Posts Tagged ‘belly god’

Belly and Body, pt. 4

February 20th, 2010 No comments

We’re looking at the work of Karl Sandnes in Belly and Body in the Pauline Epistles.

6 – 8. After looking at the belly theme in Graeco-Roman conceptual field, Sandnes turns our attention to the analogous material in the OT and other Jewish sources.  The linguistic field of the belly and mastery of the passions remains in view as he begins to map the Pauline material.

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Belly and Body, pt. 3

February 7th, 2010 No comments

We’re looking at the work of Karl Sandnes in Belly and Body in the Pauline Epistles.

4-5 Epicureanism, Banquets, and their Ancient Critique

Epicureanism was a major school of ancient moral philosophy.  As with many things, the actual teaching of the school could be seen to differ from what the masses had in their heads about it.  So too can the actual teaching differ from the ways in which its opponents tend to characterize it.  Understanding the arguments around Epicureanism as ancient moral philosophy is made more complicated by the way the word Epicurean is used today as is highlighted here:

In modern popular usage, an epicure is a connoisseur of the arts of life and the refinements of sensual pleasures; epicureanism implies a love or knowledgeable enjoyment especially of good food and drink—see the definition of gourmet at Wiktionary.

This can be attributed to a misunderstanding of the Epicurean doctrine, as promulgated by Christian polemicists. Because Epicureanism posits that pleasure is the ultimate good (telos), it is commonly misunderstood as a doctrine that advocates the partaking in fleeting pleasures such as constant partying, sexual excess and decadent food. This is not the case. Epicurus regarded ataraxia (tranquility, freedom from fear) and aponia (absence of pain) as the height of happiness. He also considered prudence an important virtue and perceived excess and overindulgence to be contrary to the attainment of ataraxia and aponia.

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Belly and Body, serving the belly god today.

February 5th, 2010 No comments

It just doesn’t get any more current than this.  He just had to eat the dog in sacrifice to the belly god …

But, as I’ve learned, logic has its limits. It’s the heart not the head that governs this world under the sway of the dizzy gods.

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Belly and Body, pt. 2

February 5th, 2010 No comments

We’re looking at the work of Karl Sandnes in Belly and Body in the Pauline Epistles.  Let’s remember the language of Paul’s that we’re looking at.

  • Primarily:
    • Their end is destruction; their god is the belly; and their glory is in their shame; their minds are set on earthly things. (Phil 3:19 NRSV)
    • For such people do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the simple-minded.(Rom 16:18 NRSV)
    • “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food,” and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is meant not for fornication but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. (1 Cor 6:13 NRSV)  where the quote is a Corinthian slogan that Paul is responding to
    • Do not become idolaters as some of them did; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and they rose up to play.” (1 Cor 10:7 NRSV) Paul’s borrowing this quote from Exodus 32:6


    • It was one of them, their very own prophet, who said, “Cretans are always liars, vicious brutes, lazy gluttons.” (Titus 1:12 NRSV) where the quote serves as reference to the larger available stereotypes in Greece at the time
    • If with merely human hopes I fought with wild animals at Ephesus, what would I have gained by it? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” (1 Cor 15:32 NRSV) where the quote is a Corinthian slogan that Paul is responding to

So what exactly was the Graeco-Roman body/belly background into which Paul was speaking?

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Belly and Body in the Pauline Epistles, pt.1

February 3rd, 2010 No comments

So before I get into this let me make one thing clear.  None of the particular discussion that follows is directly about the moral status of animals.  It’s about one aspect of the concept of food in antiquity generally and early Christianity particularly and most specifically in Paul’s letters.   You could get from here to current moral debates about animals a few different ways but that’s absolutely not what the context of this is.   That said.  Let’s take a look at something you probably don’t hear much about on Sunday.

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