SocioSphere Editorials

April 2002 - February 2009 Archive
Reflections on Religion, Current Events, and Other Subjects

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Monday,May 28,2007

I see Adam in the context of various religious narratives - and that affirming his existence serves a function in those narratives. As to whether Adam existed - that is a matter which can only be answered in those narratives (relative truth).

posted at 01:00:51 PM by Dr. Mark A. Foster

Saturday,May 26,2007

Certain statements in Bahá'í primary sources,, made within their proper magisteria, may reflect the Will of God. For instance, was Jesus born of a Virgin Birth? From a Bahá'í standpoint, the occurrence of the Virgin Birth reflects the Will of God. Does that mean it "happened"? Whether it happened cannot be determined.

From a historical standpoint, there is no evidence for a Virgin Birth one way or the other. Histories are mirrors, and those mirrors reflect the perspectives of various individuals and populations.

To put it another way: As Bahá'u'lláh constructed reality, and the Guardian interpreted that construction, Joseph as the father of Jesus is presented as contrary to the Bahá'í narrative. Insofar as this sacred history is concerned, Jesus was conceived miraculously. From a historical perspective, the question cannot be answered (at least not presently). Truth, in other words, is not fixed. It is relative to construction.

It may also be said that, as to the influence of the Hebrew Prophets on Plato, etc (which may reflect some kind of spiritual influence), a similar approach might apply. (Historically, the evidence points against a literal understanding of this story.) These academic and scriptural truth systems are operating within different constructions of reality, and there is no point in trying to connect them.

We are not, therefore, talking about "what happened." Who knows what happened? Even eyewitnesses to current events, like auto accidents, may, for various reasons (including racial and gender prejudice), not agree. We can only speak in the context of different stories as expressions of power and intentionality.

posted at 03:49:31 PM by Dr. Mark A. Foster

Friday,May 25,2007

>Some of your ideas intrigue me. I've been immensely concerned


>the clash to come, but have not felt that there is a plausable

>alternative to replace the multi-national oligarchy. This is why

>I'm really keen to review your ideas to see what you have to


IMO, it is not a question of replacing it, but of rejecting it. I see no point anymore in working to develop some new and better system. That is why I rejected classical Marxism. My faith in the proletariat - or anyone - staging a revolution and taking control over countries and economies - is gone. After 9/11, the fact that the U.S. became more fascistic (in the sense of militant chauvinism with a scapegoat (Muslims/Islamists), not less, were, as far as I was concerned, the final nails in the coffin of Marxist-Leninism.

>I have been more encouraged by Trotsky because I felt he became

>less interested in power, and more in principal. I may be wrong

>there, but my reading has not been that extensive of the earlier

>communists. I'd feel much more comfortable asking you questions,

>and to point for resources, using this account. I'm wondering

>wether you can use this service if the Dod are annoying you so

>severely? Deconstruction, to my way of seeing things, has it's

>limits. I am impressed by Bhaskar, but perhaps much like yourself,

>I'm trying to find a schemata which will be more grounded in


Well, to be clear, I am not a Christian. I really have no specific religious beliefs. As far as the DoD, no, they just track my sites about once a month. I can observe it through my sitemeter accounts.

As to deconstruction: I suppose it depends on how strictly one sticks to Habermas, Derrida, etc. I use the term in a sociological sense. Deconstructing social texts involves demonstrating their meaningless - almost like Max Weber's contention that all religious beliefs can be shown to be embedded in social class interests.

>Liberation Theology is somewhat wanting. It is too provincial in


Classical liberation theologies. However, some of the newer ones go beyond that - such as some recent work in feminist "theaologies" (choice of "thea" intended) and African American liberation theologies.

>A serious question: what do you get out of being in this debate

>room? Are you keeping your finger on the pulse? My theology work

>is far more important to me than my Theology, but we can not avoid

>having to dialogue between the two in order to have some sort of

>functioning agenda to challenge - and at least survive - the

>coming neo-con onslaught.

I am in the room as a part of my research project. Here is a brief summary:



posted at 05:35:51 PM by Dr. Mark A. Foster

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