Saturday, April 12, 2008

Symbolism and Protest

The latest Touching Base is now online at the Wardman Wire, on the place of symbolism in prophecy, politics and protest (ooh, that was good!). A snippet:

a good prophet is a master of symbolism. Many times, Old Testament weirdos like Ezekiel did peculiar things like cook over their own excrement, or build scale models of a beseiged Jerusalem. The people might forget their words, but not the images of Ezekiels pessimistic political punditry. Especially when it came true. Jesus, when looking for a way of helping his followers to remember his life and its meaning, left the symbols of wine and broken bread.

Some prophets themselves become symbols, without speaking we already know what they stand for: Tutu, The Dalai Lama, Martin Luther King.

At some level this works for all of us. We all have a public image, we are seen in a certain way, and we put varying degrees of effort into buffing it up and making sure it’s the one we want to project. We know that there is a gap between perception and reality, and we also know how much we stand to lose if and when that gap is exposed.

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