Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Holy Lands

This part of God's Debris changes topic again and asks "What makes a holy land holy?" (Page 96). If you just take the topsoil of the land and move it, where is it still holy? What about if you cut down 1 kilometre around and under a holy spot and move that layer? Where is it holy? According to the book:

The concept of location is a useful delusion when applied to real estate ownership, or when giving someone directions to the store. But when it is viewed through the eyes of an omnipotent God, the concept of location is absurd. (page 97)

I tend to agree. The land itself isn't anything special, there are no special added materials or elements to holy places. The meaning of the place is what makes that place holy. A materialist may have a problem with this idea, but places do hold meaning. Not the places in and of themselves (what they are composed of), but because of its history. Places like the ANZAC cove, Ground Zero or even some place like your first school or the house you grew up in.

In the last book I finished it mentioned the encounter Moses had with a talking burning bush and why he had to remove his sandals:

The holy space Moses occupied was made holy by God's presence. The composition of the earth at this spot was no different from the earth on the rest of the desert floor. The sacred character of this spot was not intrinsic but extrinsic. (page 208)


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