Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Hither and Yon. Psychologial postulates and Catholicism

Been wanting to write something about an Oedipal interpretation of Jesus and Catholicism. The Church made some important changes with Vatican II. More important than changing the prayers of the Mass to the national language is the fact that the Sunday readings are changed, expanded to a 3 year cycle rather than a 1 year; and I have been struck by the revelation of the ideas of Christ in the Gospels, and the intriguing first readings of the Mass from the Hebrew Bible chosen to stand in a parallel fashion to the later Gospel. It was several weeks ago when, in the manner of being faithful, the Christian was enjoined to accept, though completely following instructions, to see him (or her) self as a 'worthless servant' to the Master.

Joseph is portrayed perhaps little in the Gospel and that portrayal is as a humble, dutiful carpenter. Maybe it's just me really, but this seams like the external appearance of a senior enlisted man in the armed services. Maybe most of them are like June Cleaver's husband; but, when I have seen patients with lifer, enlisted fathers, they report to me brutal if somewhat predictable treatment at the hands of their fathers. To touch on it in part, the Oedipal conflict energizes powerful twin attitudes of competition with and loyalty to father. The cultural and political setting of Jesus' time was of of a Roman political administration that promoted an early globalization and, presumably, some benefits in economic growth. Book/daddy cites a book which talks of this policy ultimately not follwed by Rome to its peril. After all, there did seem to be sufficient resources for Jesus to travel around without 'working.' Allied with the 'globalization' was the suppression of traditional local hegemony. This was theologically difficult for the Jews as they had received their charter from G-d. In a sense this deposed a 'father' who, one can see in the Hebrew readings, is an important guarantor of security in the vicissitudes of life and moral authority. I am going to make another assumption here, and that is that Joseph felt in conflict with the Pharisees, and Jesus entered his public life from that viewpoint and in loyalty to his own father. This also made it possible for him to hold less close traditional ideas of Jewish hegemony. He correctly foresaw the looming 'end of the world' in a conflict of Jewish conservative pride with Roman military and administrative ability which would in the coming century end the Temple centered Jewish life. He proposed a revocation of the loyalty to Temple primarily and proposed 'rendering to Caesar what was Caesar's and to G-d what was G-d's.' Thus to a certain extent he supplanted, competitively, a Jewish father with a Roman father. This was also a plan for coexistence. It left room for high moral ideals, but it also left traces of a Roman, perhaps partially in the image of Joseph, god whom we see in the injunction to consider oneself in relation to as a 'worthless servant' and in the Lord's prayer asking to be granted 'our daily bread' as if a Roman slave and forgoing the ideas of direct communication with G-d and enjoying considerable property as had Abraham.


Anonymous said...

Nice post and this mail helped me alot in my college assignement. Thanks you as your information.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for my bad english. Thank you so much for your good post. Your post helped me in my college assignment, If you can provide me more details please email me.