Jim Naughton, our fearless leader over on Episcopal Café has posed a wonderfully interesting question for discussion today:
“Let’s say that you neither read the story of Adam and Eve as a report on a historical incident, nor believe in the inherent goodness of human nature. What is your concept of The Fall?”
I suppose I should post my answer over there. (I probably will once I get a chance. I’m writing this hurriedly before the Eucharist at the Annual Clergy Retreat here in Oklahoma at which I’m one of the presenters.)
What is the Fall? I guess I take a very Girardian view.
For me the fall, our “incurvatus in se”, is humanity’s unwillingness to recognize that we so covet the qualities of others that we are willing to kill or destroy the innocent in our desire to maintain social status quo.
And that we apparently willfully close our eyes to the mechanisms by which we accomplish this.
The story of Adam and Eve and the serpent in the Garden of Evil is a story that expresses in mythological archetypal images this fundamental human quality.
Did we actually fall from a prior “un-fallen” state? I don’t know, but I doubt it. I think our brokenness is our heritage. Our only hope out of this is the Words of Life and the unmasking of the powers that Jesus taught and accomplished.
What do you think?