III.4 Harmony between Spiritual/ Theoretical Natality and Childbirth
III.4 Harmony between Spiritual/ Theoretical Natality and Childbirth The following chapter identiﬁes a symbolic pattern of childbirth in which childbirth and birth into the realm of thought/ spirituality are not mutually exclusive574 but rather are in harmony with each other. The myths, cults, literary and philosophical traditions of the Ancient Egyptian/ Graeco-Ro- man goddess Isis have been chosen to illustrate such a harmony between spiritual birth and childbirth. The history of Isis spans from the second millennium before Christ until roughly the ﬁfth century C.E. She became the most important divin- ity in Egypt during the ﬁnal stage of Egyptian religious development under the Greek Ptolomeic dynasty.575 If one takes into consideration the persistent inﬂuence of Isiac traditions on Christianity,576 it could even be argued that the history of Isis has not come to an end yet, because Isis has survived in the ﬁgure of Mary. However, in the following presentation of the goddess as the symbolic carrier of a speciﬁc conception of childbirth, it should be taken into consid- eration that what Karl Jaspers has labelled Achsenzeit577 (“axial age”) cuts through the “continuity” between the Isis and Mary worship. Eisenstadt, who elaborates on Jaspers’ work, deﬁnes the axial age civilizations as civ- ilizations “in which there is an emphasis on the chasm between the tran- scendental and the mundane order and a conception of a higher moral or metaphysical order.”578 Whereas Isis emerges rather unshaken from axial age culture, the axial age gap...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.