of different chapters. Of all things, my first gut reaction was: "well, this woman was never raped." I wasn't exactly sure why that was my first thought but a few weeks later when I started the book from the beginning, it turns out that I was right. When I finish the book for the second time, I will reflect on this once more and come up an answer.

"The personal is still political". As a survivor, I come to this issue from a wholly different place than those who only know about it secondhand. It is going to be an interesting exercise.

A curiosity of typos

I always love looking at my typos - particularly the ones that I miss no matter how many times I reread what I have written.

In the review of The Bishop's Man blog, I wrote:

"The book barely scratches the surface of the problem. Could we call it a whitewash? I don't think that Linden MacIntyre did that on purpose. I think that he just doesn't get it. He creates a world where everyone is idolated. In the end, everyone is a victim so you don't have to feel really, really, really angry at the poor priests who are just trying to do their job."

As best I can figure out, this should have been "violated". I still think that there must be a use for such an interesting word: "idolated".

Sunday, 14 October 2012

He's just such a nice guy

This morning on The Sunday Edition, Michael Enright spent half an hour talking with Cardinal Thomas Collins of the Toronto diocese. The purpose was to talk about the legacy of Vatican 2. It was a very pleasant interview and I applaud Enright for understanding that he wasn't going to get any real discussion from the Cardinal - so why waste the time. I am sure many listeners will have something to say about the interview. You can hear it at: http://www.cbc.ca/thesundayedition/shows/2012/10/14/cardinal-thomas-collins-archbishop-of-toronto/.

It was interesting because it is in Collins' responses to Enright's questions that we can see the response that will be coming consistently out of the Vatican to those who question the Church in the midst of the child sexual abuse scandal. You got the impression that it really is under control and now the Church is preparing the mop-up procedures. He did say that we needed an updated version of From Pain to Hope. No kidding; not only is it 20 years old, but I can't even find a completed version of the 2002 review anywhere.

His interpretation of Vatican 2 would be questioned by many academic scholars. (see my review of Vatican II: The Battle for Meaning). And he managed to blame the "liberals" for all the misunderstandings that have occurred in the misinterpretation of Vatican 2. Among other things, he also said that celibacy wasn't mandatory (?) - there are married priests in the church after all, and of course, they were following Christ's wishes. Etc., etc., etc.

Years and years of scholarship down the drain. Why did we even bother?

Completely disingenuous, it was my morning smile - can't laugh about it, it is too serious.

I'll be looking forward to the revised edition of From Pain to Hope! I'll get a blog or two out it, I suspect.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

The Redmond Women

Just came across this & thought what the hell, why not put it up!

This is a picture taken 4 years ago. Just thought I'd put it up on the blog. Just to put a face to the blog's owner, I'm the one in the turquoise. My youngest sister is in black, and the middle sister wears a beige shirt. This was at my mother's 90th birthday party Needless to say, she is the one in the middle!!.