Back from camp..
Bald Cypress getting its toes wet in the Guadalupe river, near the camp
My oldest (10yr) was away at camp all last week. We picked him up yesterday from kinda the middle of nowhere (ok, Sisterdale is not 'nowhere' but it is off the beaten track). The location was on his teacher's private property, 1 1/2 hours from Austin and 1 1/2 hours from San Antonio. The neat thing about this camp was not just the environment, but the fact that they were studying 'origins' all week. Lead by a professor of Philosophy who taught them about Euclid this past school year and Euclidian geometry, they studied all kinds of creation myths. When you think of creation myths, we in the Western world are pretty much stuck with the Christian (fundamentalist/literalist) version of creation. What a concept to think that other 'people' (i.e. cultures) have (had) their own version of events.
The parents were given the reader so they could read along at home with everyday's reading and discussion materials. It definitely would have been threatened material for most Christians, ok, fundamentalists. There seem to be so many these days but hopefully that's a wrong perception. Even the most intelligent 'believer' seems to somehow struggle with the Biblical notion of creation and not quite know how to think about it. From my exposure/experience, a lot of them just gloss over it as it's "the Old Testament" anyway.
For those, I would recommend dr. Rocco Errico's writings as he has studied in depth with George Lhamza and knows (how) to bring the Bible into context. Oversimplified explanation; the bible is full of allegories as the 'eastern culture' used that to teach morals, through stories. He also explains bible passages by looking at the cultures of its time and the psychology of the people. Really, when you read (or hear) about that, I think you can see it as 'just another' creation story. People have psychologically had the need to explain the Origins of life; frame behaviour or expected/considered 'just' behaviour so in that light, the Old Testament if anything is to me, an account of a people that's just been lucky to have stuck around.
Poseidon, the camp's mascot. Naturally allowed to hop away at any given time.
Consider the following creation myths;
myths using the parent-child relationship model, parents giving life to the children -
myths using the 'problem parents' model;
Enuma Elish (ancient Babylonian poem)
Then it evolved to delving into which philosophers started to look for rationale explanations of 'the cosmos' and the philosophic outlook of where it all began to into a long timeline (since our origin is considered to have started 15 billion years ago) starting with the 'flaring forth'. They discussed the origins through philosophy (plato) and science (A Brain for All Season: Human Evolution and Abrupt Climate Change). They went through thought experiences, learned about the (briefly) timeline of human evolution. They were taught to examine, compare, experience and reflect. Thinking skills, what a concept.
Dirk, playing around with the digital camera I lent him.
They did look into the old testament creation story, as the Quiche Maya story as the Bushongo story from Africa. I wished I could've been there myself to read and discuss and explore.