Sunday, 07 January 2007

The Dictionary of All Scriptures and Myths No more laughing at Casaubon's hubris—as of today, the necessity of his failure loses its necessariness. But for his untimely demise, he could have succeeded, as G.A. Gaskell's Dictionary of All Scriptures and Myths demonstrates. From the dust jacket: This classic reference guide to more than 5000 words and phrases of the Sacred Language is now available for the many thousands who have been searching for a complete, authoritative dictionary on the symbolism and terms of world religions. Every Scripture and every Myth is defined with a clarity that defies misunderstanding. And perhaps even more important, here for the first time is a dictionary that treats the definition of the Scriptures according to the intentions of the original writers. Nowhere else can you find a book that deals as broadly and as completely with religious concepts as literature. And for each term, the DICTIONARY OF ALL SCRIPTURES AND MYTHS brings you: Clear explanations of the symbolism of ancient and modern religious words and phrases Numerous quotations from authoritative sources Thoughtful descriptions of the meaning of the terms and how they are used in Myths and Scriptures Complete cross reference The discovery of a metaphorical language underlying all sacred Scriptures of the world prompted Mr. Gaskell to write this dictionary which gives a more complete knowledge of man's inner nature and the purpose of his life on earth than was heretofore possible. For the first time ever, I resisted the urge to interleave complete, authoritative Sarcasm into the body of the quotation. Nowhere else will I defy my inner nature and the purpose of my life with such complete Restraint than in this authoritative post. Why? Its (many) problematic assumptions aside, Gaskell's compendium of COMPLETE WORLD KNOWLEDGE oozes erudition. The dust jacket again: For instance under the phrase "Image of God," Mr. Gaskell quotes from the Bible, T. Aquinas, Harnack's History of Dogma, G.T. Ladd's Philosophy of Religion, C. Taylor's Sayings of the Jewish Fathers, and many more sources. Reading that list and pondering its many more sources—among them, A. Jukes, J. Bunyan, G. Milmine, I. Myer and the illustrious M.B. Eddy—you wouldn't particularly think this erudition would be all that much to fun to acquire secondhand. You'd be wrong. Absent from these descriptions is any hint of the joy to be derived from the skimming of this tome. All those literary scholars might be completely wrong about the entertainment value of Casaubon's dessicated monument to Christian syncretism. To draw the comparison more directly, Gaskell's readers will be entranced, Dorothea-like, not by the material or the manner of its revelation, but by the correspondences a mind overstuffed with information invariably produces. For example: DESERTS, VAST AND UNKNOWN :— Symbolic of primordial chaos—the infinite expanse of formless matter. "Pwan-koo is described as appearing from the vast unknown deserts. He was four times taller than man, had horns on his head, and teeth protruding from his mouth."—Kidd, China, p.100. The Logos proceeds from the Chaos or Depth. The statement about height, refers to...

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