Monday, June 19, 2006

Vernard Eller: A Pearl ... for the Brokenhearted

(Image Borrowed From House Church Central)

Five in the morning, Seoul time, and all of Korea must be up right now watching the Korean soccer team play France in the World Cup. I can hear my wife and daughter cheering and groaning -- mostly the latter, for Korea has fallen behind 1-0.

I'm being an ugly foreigner, sitting here in my study, blogging obliviously on ... on the 14th century and the anonymous Pearl Poet. If Korea loses, however, I can offer consolation for the brokenhearted...

Speaking of which, that seems to be the subtitle of an online translation of Pearl by a certain Vernard Eller, an intellectual Christian with a variety of interests who made his spiritual home in The Church of the Brethren, a denomination that traces its origins to the pacifist tradition of Radical Reformation.

Eller was a prolific author of Christian books, even penning one on Christian sex titled The Sex Manual for Puritans! The tone is rather 'tongue-in-cheek' -- for instance, he tells us in a chapter on "The Climax" that "[t]he boin-n-ng" lasts about "[f]ive seconds at most."

I think that he's referring to the male's experience of boinging.

By any objective measures, such a boing is not very long. Fortunately, time is subjectively stretched and dilated at such moments, so the boing can seem to last as long as six seconds.

But I'm getting off-topic. I meant only to note that --

Breaking News at 5:40 a.m. Seoul Time: Korea has just tied the score! Dae Han Min Guk! Tsuh-Tsuh, Tsuh-Tsuh, Tsuh! Dae Han Min Guk! Tsuh-Tsuh, Tsuh-Tsuh, Tsuh! Dae Han Min Guk! Tsuh-Tsuh, Tsuh-Tsuh, Tsuh! Oh Pilseung Korea! Oh Pilseung Korea! Oh Pilseung Korea! Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh! Boin-n-ng!

-- Vernon Ellis translated the Pearl Poet's great pearl poem as A Pearl ... for the Brokenhearted to give "counsel ... [of] the Christian gospel for the brokenhearted, ... comfort for our own grief."

I find fascinating that contemporary, Protestant Christians stemming from the Radical Reformation would turn to a Medieval Catholic text in an obscure English dialect for spiritual consolation, but perhaps the twilight of our times has brought the owl of Minerva to her flight...

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At 8:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A hilarious post, Jeffery! Now to look up that mythological reference in the last sentence...

At 8:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, it concerns philosophy:

"When philosophy paints its gray on gray, then has a form of life grown old, and with gray on gray it cannot be rejuvenated, but only known; the Owl of Minerva first takes flight with twilight closing in."

-G. W. F. Hegel, "Preface," Philosophy of Right

At 9:25 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I suppose that one could say that Hegel 'mythologized' his rational insight, namely, that wisdom comes with experience.

It's up to us to be the rational, Bultmanian demythologizers...

Jeffery Hodges

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At 4:28 AM, Blogger jj mollo said...

Liveblogging the world cup, complete with medieval literature and a review of a sexual selp-help book. It doesn't get any better than that.

At 6:17 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Plus, you get the added bonus of a philosophical allusion!

Moreover, this blog slices, dices, and makes perfect julienne fries in seconds!

Order now -- and get yours today!

Jeffery Hodges

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