As mentioned in Part 1, wherever the story of the birth of Jesus appears in scripture, Jesus is always upon Mary’s bosom, effortlessly delivered and resting on her bosom, or speaking from within her womb. “…If we turn to the other traditional conception – that of cyclical time and the periodic regeneration of history, whether or not it involves the myth of eternal repetition- we find that, although the earliest Christian writers began by violently opposing it, it nevertheless in the end made its way into Christian philosophy…”
One of the most interesting descriptions of the style and order of the Qur’an describes it as avante-garde, even more so than Finnegan’s Wake! The first Muslims were probably quite aware that the birth of Jesus story was code that God had supported the Gentile faction in wrestling away leadership from Jewish fathers in the early Church. The Qur’an builds on this theme announcing that God supported Muhammad’s leadership in Medina.
K-Nice stepped through the wormhole looking more hurried than usual. He never discussed his age, but from his many first-person antedeluvian accounts, Gali had guessed that he was, well, as old as the hills. Lately, K-Nice’s high-dimensional space jumps had picked up a frantic pace, as he monitored FBI JTT sting operations in various stages of development. Gali wondered if eternity was not finally catching up to his mentor.
For a few years my wife, children, and I would hear about the jokes, laughter, and family news on the following day when we went to get our share of the leftover oxtails and pie. Happily, we haven’t looked back since we decided to rejoin the family tradition that is Thanksgiving. I do so now as history in formation, one that will continue to weave itself between that of the Native Americans and Pilgrims, but never too far removed from a healthy serving of oxtails.
As I start to write this post on the night of Wednesday, November 17, 2010, Muslims in Mecca are currently completing the last stages of the rites of the Hajj or pilgrimage. Two days ago on Monday afternoon -their time -the “hujjaj” or “hajjis,” (people making the Hajj), were perched atop or around Mount Arafat. They were completely engrossed in prayer, beseeching their Lord for forgiveness, hoping that each blameworthy action will peel like dead skin into the nethermost reaches of oblivion. Our tradition holds that each sincere penitent will return home like a baby, as blameless as the day each was born.
I’m emboldened to resist
These pleas to desist
To a mindless assimilation
Sans critical examination
Of mythic cyborg-like notions
Laced with spiritual potions
A “We” with no “I” dentity
No distinctive individuality
‘Twas never the purpose
It just does not serve “US”
But here our pair will engage
Formation states written pages
Resistance so ever worthwhile
I’ll show, not ever will be futile
Garfield is a thesis away from a masters in Islamic Studies & Muslim-Christian Relations at Hartford Seminary. His research focuses on evil, suffering, theology and the ethics of divine justice.