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7224: Ruckle on Scholars and Vodoun (fwd)

From: "James R. Ruckle" <jruckle@citynet.net>

Scholars are always looking for something new to study, because they are
supposed to make an "original contribution to human knowledge" to get their
Ph.D., and even afterwards, it advances your career if someone other than your
committee reads your research. Besides, an academic job can get boring fast if
you don't get the chance to do something original. (That's why I grabbed my M.A.
and ran.)

One thing I emphasize to people here in the States is that Vodou is a real
religion, one which Christians should dialogue with, just as we dialogue with
Islam and Judaism. The fact that the Haitian name for the godhead is Bondiè,
"good-God", is part of the reason that I describe Haitians as naturally
optimistic. Other aspects of Vodou thought that appear to give too much power to
evil, are understandable but sadden me.

Perhaps that painting I saw was an inaccurate representation. Is it the job of a
Vodou priest to mediate between the forces of good and evil as equals? Is this
one of the areas where different families have different dogma or doctrine?

James R. Ruckle
"And they shall call his name Emmanuel, which means, God with us."
"Y llamarás su nombre Emmanuel, que declarado, es: Con nosotros Dios."