Friday 16 March 2012

Pr. Francesca Stavrakopoulou is my new heroin

I have been watching on Youtube The Bible's Buried Secrets, a documentary series about the historicity (or lack of) of the Bible, or to be more accurate the reality behind the Biblical myths. It is hosted by Francesca Stavrakopoulou, who is a professor at the University of Exeter. I love the way she makes something dry as archeology accessible. And she happens to be atheist! because of this, and because also she also debunks some widely believed myths (even among non fundamentalist Christians), she got a bit of slack, as we can read here in this Daily Mail article. Ann Widdecombe, Catholic convert and now cheerleader for Catholic commonplaces and small-mind devotion, attacked her with this generalisation: "I would guess that most other theologians will demolish her theories in three seconds flat". Widdecombe does not mention who are those many other theologians, and what brilliant arguments those unnamed theologians will bring forward to demolish Stavrakopoulou's theories in three seconds flat.

So yes, Francesca Stavrakopoulou is my new heroin because of this: she is fighting commonplaces and false perceptions about a text she understands and I will even say loves more than devout Christians (one really loves a text or a book when he reads it with a critical eye), because she is an academic studying a book view as sacred by so many anti-intellectuals and because she desacralises it so we can understand it better. I do not agree with everything she says, I find her way too nice and she lacks a certain provocative edge I like about atheist academics. But she is still an admirable person.


PJ said...

C'est fort intéressant comme truc. En fait, justement, dans les dix commandements, le monothéisme n'est pas au départ parce qu'il n'y a qu'un seul Dieu, c'est que Dieu (Yawéh, Jéhovah, qu'importe) ne supporte pas que ses adorateurs vénèrent d'autres dieux. Avec le temps, cela a fait disparaître la présence même des autres dieux dans les écrits, qui devenaient des chimères, de fausses idoles. Des "divinités" plus ou moins mineures sont quand méme restés sous forme d'anges déchus ou pas... Et d'un point de vue préservation culturelle, le principe est génial. Tu ne reconnais qu'un seul Dieu, alors le prochain tyran qui t'envahit ne peut se proclamer divin et imposer sa culture complément sur la tienne. À moins d'un génocide, la culture devient donc résistante aux défaites militaires.

tao.owl said...

Ooh, interesting, I have not heard of her. I will definitely watch the documentary on Youtube.