Monday, March 17, 2014

Bookshelf: Othmar Keel

Othmar Keel's book The Symbolism of the Biblical World is a classic (40+ years old now) that I have only discovered in recent weeks.  It's full of nuggets that make amazing sense in light of the Visionary Men Paradigm.

In The Goodness in the Mysteries and also in class, discussing the Sermon on the Mount, I suggested that the relationship between Nephi's Visionary Men and the Secret Combinations is not casual -- as shown by their contrasting teachings on oaths, they are polar opposites.  So I enjoyed this passage in Keel:
Besides the entirely private enemy (enmity based on rivalry) arising out of some specified personal affair (dispute over an inheritance, over a woman, over an honorary post, etc.), every community knows a type of enemy which represents, as it were, the antipole to what the community recognizes as good and desirable and continuously threatens the same... Enemies of this sort are by their nature carriers of all that is subversive and evil.  The view which a particular group or culture holds of its enemies is crucial to an understanding of that group or culture.

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