Boasting and Boosting with Bruno!
The other day over at the Marmot's Hole, I had the chance to play historian on a brief discussion of the reason for the American Civil War. One commentator had cited certain historians who claimed that the war was about states' rights. I objected by citing Wikipedia - yes, Wikipedia, because ease of access sometimes trumps scholarly rectitude - and posting this remark:
On the other hand, one significant figure, Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens, delivered the Cornerstone Speech (aka Cornerstone Address) at the Athenaeum in Savannah, Georgia, on March 21, 1861, and he said of the Confederate Constitution, that:I was actually thanked for that helpful tidbit, so I responded in an agreeable manner:
"Our new Government is founded upon . . . the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and normal condition."This would seem to indicate that the South saw slavery as a significant issue - possibly the most significant? - of the war.
The states' rights interpretation was part of revisionist history that opposed the older historical interpretation that the war was about slavery. Not that there's anything wrong in principle with revisionist history, generally speaking (no, not General Lee speaking!). Merely that revisionism, while useful in calling attention to different interpretations, tends to exaggerate its own interpretation. Why? Because there are careers to be made!I was then asked what "extraordinary" thing I'd had to say "about John's Gospel and Gnosticism", so I replied and linked to a couple of online sites:
I gained this insight too late to make personal use of it even though I had something extraordinary to say about John's Gospel and Gnosticism . . .
Here are two online sites, each with a presentation I gave on John and Gnosticism in late 1999:And life does go on . . .
"'Ethical' Dualism of Food in The Gospel of John"The audiences of academics were very interested in my reinterpretation, but no university department cared enough even to interview me for a position.
"Gift-Giving Across the Sacred-Profane Divide: A Maussian Analysis of Heavenly Versus Earthly Food in Gnosticism and John’s Gospel"
My career therefore took a different turn, which is how I ended up here in South Korea.
Such such is life.