Monday, October 20, 2008

I confess

So I'm reading Augustine's Confessions for class and it's a profoundly weird experience--being up against someone's overflowing faith like that, when you have never experienced anything remotely analogous and feel no need to.

It's making it hard to focus on the book, because, well, I don't care whether God is in him or he is in God or both or neither. I'm impressed with his ability to maintain cognitive dissonance--I suppose that's a big part of what faith does--but in terms of the actual investigation? Yawn.

It's not a general allergy to religious texts. I enjoyed reading parts of the Hebrew Bible that have profound influence on his thinking--I recognize a lot of language. I suppose that's the difference between studying actual myth and studying a person's experience with that myth? Then again, maybe it's just that I'm tired and hungry. Plus, I was reading the Hebrew Bible in the context of a cultural history of myth and making a lot of connections to Mesopotamia and West Semitic gods, and we got to read all kinds of unorthodox variants that I'd never seen before. It's much harder for me to read Confessions as literature.

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