[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

7194: RE: 7173:" Re: 7139: Around internet dialogue on Vodou - Response to Max Beauvoir (fwd)

From: "Desmangles, Leslie" <Leslie.Desmangles@trincoll.edu>

The distictions that Max Beauvoir makes in his last message between "dogma"
and "doctrine" are right on the mark. A dogma, as he notes, is an
"axiomatic" principle that is considered by the church to be the cornerstone
of the Christian tradition (as certain truths about individual freedom and
rights are to American democracy in the United States).  For instance, the
Christian teachings regarding the trinity, or the tri-unity of God,(like
water, steam, and ice which are all in essence the same thing: water) is a

A doctrine expresses the experiences deriving from the belief in a dogma,
and the acceptance of it as true may engender various theological
interpretations that attempt to describe a dogma. Theological
interpretations can take the forms of schools "schools" that can be to the
right, to the center, or to the left of the church's understanding of a
dogma. Hence, theologies can therefore be taught as doctrines and are based
on rational, philosophical, theological insights or intuition.

The last part of Max's note questions (in response to Dr Christophe's
querry) whether the word "avatar" can be applied to the Lwas. In so far as
an avatar is a manifestation of a diety in various forms, then Lwas are
avatars. In other words, Vodou is essentially monotheistic. There is one
God, the cosmic deity whose name is Bondye or Gran Met. The Lwas symbolize
various manifestations or personae of the one cosmic force. The Lwas
symbolize therefore the various facets or personae of Bondye, just as the
various personae of the Christian trinity are essentially part of the same
being. A Hindu scholar once noted that human beings are like pillows. They
are different from each other in that they have different personae, but
possess the same stuffing, that is, the same spiritual essence. The same can
be said of the Lwas. They are all different from each other but are all
different manifestations of the same cosmic being. In short, they each are
distinct personae, but are non-different from Bondye. 

Leslie G. Desmangles
Trinity College
Department of Religion and
International Studies Program
Hartford, CT 06106
(860) 297-2407 desk
(860) 297-5358 fax