The parable of the Good Samaritan is one of the most well known stories in the New Testament. The traditional interpretation of this passage found only in Luke (10:25-37), insists that it is an example story that encourages its readers to practice altruism and selfless service on behalf of others. This understanding of the passage prevails despite logical inconsistencies. While some commentators have suggested that the text is better understood as a metaphorical illustration of the Christian understanding of the human situation, their interpretive attempts have made few converts. A literary reading of the passage, focusing on the reader's reception of the text and invoking Kohut's self psychology, explains why the usual interpretation prevails. Kohut's theories concerning narcissism and selfobject needs show that the predominant interpretation of the parable as an example story constitutes a healthy resistance to anxiety about the threat of fragmentation that the metaphorical understanding of the text provokes.
This Article examines one of the intersections of federal law, specifically the Bankruptcy Code, and free expression of religion. After a brief overview of the relevant statutes and case law for tithing or donating debtors, this Article proposes two arguments that will be relevant when a person who tithes or donates faces the difficult situation of bankruptcy. The first is a statutory argument. Although a portion of the recent Religious Freedom Restoration Act has been struck as unconstitutional, the remaining portion of this statute, along with other relevant statutes, may allow an argument for discharge of student loans. The second argument is for this matter to be settled by the bankruptcy court. The debtor would argue for the bankruptcy court to use its sound discretion to allow the discharge. The article then resolves the arguments and suggests that change to the Bankruptcy Code may be necessary to provide consistency in this issue.
This essay argues that the debate about the usefulness of H. Richard Niebuhr's famous typology inChrist and Culturecould benefit from the application of sociological methods to the discussion. As an example, it analyzes the results from a qualitative study of a particular church and its interaction with the heavy metal subculture in light of Niebuhr's categories. It concludes that Niebuhr's categories are still descriptively helpful although some of the critiques proposed by George Marsden and John Howard Yoder must be taken into consideration.
In a recent defence of what he calls "study by religion," Robert Ensign suggests that alleged divine revelations represent public forms of knowledge, which should not be excluded from the academy. But at least according to two major Christian thinkers, namely Thomas Aquinas and John Calvin, revelation is received by an act of faith, which rests on evidence that is person-relative and therefore not open to public scrutiny. If religious studies is to remain a public discipline, whose arguments may be evaluated by believers and non-believers alike, it should maintain its defeasible but not yet defeated presumption of naturalism.
U2's recentAll That You Can't Leave Behind(2000) is rich with biblical imagery and outspoken in its concern for human rights and social justice. This article explores how these two themes are creatively brought together in this collection of songs. A reference to the prophet Jeremiah on the album cover suggests this is an important source for the lyrics. Further, Burmese author and human rights activist Aung San Suu Kyi is mentioned two times in the album's liner notes. It is argued that Bono, principal songwriter for U2, observed parallels between Jeremiah and Aung San Suu Kyi, and used the ancient story to help make sense of the modern one.
This paper studies the "eye" as a religious phenomenon from the multiple traditions of ancient Egypt compared with rabbinic Judaism in late antiquity using a semiotic approach based upon the theories of Umberto Eco. This method was chosen because the eye is a graphic as well as a linguistic sign which both express religious concepts. Generally, the eye represented an all-seeing and omnipresent divinity. In other words, the god was reduced to an eye, whereby the form of the symbol suggests a meaning to the viewer or religious practitioner. In this manner the eye represented the whole body of a deity in Egyptian and the power of a discerning God in rabbinic texts. By focusing upon the semantic aspect of the eye metaphor in both Egyptian and rabbinic texts two religious traditions of the visually perceivable are analyzed from a semiotic perspective.