July 13, 2008

Over-reaching speculation

Looking for indications of connectedness among cultures is usually beneficial. Finding our similarities is enlightening. But sometimes, in the search for such connections, people reach a little too far, and in the wrong direction.

The History Channel program Egypt: Land of the Gods examined the influence of that country on Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

In the segment on Chrisianity, the program speculates that Christian iconography of the infant Jesus sitting on the lap of his mother, Mary, was inspired by ancient Egyptian iconography of Horus sitting on the lap of his mother, Isis.

Yeah. Or maybe Jesus is depicted sitting on Mary's lap because children often sit on their mothers' laps.

The universality of motherhood is a given. No long reaches are needed to make that point.

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