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7889: Re: religious expertise (fwd)

From: Greg Bryant <gregandsusan@rainbowtel.net>

I want to respond to this, just to make a point about religious authority:

>If he is not a Houngan and he is not kanzo, he does not speak for the
>Vodou religion.  It's like pointing at an individual Italian Roman Catholic 
>potato farmer and using his utterances as an authoritative statement on 
>Catholic theology, because he comes from a long line of Roman Catholics.

If the potato farmer had studied his catechism, he should be able to fairly
represent his religion to outsiders. It shouldn't take a priest to do that.
True, the priest would be able to provide more detailed information about
doctrine, dogma, and history, but on the other hand, the potato farmer
would have equally valuable insight into the daily life of a believer.
Wouldn't he?

Greg Bryant