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From: "Alex David Groce" <adgroce@eos.ncsu.edu>
Subject: Re: (urth) Re: Digest urth.v019.n026
Date: Thu, 22 Oct 1998 17:55:28 

Michael Straight wrote:
> Is it only in Christian tradition that Daniel 10 is interpreted as
> evidence of supernatural battles between good angels and evil angels?
> Daniel has a vision of an angelic being who says to him:
> "Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart
> to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were
> heard, and I am come for thy words. But the prince of the kingdom of
> Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the
> chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of
> Persia" (Daniel 10:12-13, KJV).

	These are sometimes known as the "genius" of a particular people, are
they not?  It seems to me that Wolfe has commented on these, although I'll be
darned if I know where, and I may be confusing him with someone else (a likely
suspects would be Russell Kirk).  Anybody else recall this?

> Now that I think about it, there is another example.
> In Genesis 6:4 where it talks about "sons of God" bearing children with
> "daughters of men" there was, before the Christian era, a Jewish tradition
> that these "sons of God" were evil spirits and that it was by way of these
> evil spirits (rather than from some "original sin" of Adam, an idea that I
> don't think really took hold until St. Augustine) that evil entered the
> human race.   I'm afraid the only citation I have for this is a passing
> mention in an essay on the doctrine of original sin.

	Well, maybe fleshed out by St. Augustine--I think it's present in good
old St. Paul.  If the Epistle to the Romans (and Hebrews--though Paul may not
have been responsible for this one) doesn't contain something like the doctrine
of original sin ("Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them
that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the
figure of him that was to come."--Romans 5:14, KJV) I'll eat my hat, and Karl
Barth has even less of a leg to stand on than I thought.
	As to these sons of God, Wolfe once suggested they were the
Neanderthals.  R. A. Lafferty is practically obsessed with them (and also seems
to equate them with Neanderthals).  In general, those passages are some of the
weirdest and wooliest of the OT, and what's really going on here is anybody's

> In both these examples, of course, evil spirits are subordinate to God
> ("sons of God", fighting God's agents rather than God himself), so they do
> not appear to be instances of dualism in Jewish thought.

Well, the NT "dualism" is only real dualism interpreted one (I'd say the wrong)
way.  The orthodox idea of Satan falls well short of full-fledged dualism (as
Sgt. Rock points out, he's a shadow), although he is used in a dualist sense in
fiction all the time.  By everyone from great writers (Hawthorne to some
extent) to modern day horror hacks.

"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free." - John 8:32
Alex David Groce (adgroce@eos.ncsu.edu)
Senior (Computer Science/Multidisciplinary Studies in Technology & Fiction)
'98-99 NCSU AITP Student Chapter President
608 Charleston Road, Apt. 1E (919)-233-7366

*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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