Hume sees the miracle as an event that goes against 'natural law'. But if he conceives the ‘natural law' as a true universal generalization about how things operate, then a miracle so described would be a contradiction in terms. In fact the most of the use of the term he refers to 'natural laws' moral. The first work in which Hume speaks of physical 'natural law' is the Enquiry, even he does not explain in any part of it what he means exactly by the natural law. It is often assumed that with this term Hume refers to a de facto generalization without exception, but this is a conclusion based mainly on misunderstandings about his theory of causation, which is supposed to mean that there is no causal law beyond "a summary of a uniform past experience. This view is wrong. The general idea is that of an intervention in the natural order, where supernatural actions bring an event that would not have been able to occur in the ordinary course of things. This presupposes that there is a predetermined set of laws that determine how things happen (how things behave) in the absence of any supernatural intervention. Hume does not suggest that the concept of miracle is not coherent, but if so, it would be just an additional tool in the attack that he makes to the religion.
The author believes that people are turning away from Christianity because (due to their free will) they cannot believe in the validity of various concepts, such as a unique and universal Crucifixion. They believe that everything was localized to this insignificant planet and nowhere else, and, hence, Christiani- ty is pretty blasé and probably has a lot of deceptions, misconceptions, etc., just like most of human history has. Of course, the Crucifixion occurred lo- cally on this planet, but the implications for other planets in far off galaxies are just as crucial. Do earthlings make better Christians than those in some galaxy residing out where the quasars roam? No, we don’t. The Bible tells us to “prove all things”; in other words, reason analytically, responsibly, deter- mine the truth! That is just what science does, or is supposed to do, but when scientists ally themselves too closely to government, their objectivity is capable of being bought or skewed by those governments, which keeps some subjects taboo as far as being investigated properly. This paper is trying desperately to determine what the truth is in those, admittedly strange events which have happened in the history of the New Testament. The author has also included a section on the search for new physical principles, by establishing working hy- potheses and using these to analyze certain Bible miracles and such other phenomena which might seem appropriate. As a physicist and mathematician, the author finds the miracles of the Bible to be filled with a vast potential for discovery of new physical principles. The author hopes you will too.
If we turn to Andre Dias’s miracles in Lisbon, compiled also within a plague context, we again get a sense of communal healing processes, this time through Dias’s own preaching. It is very significant that throughout his collection Dias repeatedly chose to describe the holy water blessed in Jesus’ name as a meezinha, the same word he once used to describe earthly medication. In fact at times his miracles almost read like a series of medical case histories, all cured by the same patent remedy. Although there is no reference to turmoil as a result of plague, Dias does seem to have been concerned by the political context. His prologue refers to the political achievements of King João I (1385-1433) as miracles in themselves. João had successfully usurped the throne (although of course Dias did not refer to it as a usurpation), had fought and won wars against Castile, negotiated peace and then invaded North Africa in 1415. The healings are presented as further signs of divine favour. Yet there must have been some anxiety of what was going to happen to the new dynasty now that the king ‘was in his old age and reaching the end of his life’. 78 It may be no accident that so
In stating his view that there is no difference between verbal and practical acknowledgement, „Abd al-Jabbār gives the following example: “When Zeyd sends a messenger for „Amr, and „Amr asks the messenger for evidence of his mission, it makes no difference for the messenger to ask Zeyd to verbally acknowledge him [by saying, for example, that yes, you are right, you are my messenger], or to tell Zeyd, if I am right that I am speaking on your behalf, put your hand on your head and he does so. Here, putting the hand on the head has replaced the word of Zeyd” (ibid., p. 168). „Abd al-Jabbār‟s main efforts here are to show that the word and act are the same in the denotation in question because the verbal acknowledgement of a messenger is sound evidence for the authenticity of the messenger but the denotation of the act is not as clear as this, thus demanding more attention and notice. In the above-mentioned example, „Abd al-Jabbār tries to call attention to and remove such an improbability. He does not necessitate convention to have actually taken place, for the very course of practice indicates some sort of convention. “Even though there was no coordination, what has actually happened is similar to a previous convention. For example, if a master told his servant, „Whenever I put my hand on my head, you must bring water…,‟ this does not differ from the case of a servant telling his master, „Whenever you want water, just put your hand on your head.‟ In both cases, the convention is created. This is similar to a case preceded by some coordination…Now, if a prophet asked God to acknowledge his claim by performing a miracle… [performing the miracle by God], it would be equal to his acknowledgement” (ibid., p. 169).
transformation of the individual that brings positive benefits and is attributed to sacred forces beyond individual control.” Unlike previous miracle theory which highlights the extraordinary power and rare occurrence of miracles, these mini-miracles are less extraordinary (although they are, of course, still crucial to the life of the individual who experiences them) and more frequently experienced. Mini-miracles encountered through Lourdes consumption do not always involve an instantaneous transformation but rather, may stem from a series of individual experiences, as the opening narrative concerning Caroline and the sequence of events which firstly led her to Lourdes reveals. Continued revisits and consumption of the site has eventually led to her major, life-transforming miracle. Many of those encountered over the three year ethnography were keen to share their own examples of mini-miraculous events, thus the miraculous narratives become further entrenched in the wider, Grand Lourdes narrative. However, rather than at a church or community level (Turner and Turner, 1978), these mini-miracles become entrenched at a more personal level. Analysis of these mini-miraculous narratives helps in uncovering thematic similarities and emic understanding reveals the discussion of mini-miracles in three distinct ways: physical, social and peaceful.
Symbols in general require a second level understanding for their symbolic meaning to emerge, and this is the level which arises from the narratives of the Gospels. The symbols operate on two levels: the ordinary and the extraordinary, the palpable and the spiritual, the present and the age to come. For the fourth evangelist, the first level meaning relates to material reality. The second level is the symbolic level which the narrator encourages the reader to grasp and which the Johannine characters struggle to understand in the course of the narrative. This movement from misunderstanding to understanding takes place in a series of stages, involving misunderstanding and expanding clarification on the part of the Johannine Jesus. 19 These stages represent the movement, in literary terms, from the material to the spiritual. In Johannine theological terms, the symbolic narratives display the movement from unbelief to faith. In Mark, the inner group of disciples struggle — often unavailingly — to grasp the symbolic import of God’s eschatological reign in Jesus’ ministry in its bewildering shape and form; for them, faith itself is the miracle they require in order to grasp its symbolic meaning.
In June 1534, as the final ties connecting the English Church to Rome were inexorably being severed, Archbishop Thomas Cranmer issued an order for the preservation of ‘unity and quietness’. For the space of a year, preachers were to steer clear of six topics which ‘have caused dissension amongst the subjects of this realm’, namely, ‘purgatory, honouring of saints, that priests may have wives, that faith only justifieth, to go on pilgrimages, to forge miracles’. 1 The first four items on this list represent important doctrinal flash-points of the early Reformation; the fifth, an increasingly contentious ingredient of popular religious culture. But the sixth – ‘to forge miracles’ – is a more puzzling and arcane inclusion, which those scholars noticing the document have generally passed over without comment, or glossed as a reference to miracles in the round. 2 Starting from this textual loose end, my essay aims to unravel a thread which can be found running the course of the Reformation in Henry VIII’s reign: a persistent concern to identify and accentuate instances of the fraudulent and the counterfeit. 3 From asking why the idea of ‘forged miracles’ might have been at the forefront of Cranmer’s thinking at this particular juncture, it goes on to consider the broader implications of the theme for understanding profound and long-term shifts in religious and political culture taking place from the 1530s. A significant achievement of recent scholarship has been to reinsert the miraculous as a core element of early modern religious experience, and to insist upon the fundamental lineaments of the ‘supernatural universe’ inhabited by Catholic and Protestant
Yet the circus is a secular organization. There are no ancient gods or scented candles being invoked and the performer escapes injury and death through their own skill. Not though divine or demonic intervention, or tradition, but through the machineries of reason and training. Chaos is prevented through discipline (Stoddart 2000: 13) or, as Carter puts it, this is a celebration of „the triumphs of man‟s will over gravity and over rationality‟ (2006: 121). Of course, the knowledge of the fall, the knife hitting the assistant or the lion‟s jaws closing must always haunt every successful performance. Order and disorder, organization and disorganization, the light and the dark, are in close relation, with one seeming to invite the other as a precondition of being there in the ring. Other separations are blurred too. Whether it involves flying people or hats made from bees, the act performs an event or thing that could belong in at least two different categories. So something normal is performed upside down, or on a high wire, or boxing monkeys blur culture and nature, animal and human (Carmeli 2003). Being shot from a cannon, putting your head in the mouth of a lion – these are all things that no rational person would attempt, but that are performed as demonstrations of the extension of reason, not the love of god or the devil.
Re: I believe in miracles. I attended Kathryn Kuhlman's services, and I am sure I witnessed miracles taking place. I talked to one of her workers who verified that she met people who had been healed in past services and their cases were genuine. And the ones I saw dancing around in front of 2000 people screaming "I am healed" and openly weeping with joy, surely looked "healed" to me.
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sistance to éophile de Viau over the course of the latter’s trial, was also involved in the celebrations. ose who had previously been sympathetic to freethinkers, or who would later assist others such as éophile, were either too occupied with the marriage festivities to attend Vanini’s execution and to witness the revelation of his hidden transcript, or else they simply did not share the Italian’s libertine views on religion and therefore had no inclination to intervene on his behalf. Vanini’s hidden transcript, then, was not revealed to an audience of sympathetic aristocratic ears. His blasphemies and his sub- versive performance were displayed to a Catholic audience seeking to partake in a cleansing religious experience through his death; many of whom would doubtless have been drawn from the lower social classes and would therefore have lacked the power to defend him, the learning to understand him, or the social freedoms to join him in his subversive performance.
Regardless of their use, these little bits of metal represent fervent hopes for miracles. To meet the needs of the hopers and petitioners, milagros are made in a wide variety of shapes. Hearts, body parts, animals, saints, houses, vehicles, plants, sun, moon, and stars are just a few examples of commonly seen milagros.
The subject in this chapter has always been of interest to me. I have met at various times in life the different categories that has described for those Christians that have a different view of God’s power when in concerns miracles. Erickson (1992) describes in his chapter the Holy Spirit that the Spirit would give them that power that was promised in the Acts of the Apostles and that this resource was still available today to any Christian wishing to serve the Lord. He goes on to discuss miracles as it relates to the natural world that miracles could be, (a) a manifestation of a little-known or virtually unknown natural law, (b) that miracles break the natural law, and (c) when miracles occur, natural forces are countered by supernatural forces. (p. 136-137)