Walking Blind: and Other Essays on Biblical Texts

Walking Blind: and Other Essays on Biblical Texts

by Robert L. Canfield


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Robert L. Canfield, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, Washington University in St. Louis, examines passages of the Bible that have informed his understanding of himself and his life and career. Its narratives, proclamations, examples, enjoinders, claims and promises have shaped his priorities, thoughts, and concerns and so affected his approach to the deep questions that on a subliminal level vex all of us. In these Biblical passages he finds grounds for reflection into the nature of the human condition, the origins of the Christian movement, the practice of authentic faith, the social implications of belief in Christ, the threats to the earth's ecosystem, and the wonder of the cosmos. Some of the passages examined here are little remarked in Christian circles.The chapters examine various texts in order to comment on such subjects as: what Christianity is, how slavery is rejected in two letters of Paul, how envy and cowardice converge in public situations, why the resurrection of Christ can be regarded as a fact of history, what the Christian view of suicide is, how religious zeal is abused in politics, how the Bible enjoins us to live "non-religiously," how a comment by Peter formulates God's provision for those who have "never heard", how the prophetic social critique has been critical in God's relation to man, how the agreement of "twelve Jewish men" was foundational to the advance of the Christian movement, how the cosmos elicits awe and wonder, and, finally, how a strange prediction of Christ seems to relate to the effects of a warming earth.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781533390189
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 07/22/2016
Pages: 132
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.31(d)

About the Author

Robert L. Canfield, PhD, University of Michigan, spent altogether nine and a half years in Afghanistan in the 1950s and 1960s. He taught sociocultural anthropology at Washington University in St Louis from 1969 to 2013 and served as Department Chair for seven years. Trained to think of his discipline as the science of history, his scholarly interests have ranged widely. He has written on the cultural continuities of the Turco-Persian ecumene (a pattern of social conventions that at one time stretched from the Mediterranean Sea to India), on factional struggles among peasants in the Hazarajat, on inter-sectarian relations between the Ismailis and Ithna-ashariyyah Shiites of Afghanistan, on the Mujahedin coalitions that opposed the Soviets in the 1980s, on the Taliban and similar movements in Central Eurasia, on a riot in Herat, and on the spatial dimensions of power in Central Eurasia.
This work provides a brief glimpse into his private world. A practicing Christian for many years, he has found in the Bible many texts that have helped him work through some of the deep questions of life and experience. Its proclamations, examples, enjoinders, claims, and promises have shaped his approach to the deep questions that on a subliminal level vex all of us. By discussing some of the passages of the Bible that have helped him think through fundamental issues he invites others with less familiarity with the Bible to join him in receiving the Bible as a creative source of reflection on the enduring questions of life.

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