obscurity in religious texts

Thu, 7 Apr 1994 10:55:27 -0500

Stephanie Nelson raises an interesting issue with her comment about the
obscurity in many religious texts. I maintain that the purpose behind
those texts is not that to which we should be aspiring. With very few
exceptions, those texts were written to empower an elite within their
respective cultures. That elite used the obscurity in those writings
to justify their own existance, namely the need to "translate" those
texts for the common man within that culture. Moreover, the obscurity
in those texts often served to protect the religion in times of persecution
by its very obscurity. Neither of these purposes serves to empower
everyone. I would like to think that as humans with a global perspective
we have grown beyond such ethnocentric and xenophobic motives.