Monday, October 8, 2012

The Two Headed Adam and Christian Theology

At the core of Christian theology is the fall of Adam at Paradise.  There are two principle interpretations of this 'event' - the Orthodox understanding in the East and the Catholic tradition in the West.  The Eastern interpretation is rooted in the writings of Irenaeus.  Irenaeus argued that Adam was not perfect in the beginning.  God established Adam as imperfect, intending him to grow into divine life before he was deflected by sin disrupting God's purposes.  The Roman tradition seems to be rooted in the mystical asceticism of Alexandria.  Here Adam was perfect in the beginning but after the fall his 'sin' was passed on to his descendants.  This understanding is rejected by the Orthodox tradition which acknowledges the tendency to sin derives to a great degree on the fallen condition of the world in general.  

What I am trying to do is to connect the shared Jewish/Empedoclean notion (from Aristophanes's speech in the Symposium) of a two headed primal man with the early Christian interest in salvation from divinely inspired intimacy.  I can't help but see that the 'solution' presented by tradition (heterosexual) marriage was seen as an 'inferior creation' developed in imitation of the true union of angels.  To this end the angelic union resembles the symbol of the two-headed Adam - "two souls in one body."  I just have to find the reference that effectively spells out the original understanding of Secret Mark.  

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