Prentiss Riddle: Kids

aprendiz de todo, maestro de nada

Prentiss Riddle

home art austin books
causes chuckles garden
kids language movies
music time toys travel
Search this site

Archive by date
Archive by title

Malini explains the Passion

When Uma started asking questions about Christianity last Christmas, Malini took it on herself to explain things to her little sister.

the passion according to Malini

Here's a picture she drew. It seemed a bit too gruesome to post at the time, but maybe it's more appropriate for the upcoming Easter holidays. Note the helpful schematic on the right and the pictographs for "no water" and "no food" on the lower left. I'm especially taken with the look on Jesus' face, and what I first thought to be Jiminy-Cricket-style antennae but must actually be the crown of thorns.

The girls, being raised a sort of "Hindutarian" hybrid, know lots of other gruesome stories (cf Malini's earlier picture of Kali) so I shouldn't be surprised that they begin their understanding of Christianity through the story of Jesus suffering on the cross. If it's any consolation, they're also fond of baby Jesus and baby Krishna and can tell you about some of the parallels between their births.

kids 2003.02.19 link


I would like to hear about these parallels. Currently reading The Life of Pi, about a young man who decides early on to be an ardent Christian, Hindu, and Muslim. Evidently he is soon to be shipwrecked and forced to share a small rowboat with a large tiger. More on this story as it develops...

bruce [bmccandless ARROBA longburner PUNTO com] • 2003.02.20
Ah, syncretism: It's what keeps Brazil nominally Catholic [and free of vampires, by the way, since the orixás are thought to frighten them off[. It reminds me of Frazer's notes on the parallelism of Christ and Adonis in The Golden Bough.

In this connexion a well-known statement of Jerome may not be without significance. He tells us that Bethlehem, the traditionary birthplace of the Lord, was shaded by a grove of that still older Syrian Lord, Adonis, and that where the infant Jesus had wept, the lover of Venus was bewailed. Though he does not expressly say so, Jerome seems to have thought that the grove of Adonis had been planted by the heathen after the birth of Christ for the purpose of defiling the sacred spot. In this he may have been mistaken. If Adonis was indeed, as I have argued, the spirit of the corn, a more suitable name for his dwelling-place could hardly be found than Bethlehem, “the House of Bread,” and he may well have been worshipped there at his House of Bread long ages before the birth of Him who said, “I am the bread of life.” Even on the hypothesis that Adonis followed rather than preceded Christ at Bethlehem, the choice of his sad figure to divert the allegiance of Christians from their Lord cannot but strike us as eminently appropriate when we remember the similarity of the rites which commemorated the death and resurrection of the two.

That Life of Pi, wasn't it the one accused of plagiarism? There's also the Christianized version of the life of Buddha by St. John of Damascus [5th C. AD?], Barlaam and Ioasaph.

iggy-colin [iggy ARROBA hairyeyeball PUNTO net] • 2003.02.23
Thanks, Iggycol (you're turning syncretic yourself, aren't you?) for replying to Bruce while I was neglecting to do so.

Yes, the Life of Pi was accused of plagiarism, but apparently only by people who'd read both book jackets and nothing else. The author of Life of Pi has never denied that he was inspired by the Brazilian book, which (if I recall correctly) he had heard of but never read. And apparently anyone who reads both books agrees that all they have in common is a guy in a boat with a big cat. One might as well decide that they both plagiarized Mark Twain, since boats figure prominently in Huck Finn.

Bruce, the Baby Jesus/Baby Krishna parallels known to my daughters have to do with their being cute baby gods born in human form under humble and perilous circumstances, menaced by kings trying in vain to thwart prophecies and protected by angels. According to the link at (above) there are more parallels than that, but it would take some more research to know whether there's anything to it -- I hadn't heard, for instance, that Krishna's mother was a virgin, but that part of the story may simply not be stressed in the versions I've heard.

Prentiss Riddle [riddle ARROBA io PUNTO com] • 2003.02.23
A Christian by way of miraculous new birth not culture, I view this image, not as gruesome, but as a beautiful reminder of the love of God the Shepherd, laying down His life for His wayward lambs.

How appropriate that the girls see the crucifixion as the starting point in their understanding of Christianity, though it only makes sense when one realizes that this sacrifice was necessary to reconcile us to our Creator.

ti [mtderus cxe cs punkto com] • 2004.10.08
More kids >