Of martyrdom and forgiveness

[ by Charles Cameron — of martyrdom according to ISIS and the church, & of forgiveness in response to hate — continuing from Of sacrifice and martyrdom ] . ** My Lapido piece closed with these words: That is, in part, why Pope Francis in his official comment on the event said he was “particularly […] Read more »

Destructive Witnesses: JW, IS, Saudis, Brits, Byzantines

[ by Charles Cameron — religions taking other religions apart, stone by stone, image by image, song by song ] . Some recently converted Jehovah’s Witnesses appear to have destroyed the altars of indigenous Otomi people in Mexico, an anthopologist has stated: Assailants have damaged an ancient Otomi Indian religious site in Mexico, toppling stone […] Read more »

ISIS: Paganism with an Islamic Face?

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a “zen“] “And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Moloch, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD.” – Leviticus 18:21  “They rejected the commandments of the Lord … and served Baal. They consigned their sons and daughters to the fire” – 2 […] Read more »


[ by Charles Cameron — miracle in Egypt, human perfection in Russia ] . Vladimir Putin says he has never made a mistake because God wanted him to be perfect http://t.co/ZwDu0bnekk pic.twitter.com/CpxSi1srjP — The Independent (@Independent) June 10, 2015 It’s not entirely clear, then, why he would need to be “shriven ” — have his […] Read more »

Of a flag and the blood of martyrs

[ by Charles Cameron -- how, where and why the name, the map, and the flag merge into reality -- Gregory Bateson to the rescue ] . I am indebted for this screengrab to Phillip Smyth, whose recent Singing Hizballah’s Tune in Manama: Why Are Bahrain’s Militants Using the Music of Iran’s Proxies? post in [...] Read more »

Of sacrament and torture, blasphemy and free speech

[ by Charles Cameron -- on torture as the inverse of sacrament: from Palin's joke to Cavanaugh's rich theology ] . ** Sarah Palin: Sarah Palin, speaking to the NRA the other day, said: waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists And I have to say that as someone brought up within Christianity with a sacramental [...] Read more »

Of literal and metaphorical readings

[ by Charles Cameron -- from "whistleblowers" via the interpretation of hadith to Aztec sacrifice and Christian Eucharist ] . Whistleblowing in Thailand (upper panel, above), which I wrote about in my previous post, is a literal matter, and whistles have seen a huge surge in sales since the “whistleblower” campaign began. In the US [...] Read more »

On Sacrament: the world transfigured

[ by Charles Cameron -- moving from magic to sacrament and from word to world -- with implications for the study of terrorism and torture ] . ** Tara Isabella Burton, in a recent Atlantic article Study Theology, Even If You Don’t Believe in God, nailed it, in my personal opinion: But the dwindling role [...] Read more »

Pussy Riot IX, Of films, riots and hatred IV: Notre Dame 1950

[ by Charles Cameron -- more food for thought on religious and irreligious outrage -- and Paris again, too ] . . It will not have escaped the eagle-eyed readers of Zenpundit that three of the incidents we have been discussing recently — the Pussy Riot affair, the Innocence of Muslims video and the Charlie [...] Read more »

Pussy Riot, Holy Foolishness and Monk Punk

[ by Charles Cameron -- mystery beyond the senses, holy of holies behind the veil, altar beyond the iconostasis, and other considerations bearing on Orthodoxy, Pussy Riot, holy folly and monastic punk ] . Life is full of surprises. . Okay, I started fishing around the web the way I do because when I first [...] Read more »