1 December 2008

Foreskins: the answer

In the Latin Bible, Circumcisio represents the Greek Peritome, Circumcision, used (as in S Paul's Epistles) as a collective term for the Jews. Praeputium represents the Greek Akrobustia, Foreskin, used as a collective term for the Gentile world (English Bible translations sometimes shyly render this as 'Uncircumcision', which seems to me a bit like referring to two-legged humans as 'non-amputees'). But how do the Ox and the Donkey respectively symbolise Jews and Gentiles?

I think it is clear that bos (the word is not taurus) represents a castrated example, ox, of its species; once we set aside instincts born of good manners and Political Correctness, we might acknowledge a certain rough and ready appropriateness in making this animal the symbol of the circumcised male, and so of Judaism. And we will recall that in Antiquity the Donkey had the reputation of being well-hung: in the Metamorphoses of Apuleius in which the hero is accidentally changed into a donkey by New Age ladies, he reflects at the moment of his metamorphosis that the enormous increase in the dimensions of one organ is his only consolation. Hence, this conspicuously unreduced animal is taken by the liturgical, papal, author to represent the unreduced male ... and, by extension, so to speak, Gentile Humanity. So the message of this Praefatio is that all humanity, both Jew and Gentile, is called to feed at the manger (that is, the altar).

So sock it to them, Father; at least the Dads will remember .... or do I mean the Mums?

6 comments:

xl annos me taeduit said...

There is a further and more evident distinction between the two animals. The ass yields an 'unclean' meat which figures notably in traditional dishes of many parts of the gentile world (including the north of England). The ox, on the other hand, is indisputably kosher.

rev'd up said...

No one can say the early Church didn't understand psychology. Freudian (Jewish) penis envy is obviously nothing new.

Bravo, Father!

Fr John Hunwicke SSC, said...

I am not sure that it is sound method to assume that everything somebody does or thinks is generated by his racial or cultural background. If Mr Jones of Jesus has some daft or objectionable view, that is as likely to be the result of his having fallen in love with Miss Patel of S Hildas or having an American neocon as his tutor as it is of his Welsh ancestry. Attributing anything one doesn't like in Freud to his Jewish ancestry seems to me methodologically dubious.

Fr John Hunwicke SSC, said...

I am not sure that it is sound method to assume that everything somebody does or thinks is generated by his racial or cultural background. If Mr Jones of Jesus has some daft or objectionable view, that is as likely to be the result of his having fallen in love with Miss Patel of S Hildas or having an American neocon as his tutor as it is of his Welsh ancestry. Attributing anything one doesn't like in Freud to his Jewish ancestry seems to me methodologically dubious.

Fr John Hunwicke SSC, said...

I am not sure that it is sound method to assume that everything somebody does or thinks is generated by his racial or cultural background. If Mr Jones of Jesus has some daft or objectionable view, that is as likely to be the result of his having fallen in love with Miss Patel of S Hildas or having an American neocon as his tutor as it is of his Welsh ancestry. Attributing anything one doesn't like in Freud to his Jewish ancestry seems to me methodologically dubious.

rev'd up said...

Odd that you should use the name "Jones"...

In his book "Libido Dominandi" (2005),p.119, E. Michael Jones says (the "[]" are mine):

"Dido's curse ["Exoriare"...taken from the Aeneid] on the founder of Rome, Aeneas, for betraying her, was used by Jewish revolutionaries like Ferdinand Lassale as the rallying cry against "Rome," which is to say the Catholic Church and the states where Catholicism was the established religion. The conflict between Rome and Carthage had special meaning to Freud, who saw himself as a revenant of Hannibal, the Semite who attempted to conquer Rome. Rather [ie. R.L. Rather, "Disraeli, Freud, and Jewish Conspiracy Theories," Journal of History of Ideas (1986),p.117.] sees in Freud someone influenced by Moses Hess, the proto-Zionist and proto-socialist and teacher of Karl Marx, whose book "Rom und Jerusalem" gave early expression to rising Jewish expectation in Christian Europe."

I made my original comment in jest; nevertheless, Freud's mind is quintessentially the Judaic/Talmudic mind, which "Synagogue of Satan" is ever breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord.