Thoughts on Evolution and the Sin in Eden: A New Christian Synthesis (1998) 07
If the Adam and Eve stories are true, then what the hell happened to us? From the perspective of Chapter 7 of Zimmerman’s text, according to the Catholic Magisterium, “bodily death” is one of the hells that happen to us.
How would An Archaeology of the Fall accord with that view?
Consider a civilization that was really getting into the organizational benefits of speech-alone talk when Spanish adventurers abruptly halted their expansion. The Inca had a tradition where each sovereign would remain alive, and hold court, even though he (occasionally she) was dead. The only way for a new sovereign to get a good court was through expansion. Thus, each living Inca ruler was hell bent on getting more territory. And every dead Inca ruler had already established a court hell for all who remained.
The Inca attitude toward bodily death was completely different from the attitude expressed in the Genesis word-play where the fruit-eating leaf-wearing “Adam” (a name that stands for earth and humans) is relegated to the law of diminishing returns and bodily annihilation; “dust you are and to dust you will return”. Thus, we must acknowledge that even the term “bodily death”, which seems to correspond to a universal, stark and inevitable referent, belongs to a system of differences that has a life of its own. The Inca Civilization was not Christian.
Similarly, we may consider upcoming manifestations of Progressive control: “committees for the quality of life” or “futile action committees” or whatever you want to call them other than “death panels”. The recipients of their orders will be expected to say (or an agent will say it for them): “I have lived a good life.” Thus, the refusal future treatment (or maybe, more proactively, the “injection”) is some sort of reward. Again, we must acknowledge that even the term “bodily death”, which seems to correspond to a universal, stark and inevitable referent, belongs to a system of differences that has a life of its own. The Progressive Civilization is not Christian.
Consider Zimmerman’s nugget: Death follows sin, so beware! Does it apply here? Or is there a pattern to these examples that is far more sinister? The words “bodily death” that almost went away but nevertheless stayed in Zimmerman’s tale in Chapter 7 float like an oil spill on a sea of symbolic orders that re-define what it means to die. It is hideous to the waters below and to the skies above. It is a blot because, in its place in the symbolic order that speaks the Catholic Catechism, it corresponds precisely to the universal, stark and inevitable referent that the above examples veil.