(Eco Theology) God Loves the Smell of Meat (Noah)

noah altar

“I love the smell of napalm in the morning.” No longer righteous, or not mentioned as such, Noah builds after the floodwaters subside an altar to God. YHWH smelled the pleasing odor. That’s why he won’t doom the earth again because of “man,” whose devisings, we are given to understand, are evil from youth. “So long as the earth endures/Seedtime and harvest/Cold and heat/Summer and winter/Day and night/Shall never cease” (Gen. 8:22, JPS 1985). Nietzsche was right. The justification of human existence can only be aesthetic. Not anywhere near enough attention gets paid to olfaction. In the Bible, God loves the pungent smell of burning meat and earth, and the turning of the seasons, and that’s why God won’t destroy the human creature. After the flood, it begins to eat flesh.

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics. http://religion.syr.edu
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1 Response to (Eco Theology) God Loves the Smell of Meat (Noah)

  1. dmf says:

    have you read Anne Carson’s Eros book? So many folks replace thinking about living in/with old school myths/Gods with some theory of catharsis relating to works of art (plays, etc) that they lose the fear and trembling. The archetypal psychologist Wolfgang Giegerich once tried to use atomic weapons to give some lived sense of the overwhelming power/presence but even that hasn’t endured. In relation to the anthropocene/global-weirding the philosopher Claire Colebrook recently compared it to knowing in the abstract that one is going to die someday and getting an actual diagnose of say terminal cancer. Winquist used to talk to his undergrads of God as a tiger in the room but that largely fell flat:

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