religious literalism tagged posts

Noah: The Movie, the Fable, and the Issue of Belief

I’d like it known that I read the book first.

Which, as all literarily inclined people know, is the right and proper order of things in a modern media age when Hollywood regularly absconds with your favorite tales and more often than not turns them into something  shallow and alien. This inevitably causes you to exhort those who reversed the natural order of things by walking in blind to see the movie: “Oh, you just have to read the book!”

In the case of Noah and its film iteration from director Darren Aronofsky and Paramount Studios, we have the good fortune that most everyone grows up at least hearing about this strange tale involving a very ticked-off God telling his obedient servant to build a humongous ark that will literally save the last living things on the planet.

Still, it had been a while since I visited the real story, which, for all its epic grandeur, plays out in a compact 2,300 words ...

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Tell Me a Story and My Heart Will Be Glad

My most recent post on The Book of Job led some readers to say it had heartened them or their loved ones in grappling with issues of tragedy and grief in their own lives. I was glad for that, even as I couldn’t help but note the slight oddity of being heartened by discussion of a work that basically tells human beings flat out they had better rethink any notions they have of a tender merciful overseer reaching down from the heavens with a helping hand to set their lives aright.

I suspect the God depicted in The Book of Job would scoff at those nice posters you see in malls with footprints on the sand disappearing for a time and then picking up again, and the prose suggesting this is where God had carried you when your burdens became too much to bear.

It was quite the contrary for Job. The news in his story is not good, and the hand of God is notably absent as Satan goes about his business...

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