I don’t know what to do with my historical consciousness. When I hear people talking about the latest terrorist attack as if those involved invented baby-killing, my mind always goes back to Dresden and Hiroshima. When Civil Liberties folks talk about Duh-Bya and his merry men as the worst violators of civil rights the world has ever seen, I think back to Abe Lincoln. And so it goes. Sean Hannity and his ilk in the last three years have made it treasonous to ask historical questions, and now even the news networks are afraid of those kinds of questions (not that they were entirely reflective before). I don’t think these historical antecedents excuse the evils that go on, but I do tire of the melodrama, the people who pitch this year as the worst year the world has ever seen. I’m not sure to what extent these folks really believe it or to what extent they’re using it cynically in order to win political points, but after seeing it on television at least since the early nineties, I’m sick of it.
I actually hit a smooth patch working on the book last night. A section of Tracy’s The Analogical Imagination is going to be very helpful in crafting the chapter on what it means to be human and to pray. Besides, the book is helping me think through what it means for the Bible to be sacred and to be literature. I think his account of things is a hair too Blakean for me, but right now he’s talking about religious classics in general. Perhaps when he turns to talk about the Bible and particularly the gospels in particular, I’ll find more resonance.