Thursday, March 13, 2008

Which Witch?

One good contribution Postmodernism has brought is the reevaluation of language and translation. Basically, meaning should carry more weight than mere words. Consider for instance:

Magic in literature. Should books be pegged as satanic if they have magic elements? Fantasy (and fable before it) has always had magic in it. Sometimes the bad guys use it, sometimes the good guys do. Often magic is used on both sides of the Good vs. Evil conflict. In English, the terms designating practitioners of magic vary greatly: wizard, witch, sorcerer, etc. Most terms are used for both good and bad types of magicians. In some English translations of the Bible, witchcraft is condemned. Other terms are also used (sorcerer, enchanter, augur, wonder-worker etc.) When you look at the actual meaning of the Hebrew and Greek words in the Bible, in most cases Fantasy literature has a much different idea of magical characters than that of the real practitioners of occult arts. For instance, J. K. Rowling’s “Wizarding World” has a mechanical form of magic aptly described by Clarke’s 3rd law: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." Her books represent other forms of Magic (such as divination) as fraudulent.

Who is Lucifer? Another example would be the name Lucifer. Most people brought up with knowledge of the King James Translation think that is the name of the Devil. Little do they know it is really just a transliteration from the Latin Vulgate of the word naming Venus, or the morning star. In other parts of the Bible, Jesus is called “the Morning Star!” The chain of Baptist Bookstores in Chile is named “The Lucifer.” Most fundamentalists would probably accuse Chilean Baptists of being Satanists before they learned the real meaning of the word!

Make sure you understand an idea before you judge its validity or worthiness.

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