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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Last Temptation of Christ's Paul

- The Conversion of St Paul by Parmigianino

Today is the Feast of Conversion of St. Paul. I have to admit, when I think of Paul I feel a sort of skepticism about his conversion. I'm not sure why this is so ... I had a kind of conversion experience myself and I do want to believe that God can deal directly with people .... but still, I doubt. Maybe it was that reading in a philosophy class of William James' Varieties of Religious Experience in which he attributed Paul's conversion experience to a physical malady, or maybe it was the watching of that scene between Paul and Jesus in the film The Last Temptation of Christ. In the movie, Jesus was tempted on the cross to ask God to save him instead of letting him die, and he experienced what it would have been like if he had indeed done so ..... Jesus lived, married, had children, and one day came upon Paul giving a snake-oil-salesman pitch in a public square about his conversion experience, a conversion experience that must have been a cheat as Jesus had never died or been resurrected. It's disturbing ....

Must read more about Paul.


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