Rev Marie-Elsa Roche Bragg, author, priest, therapist and Duty Chaplain of Westminster Abbey

And in the Big News today from a Faith Perspective, King Oedipus and climate change. Which brings me to the Prophet Isaiah, who predicted all of this and told us exactly what to do to reduce our carbon emissions.


11 thoughts on “Rev Marie-Elsa Roche Bragg, author, priest, therapist and Duty Chaplain of Westminster Abbey

  1. Pretty shameless hijacking of ancient Greek mythology, then moved quickly through an Isiah quote in an attempt to meet the remit. Was the a tacit acknowledgement that her religion’s texts are as allegorical as the Greek myths?


  2. Following on from yesterday’s TFTD which mentioned inane quotes from the mystic Simone Weil, I would like to tell you how I was teaching mysticism to a class of children. Firstly I explained to them that the meaning of mysticism is “vague or ill-defined religious or spiritual belief.” No, sorry, I told them “Mysticism is the union with or absorption into the Deity or the absolute, or the spiritual apprehension of knowledge inaccessible to the intellect”, which they totally understood.
    I then told them the myth of Oedipus but made sure they understood it was a myth, or story, written a couple of thousand years ago to explain human behaviour, not something to take as reality. But then I told them a similar story from a man called Isiah but told them this was from a wholly trustworthy source called the bible, and that it definitely happened.
    I then went on national radio and created another myth by pretending that my religion could help people start sorting out the climate crisis.
    If only I could have found something useful to do instead.


      1. Indeed the man is famous for saying it is better to marry than to burn and despite what His master enjoined about the seriousness of doing so he called the Galatians fools to their faces for believing in another gospel and creating another Jesus according to their mistakes. As far as the famous mother lover goes Freud saddled our souls with the Oedipus complex whilst Jung fell out with him and made up the Electra one . If society had gone on without Christianity and followed the scheme of what the Greeks watched in theatres we would be very miserable people indeed. But against what Roche Bragg offered we ought to think about the part of Scripture where faced with visiting Greeks Jesus talked about a grain of wheat dying buried in the ground and producing a rich harvest. Whether or not Jesus knew anything about theatre or the Eleusinian mysteries is a fascinating proposition and as challenging as St Paul’s thoughts on finding an altar to the unknown god in the midst of all the idolatry of Athens. Maybe the Greeks are not so worthy of dismissal ….demythologising ….what is it about??


      2. Except that Paul certainly didn’t write either of the Timothy letters. They were both forged in his name decades after he lived. Tim 2 may date from early in the 2nd century; but some estimates put it as late as the 190s.

        So what? The entire BBoMS is full of narratives that have either been wilfully misinterpreted, or were deliberately written to mislead, or were never meant to be taken literally in the first place. As AndyM and PaulT point out, comparing Isaiah to Tiresias might be more revealing than Melvyn’s daughter intended.


      3. I think people often use the charge of forgery to undermine the message preached. If Paul did not write to Timothy is what it claimed about fables and silly myths any more untrue? There are some who think someone greater than Jesus is speaking through the lines of John s Gospel and certainly Paul did not write Hebrews though old Bibles say he did. About alleged anti Semitism in the Gospels some people say that all the sayings against the Scribes and Pharisees and what was said at the trial were later additions to the text by a Church that had split from Judaism. A hostile Roman like Pilate has his character modified so that his proclamation of a faultless Christ does not square with the same man who mingled the blood of Galileans with sacrifices in a Yea strangely shortened passage. The Church had to be pro Roman and anti Jew. There is also a lot of difficulty reasoning why the Infancy narratives do not square with time or content. The cleansing of the Temple takes place at the beginning of Jesus ministry according to John whereas the synoptics put it towards the end. Can it have happened twice? The Resurrection accounts are all beyond synchronisation and seem to conflate the action of what later is called the Ascension. Was Jesus final appearance in Galilee or in Jerusalem? Yes I think the old footnote would be apt ..Divers opinions of Jesus and I used to look for a picture of the pearl fishers around Jesus. In apocryphal texts outside the canon He has something to say to flute players. The Letter of Lentulus for which many people including Hopkins the poet looked to provide a picture of Jesus appearance was indeed a forgery.


  3. “Whether or not Jesus knew anything about theatre.” – so perhaps he did.
    Why can’t we spread an idea that Jesus and his disciples were a travelling theatre group? The idea of the parables being played out as little sketches by the actors makes sense. People would remember seeing the one where Lazarus is brought back from the dead, or the one where Jesus overturns the tables in the temple. They would tell their friends down the road about it, and before you know it, in a couple of generations, the act is written down as reality! Ta daa!
    I can even imagine Jesus being a bit actorly – “Peter, darling boy, I know you love me but you are going to deny me thrice because of bad reviews.”
    Many people now get their history from incorrect TV dramas such as the Crown, so I cant see why Jesus and his Travelling Actors group couldn’t easily have become Jesus and his disciples.
    Pass it on.


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