Conférence: Bernard Lamborelle

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Date / Heure
Date(s) - 18/05/2017
19 h 00 min - 21 h 00 min

Emplacement
Centre humaniste du Québec

Catégories


Abraham et la naissance du monothéisme,

L’hypothèse séculière

Par Bernard Lamborelle

Impossible d’ignorer Abraham comme point d’origine commun à trois religions monothéistes, le judaïsme, le christianisme et l’islam. Le texte de l’Ancien Testament montre un personnage plus politique que religieux. Il est de bon ton dans les milieux de l’exégèse de s’en tenir à deux hypothèses concernant la formation de la légende d’Abraham, une hypothèse «ancienne» ( 18e siècle BCE) acceptant une certaine historicité du personnage et une «hypothèse «récente» (6e siècle BCE) présumant un personnage fictif.

Après un minutieux examen des textes et du contexte selon l’anthropologie et l’archéologie de la région, Bernard Lamborelle avance une nouvelle hypothès: l’hypothèse séculière, laquelle concède à chacune des deux premières une part de vérité. Oui, Abraham est bien un personnage historique mais le Seigneur avec lequel il va former une alliance n’est pas un dieu mais un puissant potentat mésopotamien! C’est plus tard que ce seigneur protecteur sera divinisé et deviendra le Dieu de trois religions.

Pourquoi et comment Bernard Lamborelle va étayer sa thèse est le sujet de la conférence.

Où: au Centre humaniste du Québec, à Montréal, 1225 boul. St_Jospeh Est

Quand: le jeudi 18 mai 2017 à 19h 

Entrée 10$ (membres AHQ 5$)

Pour ceux qui veulent bien suivre la démonstration de Bernard, il serait bon de vous familiariser avec les chapitres 12 à 25 de la Genèse dans la Bible. 

Bernard Lamborelle a écrit deux livres, Quiproquo sur Dieu, en 2009 et une version plus étoffée, en anglais, The Covenant, dont je vous donne le «Foreword» ici. Elle est écrite par un professeur de philosophie, Alex Zieba, Ph.D., et elle est étonnante par ses conclusions:

« Once I’d heard that a journalist and a young Philosophy
professor had their careers threatened for writing about this
book, I knew it must be compelling, not just provocative:
No-one reacts like that to crack-pottery. But history is
replete with this reaction to truth. Reading it changed my
view of the Bible and reconciled nagging questions that
were part of my own spiritual journey. Perhaps this is what
it was like to be a friend of Galileo’s, enjoying a glass of
wine after dinner as the last rays of daylight fade, when he
passes you this odd-looking tube that had been lying on the
table and says, nodding towards a sky you thought you
knew, “Look what I found. You just have to peer through
this to see the universe as it really is.” There is at first the
honour to glimpse a new paradigm just as the door opens,
but then, as wonder and child-like thrill begin to settle into
the myriad significance of what you are seeing, fear,
anticipation, even some cognitive dissonance follow.
The vision at the end of Galileo’s lens challenged accepted
wisdom in a way perceived to undermine the Bible as a
whole, and so threatened to undermine the entire Holy
edifice it supported. It set the world in motion, after all. In
time, the rest of us, even the Vatican, accepted that Galileo
was, of course, correct–how could we have been so
stupid?–and we (we Christians) adapted our moral sources
to our new scientific paradigm, blamed medieval
scholasticism for the error, and moved on with a new
approach to the natural universe. We later described those
periods of adjustment with words like “Renaissance” and
“Enlightenment”. Most of us moved on anyway, and the
Jews and Muslims did not perceive a threat from natural
philosophy, which came to be called “science”, to start
with. Unfettered from scholasticism and empowered by
scientific method, we monotheists moved collectively
towards a scientific and technological mastery that would
otherwise have been impossible to even conceive.
Lamborelle’s telescope is a formula, “the 6/10 multiplier”,
for correcting transcriptions of Babylonian base-60 to our
decimal system, a moment of mechanical genius
accompanied with persistence to reveal Abraham’s history,
and his Covenant with the Lord, as part of a coherent
whole, tied firmly into the history of Egypt and the Middle
East we already accept.
Formally, The Covenant is no more than the analysis of a
few passages of Genesis, those at a critical early juncture
establishing a Covenant between Abraham and the Lord.
That moment will be the basis of moral, religious, judicial,
and even scientific thinking, for a large portion of
humanity, for thousands of years to come. Prophets will
identify themselves, and their prophesy, as a piece of that
action. Nations will be carved out in a conscious effort to
interpret and satisfy its terms, and Empires will claim to be
its fulfillment. Millions will pray and confess to the Lord
of the Covenant, procreate and kill in His name,
circumcise, marry, baptize, and bury, all in submission to
His will. Because He said so and He is God. Ironically, a
literal reading of the Bible verifying that this is a moment
in history might be welcome by the faithful, if only it did
not also demonstrate that Abraham was the leader of a large
tribe, not sheep; that the Sodomites were not wicked in any
sense we would acknowledge today (most of us would do
the same in their shoes–you’ll see); that the Covenant
which we have taken as Holy was instead a pact drawn
with a greater King, and was carried around later as the
deed to the land promised in that pact. It’s not welcome
because the Lord then becomes, well, not just another man,
but not a God either, like the other Kings, Baals, and
Pharaohs around him. A Bible that is literally true may be
void of magic and miracles, with no particular relationship
to Divinity that we did not ourselves read into it.
A paradigm shift occurs when a new discovery, produced
by a new way approaching a subject, has repercussions
throughout many disciplines. Fulfilling the promise of a
new paradigm, completing it, means applying the new way
of thinking to the old data in these disciplines to learn what
new and surprising truths emerge. Universities have for
quite some time given courses on the influence of
monotheism to Western culture, so these courses offer a list
of disciplines affected by considering the Lord as a man,
and the Covenant as history, a contract between nations.
This shift runs as deep as monotheism itself.
A coherent historical reading of these early passages of
Genesis, as Lamborelle has provided, invites approaching
the rest of the Bible with a similar view to historicity.
Instead of inquiry being guided by a theosophical
hermeneutic presuming and insisting upon a consistent
relationship with the same Lord, who is also the Holy Spirit
responsible for creation, we read Biblical text as the
documentation of historical events: the lineage, dynasty,
and diaspora of a particular people. Shall the rest of the
Bible similarly prove to have a real, very human history?
This approach links the disciplines of history and Bible
study in an unfamiliar and provocative way, laying out a
pattern for new discoveries, beyond its confirmation of
Abraham’s life. The time-adjusted mapping of Biblical
events to historical events enabled by Lamborelle’s formula
should make predictions about where anthropologists and
archaeologists might explore to confirm or disconfirm new
revelations provoked by other Bible stories, and enable
them to approach existing historical artefacts afresh,
reconciling contradictions and resolving controversies.
Politics and Philosophy shall have to give up the textbook
proposition that the first talk of a social contract comes
during Socrates’ dramatic self-examination by “the Laws”
of Athens and recognize the Covenant as an actual social
contract, an actual model from which our notions of justice
and morality, and our actual constitutions today, had been
drawn centuries earlier. Individual rights, citizenship,
notions of reward or retribution, are demonstrably based on
this human-made model.
These disciplines are within the broad scope and reach of
Lamborelle’s study. And then there are the possibilities.
Abandoning medieval scholasticism as an empirical tool in
favour of scientific method made possible discoveries
about our material universe on an unprecedented scale, and
technologies that, mostly, improve our lives. Can it be that
a similar paradigm shift in our approach to monotheism, to
social structure and law, leads us to discoveries about
ourselves, our history, our human nature…which manifest
as peace and justice in the world on a similarly
unprecedented scale? Maybe. Historically, any respect,
justice or sympathy we showed for our fellow creatures, we
said was because He said so, his morality. The idea that
justice might be adequate by itself didn’t occur to us. Kant
later said that without God, all is permissible, and that
scares us. But it’s not true just because Kant said it, or
because we at first conceived of morality as submission to a
superior will. Just as a child learns gratitude by being made
to say “thank you”, maybe we don’t need to be told or
threatened anymore to understand consequences. The road
to success has always begun with the courage to look
towards something at first terrifying that becomes ordinary,
and eventually, obvious.
So we shall recover, as we have before, a little wiser and
hopefully less violent and arrogant for the journey.
Religion evolves again, but does not disappear. The
identification of the Lord as a man depended partly on
separating this historical figure from a Holy Spirit, and this
Spirit shall remain an object of speculation, emulation and
faith. At the same time, churches, minions, congregations,
monasteries, have long been the repositories of societies’
conscience, and so the source of its moral compass. We
may not wipe them away in a stroke without undermining
the social functions, which they serve. While part of this
community cultivates conservative hegemony, another part
has been adapting already, in the form of liberal, even
atheist clergy, who have already separated and
distinguished their moral and social function (ministering
to a congregation) from its supposed metaphysical
foundations. I predict we shall learn that the atheist-clergy
are a larger group than we presently acknowledge. They
are in this sense the forefront of applied social and moral
thinking.
A. ZIEBA

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