Monday, June 28, 2010

Book Reviews: Moonotheism, Chapter 6

This is the last chapter of volume one, and it is once again very good, though there's a strange digression concerning traditional Muslim sexual practices which really didn't fit with the rest of the chapter, but was very interesting, nonetheless, as it explained the origins of female genital mutilation. From the way I understand the theory, the hadith teaches that the gender of a child is determined by which parent has an orgasm first. Therefore, if you want male children, reducing the sexual pleasure of the female is an efficient way of doing so.

The portion I found most interesting was that Mohammad's syncretism was aided by the recycling of religious artwork by the early Christians, particularly the statues of Isis and Horus, which became Mary and Jesus, and led to Mohammad's understanding that the Trinity consisted of the Father, Son, and Virgin Mary. (Oh, to have had some early iconoclasts!)

The rest of the chapter is devoted to the kinds of Christians Mohammad was exposed to in Arabia, including the remnants of the Gnostics (which included many fertility rites, which Mohammad incorporated), as well as numerous ascetic monks, whose lifestyle was a factor in causing Mohammad to reject Christianity.

The last page, 608, contains footnote 2941. I really wonder what on earth he's going to cite in the next volume.

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