Purity Essay - Melissa Harintho THEO 10001, Section 7...

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Melissa Harintho THEO 10001, Section 7 “Is it right for you to be angry?” (Jonah 4: 4) God inquires of Jonah towards the end of their conflict-filled journey. The Book of Jonah tells the story Jonah, an ordinary man who is sent by God to deliver a warning to the sinful citizens of Nineveh. From the onset of the story, Jonah is at odds with God, disobeying His orders and attempting to flee from His wrath. God sends a giant fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah eventually repents, delivering God’s warning to the Ninevites. The Lord ultimately chooses to forgive the Ninevites, which causes Jonah to fall into a rage- for he does not agree with God’s decision. At the end of the Book of Jonah, God demonstrates the authority of His intentions over human concepts of justness. While Jonah relies on systems of order to create sense in his constantly changing human world, such organizational systems were created by God, and are not necessary for His existence and well-being. In his chapter, “Clean and Unclean: Rules for Understanding Purity,” scholar Bruce Malina examines sacredness, purity lines, and the act of sacrifice in order to illustrate how purity systems were created to guide humans towards God. The application of Malina’s concepts of sacredness and purity to the beginning of the Book of Jonah enables readers to understand Jonah’s cowardly reaction to God’s request. When God instructs Jonah to “Go at once to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before [Him]” (Jonah 1:2), Jonah immediately flees from the Lord and boards a ship to Tarshish. Jonah’s concern for his life exhibits his regard for his life as sacred. The term “sacred” refers to people, places, things, and times that have been set apart; that are not common or for public use (Malina 163). God’s feelings towards his chosen people, at times described as jealousy in the
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Bible, provides an example of sacredness as it applies to God. In His desire to keep His
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This note was uploaded on 05/18/2008 for the course THEO 10000 taught by Professor Stewart during the Fall '08 term at Notre Dame.

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Purity Essay - Melissa Harintho THEO 10001, Section 7...

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