a tragic tale of injustice
wonder | wander | world wishes us all a joyous Sunday! This time we have at least 28 substantial eggs in our Easter basket that we are very grateful for. Halleluiah!
According to some scholars, such as Dr. Tony Nugent, teacher of Theology and Religious Studies at Seattle University, and Presbyterian minister, the Easter story comes from the Sumerian legend of Damuzi (Tammuz) and his wife Inanna (Ishtar), an epic myth called “ The Descent of Inanna “ found inscribed on cuneiform clay tablets dating back to 2100 BC.
When Tammuz dies, Ishtar is grief-stricken and follows him to the underworld. In the underworld, she enters through seven gates, and her worldly attire is removed. “Naked and bowed low” she is judged, killed, and then hung on display. In her absence, the earth loses its fertility, crops cease to grow and animals stop reproducing. Unless something is done, all life on earth will end.
Inanna in this ancient tale is not a `whole person’ until she appears vulnerable before her `darker half’, dies, and returns to life. At the poem’s end, this interpretation asserts, Inanna, through her descent into darkness, the shedding of the trappings of her former self, confrontation with her `shadow’, death of who she was, and final re-birth, is now a complete individual, wholly aware.
In ancient Mesopotamia, humans regarded themselves as co-workers with the gods and the gods lived among them. The Descent of Innana is yet another sorry tale about one of the gods behaving badly and other gods and mortals having to suffer for that behavior.
Then as today these stories are meant as cautionary teachings that provide listeners a basic understanding of a tragic injustice caused by someone’s negligence or poor judgment — at times, life is just not fair.
Originally published at http://woaworld.blogspot.com.