First week of school. Learnt so many things. All the transferable analogies to God. And the occasional purely academic interesting stuff. Gonna just dump it all here. Cocktail of everything. It gets better. But in case it doesn’t, you have been warned.
That Chinese illustration lunchtime seminar
Value of Chinese Illustrations of animals in medical texts, specifically the bencao gangmu
Evaluating Chinese Illustrations in itself
- The artistic style of the time was that of abstract art. Stylistically, abstract art more valued which may explain the less literal/detailed drawings
- Illustrators were not the actual scientists/doctors studying the animals; they usually just copy from other traditional texts or draw from the text as a supplement
- The text was not written to include illustrations; people considered the text comprehensive enough. The illustrations came later. Words were valued more than illustrations
- The medium of drawing was used for other purposes eg. adverts, erotic text
- Had the existing tradition of drawing mythical animals
- There were illustrations of animals in other medical texts that were more accurate
Disclaimer: Shorthand bullet points taken half asleep from some seminar by some chap whom I’ve forgotten the name. Don’t quote anything. I just think it’s interesting. A bit.
2 ways of seeing
- Logical (cannot recognise -> see nothing/change the way you see things -> incorrect seeing = incorrect drawing)
Drawings tell you which way you are seeing from/ no good or bad drawing
I just think this is a really cool analogy to reading the Bible.
Most of the time, we read the Bible with preconceived notions, trying to fit God and the Bible into our sense of logic, morality and expectations of what we think God should be like. And when it doesn’t fit, when God offends our sensibilities and doesn’t meet our expectations, He suddenly becomes impossible to exist.
For example, “A good God can’t exist because a good God wouldn’t let bad things happen to good people.” That’s our logic talking. We do see things happening around us, but we tie it to our own ideas of what’s good and bad, and draw patterns for what we see in a fairly logical way.
But look closer. Observe. How is God working in and through these people in these circumstances? What are the blobs of colour that don’t seem to make up a picture you can recognise?
Learn to see to learn to draw
Learn to read the Bible to learn to reproduce it/live like Christ. Your life could be the only Bible someone reads.
Just toying with things like subjective morality and no morality = no free will. Or vice versa.
Multiple truths and narratives in a world turning to science to rationalise and deal with the uncertainty of everything.
Writing our own narratives.
But isn’t multiple narratives a way of rationalisation too?
What stops you from killing another human being?
The law? Jail? No, those are only consequences of murder.
What stops you, as a human, from killing another human being?
You could, you know. I don’t reckon it’s hard nowadays. But what stops you?
Conscience maybe. Or religion (and here I baulked because behind “my religion tells me so” is a whole ‘nother school of theology about being created and who owns life and sin and all that shebang. feel slightly miffed to just shove it under ‘religion’. maybe other religions say different things. i’d like to know).
Prof hopes we like the texts. He believes in letting the texts speak for themselves instead of constantly referring to the context of history and author’s background. Context is fine and dandy, and truth be told, we can impress any lens and reading on any texts if we tried hard enough, but he wants us to let the texts breathe and I think, in a way, not come at it from “outside”.
Reference to the drawing lesson.
Bible is one dubious piece(s) of literature. Is it true/real in that did these things happen? What is it’s history? Is it authentic?
Maybe we’ll never know. But in going around all that context, how about letting the Bible actually breathe and explain itself? It would be a pity to never read it just because of never knowing/believing how it came about. In looking for some things in the context (which does have value in and of itself), you might be missing out on what the texts actually wants to say, which also has value in other areas.
Early American Literature
Just impressed that people used to have a map with Jerusalem in the centre of the world and the other countries around it because of the priority of God owning the world and people respecting that at some point in recent human history.
And just watching revivals swell and fade in that time.
Ok, brain dumped.
This is fun but I don’t know if I’ll have time to do this again.
Also want to brain dump various cells/sermons/Bible studies but unghh will it happen I wonder