Thursday, March 7, 2013

odium theologicum

Did God's laborious treatment of Jonah succeed?

Did Jonah turn into an Assyrians loving religious person praising the Lord for His mercy even towards those who sin.

A kind of second Abraham, who dared to bargain with God to save the deeply sinning Sodom and Gomorrah?

We do not know.

And here is part of the power in the writing of the Book of Jonah: it makes us to think without providing easy off-the-self answers.

This is so perhaps because the illness of religious hatred is so difficult to heal.

We know from the history of the Christian Church so many deep tragedies and catastrophes that have been caused by religious ire, odium theologicum. Just listing some of them would be a truly distressing and depressing job.

There is no worse hatred than religious hatred justified in the Name of the Father.

Book of Jonah suggests that not direct talk but indirect riddles, symbols and signs can provide a person with the way out from such state of mind. Visual art, music, theater, movies that do not dare to jump to the illogical and the world of myths, fairy tales, dreams and psychological imagery.

It is possible that Jonah was left in that pit of hatred, depression and death wish even after the logical verbal explanation God gave him about His care for Nineveh.

But we, the readers of the Book of Jonah, are left with much to ponder...

exactly because the Book of Jonah has no proper ending.

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