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March 7, 12
- Continued Lecture…
- The flesh of the victims is ritualistically consumed = Aztec
Cannibalism. – a sacred stew of peppers, tomatoes, human flesh.
- In consuming the consecrated flesh of the god-impersonators, the
Mexica believed they were in communion with the gods, partaking
of their bofu and blood.
- Sacred mushrooms – „flesh of the gods‟
- Only the aristocracy was entitled to consume human flesh, which
was considered consecrated.
- Spanish priests regard Aztec religion as a “Satanic inversion” of
Christianity, and question the practice of human sacrifice: why not
birds or other animals? Receive sarcastic replies: these are the
offerings of low and poor men, not nobles.
Ecological Crises and the Spanish Conquest
- Recurrent earthquakes, floods, rodents, droughts.
- Population strain, from c.1200 to 1500, growth from roughly
120,000 to almost 1,000,000.
- Protein deficiency? Extinction of the mega-fauna.
- Great famine of 1454 – noble children sold out to slavery – famine
- Guerra florida perhaps beginning to decline by 1500, as struggle for
power, Aztec brutality mounts.
G-d and Israelite Military Ethic
- Monotheism and “holy war”
- Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are religions that are historical
rather than cosmological.
- Holy war is a sign of G-d‟s wrath – sin as infidelity to or non-
recognition of divine revelation
- In the monotheistic religions – primary responisibilty for the world‟s
sin is oftentimes projected onto others: non-believers, heretics,
- Holy war is…
- 1) A way of cleansing the world of sin and evil
- 2) of repaying through righteous vengeance the debt accumulated
- 3) an act of redemption for the holy warriors
- Patriarch Jacob renamed „Israel” after wrestling with an angerl/god,
Gen. 32:28 – Yisra‟el is formed from the verb yisreh. “will fight” and
El or G-d – so G-d fights, struggles.
- G-d is supposedly a war-god of conquest, not conversion – a
national/tribal deity in the beginning.