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Moby Dick Chapter 7 The Chapel 
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Post Re: Moby Dick Chapter 7 The Chapel
You are pointing out that Christianity itself is paradoxically anti-Christian.

Jesus condemned the pharisees, the religious leaders of his day, as 'whited sepulchres', tombs with a nice coat of paint containing rotting bones within. (Matt 23:27)But evangelicalism claims to have learned the lessons from the Bible, and not to be guilty of such hypocrisy. So when Melville says the leading Christian sects are more similar to Dives than Lazarus, he is arguing that Christianity as a dominant institutional religion is on a path to hell.

Your comparison with patriotism is apt. People can say they love America so feel obliged to criticise Americans, to be true to the principles of truth, justice and the cult of Superman. Melville seems to be saying he loves Jesus so feels obliged to criticise the hypocritical followers of Jesus who kill whales for gold.


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Post Re: Moby Dick Chapter 7 The Chapel
DWill wrote:
I haven't sorted out this business with the 'stoves' and 'staves' or the perspective of the oysters. I just get the message that Ishmael is saying that the non-corporeal part of himself is the real part. Maybe it's true that Ishmael roughly voices Melville's own feelings. Melville is supposed by some to be something of a mystic.


Ishmael speaks of belonging to a protestant group (I think he said Presbyterian) and he mentions that he was in a dark or 'brown" mood. Could Melville be referring to his interest in mysticism and questioning if he should leave the path of an established faith?



Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:20 am
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Post Re: Moby Dick Chapter 7 The Chapel
Quote:
"Faith, like a jackal, feeds among the tombs." The jackal Anubis is Egyptian God of embalmment. And yet, the jackal reminds us of the vulture, a disgusting animal scavenging among corpses.


Vultures are not disgusting. They are amazing, funny and full of personality. Very intelligent birds, you will find the only thing they can't do is talk.

They are the undertakers in mountainous and stoney places - because they get rid of the corpses when there is no soil to bury them or when there is no one around to burn them.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kz2aJC7G ... re=related

Vultures were once very common and played a very important ecological role in
India by cleaning up livestock carcasses. During the past 15 years, they have
declined by more than 97% and are now regarded as critically endangered
species. It was thought that an unidentified avian disease was responsible but this
was not the case. Two BirdLife Partners, The Bombay Natural History Society and
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds together confirmed the decline was
caused by a veterinary drug called diclofenac, widely administered to cattle.
Vultures feeding on carcasses with residues of diclofenac quickly die from kidney
failure and dehydration. The decline in vultures has lead to a huge increase in the
population of feral dogs which is causing a problem for villagers and has increased the risk of spread by Rabies
and Anthrax.
Diclofenac, a veterinary drug for livestock responsible for 97% decline in vultures


“Asia’s vultures are in severe crisis and funds are urgently needed to support captive breeding schemes to prevent their extinction,” —Richard Grimmett, Head of BirdLife’s Asia Division


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Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:12 pm
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Post Re: Moby Dick Chapter 7 The Chapel
Interesting. I read that chapter quickly. Will re-read it now.


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Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:19 pm
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Post Re: Moby Dick Chapter 7 The Chapel
Penelope wrote:
Vultures are not disgusting. They are amazing, funny and full of personality. Very intelligent birds, you will find the only thing they can't do is talk.


yes, good point. But still, having a bald head in order to be able to stick it in rotten bellies displays an iron constitution that the squeamish find distasteful.
There are some abattoiresque lines in Moby Dick with equal capacity to heave the belly.

The context here is that 'faith feeds among tombs', that religion has a morbid obsession with death, with the emotional desire for eternal life after death somewhat like scavenging.

The tragedy of the vultures of India illustrates that people do not care about things they think are disgusting, but this can have major unforseen consequences.

Melville refers to Moby Dick as a murderous monster. This attitude probably contributed to the social acceptance of whaling. There are many examples of people demonising things they wish to destroy.


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Post Re: Moby Dick Chapter 7 The Chapel
Some people, let alone birds, are so ugly that they are endearing. A vulture is just being a vulture and does not make a decision to poke its so perfectly evolutionary developed head into a corpse. It is its nature. Not so wicked merciless humanity.

Quote:
The context here is that 'faith feeds among tombs', that religion has a morbid obsession with death, with the emotional desire for eternal life after death somewhat like scavenging.


It seems that human beings tend to be inclined to seek for a deeper meaning to life. Useful evolutionary trait I suppose, this restlessness.

But the carrot of heaven or the stick of hell fires just creates anxiety in the vulnerable. I think the doctrine has probably marred some otherwise peaceful lives.

These are some of my reflections on reading this thought-provoking book and not intentionally off-topic.


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Tue Jul 31, 2012 7:05 pm
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Post Re: Moby Dick Chapter 7 The Chapel
Penelope wrote:
Quote:
"Faith, like a jackal, feeds among the tombs." The jackal Anubis is Egyptian God of embalmment. And yet, the jackal reminds us of the vulture, a disgusting animal scavenging among corpses.


Vultures are not disgusting. They are amazing, funny and full of personality. Very intelligent birds, you will find the only thing they can't do is talk.

They are the undertakers in mountainous and stoney places - because they get rid of the corpses when there is no soil to bury them or when there is no one around to burn them.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kz2aJC7G ... re=related

[/b]


Hey! Thanks for that link! I watched a couple of the film clips and enjoyed them. That must be fun, getting some training as a falconer.



Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:04 am
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