Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Pontius Pilate

has always fascinated me. My religion blames him, solely, for the Suffering and Death of Christ. To me he represents the corruption that the spirit suffers when it becomes matter. Inquiry vs. belief; thought vs. prejudice; strength vs. weakness; justice vs. self-interest.

I'm in a William Blake phase, these days. (Or maybe I'm drinking too much.)


Anonymous Dana said...

The Nicene Creed -- which is recited at every Mass in the Catholic Church -- includes the phrase that Jesus "was crucified under Pontius Pilate." I've always considered that strange: yes, Pilate was the Roman governor of Judea at the time, and it was under his authority that Jesus was crucified, but why do we sort of backhandedly "honor" him, every day, at Mass?

Sat Sep 06, 10:10:00 AM  
Blogger nk said...

Greek Orthodox, too. I don't know that we "honor" him. I think we contrast him. He could have been as good a man as Christ. He was a Stoic, educated, part of the nobility of Rome. Yet he behaved very basely in front of the mob. And remembered what he was when it was too late.

Sat Sep 06, 10:28:00 PM  
Blogger BigLeeH said...

One of my favorite novels has a wonderful treatment of Pilate. Mikhail Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita was one of a very few works that had the distinction of being banned by both the Soviet Union and the Vatican at the same time.

Bulgakov's Pilate is a sympathetic character who has been ground down by the bureaucracy that traps him as much as it does the prisoner he is reluctantly called on to judge. The church disliked the sympathetic portrayal of Pilate and the Soviets disliked the unsympathetic portrayal of bureaucracy.

Here's a link to the first two chapters. They are a different translation than the one I have read. This one is by a Norwegian social anthropologist who studies Russian culture. It was the first link that Google found for me when I entered the search terms "Bulgakov," "Pilate" and "Roses"; and it seems OK.

Mon Sep 08, 04:09:00 PM  
Blogger nk said...

Thank you, BigLeeH. I have not read the book but I'm pretty sure my wife has and it might be on a shelf somewhere in the house.

Mon Sep 08, 04:26:00 PM  

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