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Ed Goble has not received a great reception on this board historically because I think no one understands his position.
I do not want to get into the details of his recent article and the recently closed thread but I would like to point out that if we take into consideration some views of aesthetic theory, he may have an excellent way of seeing the Book of Abraham.
For those who would question my qualifications for bringing this up, just know that I have studied art history as much as I have studied philosophy, and the connections between the two disciplines, but we really don't get into art history much here obviously. I have done graduate work in Art History as well as philosophy, but no degrees because of my pragmatic streak which could see no reason to finish either because I did not want to teach either subject, but I have been in the gallery business as well.
My Avatar represents that though few if any get it. Picasso created himself and the act of creating cubism represents humans creating themselves out of matter unorganized. So I see all that in my avatar- as me creating myself symbolically, as Picasso saw himself symbolically also. In choosing the avatar, I make myself Picasso recreating himself in his own image. (the painting is a Picasso self portrait)
So to see that avatar that way requires the kind of thought that Ed would like us to use in seeing the Book of Abraham.
Contemporary art especially encourages us to take the object at face value and see it as we interpret it, with all our prejudices firmly attached, to see it phenomenologically- loaded with meaning we bring to the table. Why would a painting showing minimal skill be in a fancy art museum? Why indeed- that is the whole point!! What does that fact tell you about art, or why someone sees that as important?
Why would Warhol paint a campbell's soup can? And what about that is "artisitic"? THAT is the point- to take the object at its face value in its present context- and see what that context says about modern socieity, about aesthetics itself?
THAT is what "modern art" is about.
Now Ed Goble makes the point that the Book of Abrham "translation" should be taken that way- that Joseph interpreted the symbols as he did, and as how we might interpret the Andy Warhol soup can.
These are my words, and my interpretation of Ed's article, perhaps I have it right or wrong, but that is what the thread is for.
He documents numerous examples in a scholarly way how that sort of phenomenological way of seeing text is common in the ancient world.
So the "translation" is not a translation at all, but, as I would put it, an artistic INTERPRETATION of the symbols as Joseph saw them as an AESTHETIC OBJECT.
I have been saying that for years in my own way and IF that is what Ed is saying, I think it is a brilliant point, well made in his article. My only suggestion is that he throw in more aesthetic theory and make the point that the translation itself IS an interpretation of an aesthetic object- the impressions of Joseph about the papyri taken as art.
It never was a "translation" though that word fits, according to meanings of the word from Joseph's time.
Anyway, it bears looking at from this perspective. Here is a link to the article
Remember to criticize this from an Egyptological perspective is irrelevant. Ed's argument is about aesthetics, and not about language or translation. It is about how we interpret art and without that understanding critics are barking up the wrong tree.
Unfortunately the other thread got closed because of squabbling. Let's try to avoid that and keep this thread in an aesthetic and phenomenological context.
If you don't know what that means, perhaps you need not comment.
So I'm sure this has been addressed before but I was wondering how believing Latter Day Saints on this board who have studied some of the more controversial things Brigham Young has said (particularly regarding Adam) have been able to understand where the heck he was coming from.
This is a good article on how Brigham Young's Adam-God doctrine is really about the Adam Kadmon from Hermetic Kabbalah.
"Joseph in teaching Adam Kadmon would have been teaching a lost doctrine of early Christianity (at least of some major sects) that is engaging in Christian restoration. His belief in this doctrine would be fully consistent with the 'bible is true in so far as it is translated correctly ' as this is a doctrine which comes directly from a good understanding of the originals. This doctrine justifies many of his other theological shifts. And the doctrine isn't even much of a stretch since, the idea of a heavenly Adam can easily be thought of as the 'spirit child Adam '.
I think it not just possible but likely that Brigham was preaching this, but being a bit loose on a few occasions about distinguishing between Adam Kadmon and material Adam. What's more Adam Kadmon in Judaism is the father of all human souls, which is Elohim's role in traditional Mormonism. As mentioned above Adam Kadmon is seen as either the father of the earthly Jesus, or earthly Jesus is an incarnation of Adam Kadmon. And equally material Adam is either the son or an incarnation of Adam Kadmon. So I can easily see how the roles in a few paragraph summary of Brigham's sermons got muddled. For example in the December 28 1845, Adam-God sermon Brigham talks about how Adam got his name from the 'more ancient Adam ', which would be confusing to anyone not familiar with this doctrine.
And so I propose:
a) That Joseph Smith ran across a very mainstream Hermetic Christian doctrine in his studies.
b) That Joseph Smith taught this theory to Brigham.
c) That Brigham gave a few lectures on it over a period of decades, but did not cite the Hebrew. Rather he used terms like 'father Adam' for Adam Kadmon and Adam/'our father Adam' for material Adam.
d) Because he did a bad job explicating this theory, the roles got muddled in the reports of these lectures and a folk Mormonism developed with these muddled roles / theology.
e) The muddled roles got passed on to fundamentalist sects and codified.
Is all you have to believe to fully believe the LDS church's version of events. What I would suggest is go back and read Brigham's reported sermons with this doctrine in mind, and you'll see how they suddenly make sense."
I have musically talented children and so this LDS artist is becoming a topic among my circle of friends and family. The LDS Church will be hosting a video chat featuring her on Tuesday November 25th:
Her work includes combining dance and video theater with her violin playing. Here are some examples:
I must admit to enjoying these performances. Feel free to discuss this or any LDS artist or LDS art in general including any feeling as to how this kind of thing may or may not advance LDS values or causes. Is it talent, or such much fluff? Bah Humbug? Etc.
She does seem to go out of the way to promote herself, but I don't see that as a bad thing especially if you want to make a career out of something you love doing.
Edit to add:
Here is an excerpt of her page on Mormon dot org: