Tuesday, 4 April 2006

Forbidden fruit?

There are certain fruits that I could never live without.

If you enjoy things like fast food, greasy chips and soft drink, then you should try some time to give your tastebuds a holiday, and instead let your mouth, your lips, your tongue discover the exquisite sensual joys of fruit. Experience the audacious sweetness of the pineapple; the delicate intimacy of the strawberry; the incomparably smooth subtlety of the avocado; the fleshly honey-softness of the rockmelon; and, above all, the heartbreaking perfection of a freshly picked and sliced mango on a summer’s afternoon.

Christian tradition has long asserted that the forbidden fruit in Paradise was an apple. But I find this impossible to believe. Who would sacrifice herself and all the world for an apple?

Personally, I never would have plunged the human race into death and destruction for the sake of a mere apple. But if it had been a tree of ripened mangoes at the centre of that happy Garden—well, let’s just say that the cunning serpent would have found me with my mouth already full, and with juice running down my chin.

14 Comments:

kim fabricius said...

An apple indeed! Eve would have taken one bite out of a Golden Delicious and said, "Yuk!" A potato would be more tempting. But that luscious, red, fleshy object in the photo - and the strawberry too - well, that says it all

kim fabricius said...

On the other hand, there is the tradition that it was Eve's pear that was tempting to Adam.

Aaron G said...

A selection from a sermon I gave on June 26 2005:

"Forbidden fruit – As soon as laws are given telling us to abstain from the fruit, then we want it. The prohibited plum, the banned banana, the outlawed orange, the illegal, illicit lychee – they are so appetizing! We can almost taste the forbidden flavour. The tangy zest of forbidden fruit – that is what we want!"

Chris Tilling said...

!! Well, if you would have been Adam, it would have saved any blame going to the woman, or the serpant for that matter - which would have made certain theodicy apologetics even more diffficult to believe.

Thanks for the smile

JoBloggs said...

I've been reflecting (and blogging) on the Song of Songs recently, and it's raised again the question of the relationship between desire (broadly speaking!) and sin. The Song celebrates desire (while not ignoring its dangers): Christian tradition has been uncomfortable with that celebration!

Ben Myers said...

I agree, Jo. The concept of "desire" has been much neglected in Christian tradition. Happily, some postmodern thinkers have now provided Christian theology with a new conceptual basis for re-claiming "desire" as an important theological category.

kim fabricius said...

Ben and Jo,

It is not so much that the concept of "desire" has been neglected in Christian tradition, it is more that it has been twisted, conflated with Augustine's concupiscentia, i.e. all desire = bad (inordinate and purely libidinal) desire.

And, yes, this is an area where some postmodern thinkers are helping theologians to retrieve (from the Christian mystics mainly) and explore.

Weekend Fisher said...

Funny you should post this today. I spent the other part of my lunch break going to a nearby field to pick blackberries. Mmmm.

Btw I think Tolkien did a great job on holiness and desire in LOTR. It was my first piece as a blogger so it's not as smooth as I like, but the human credit there is Tolkien's anyway.

Mark Laynesmith said...

There's also a tradition that it was a banana! (Freud eat your heart out...) I've come across that in a little known seventeenth century English royalist commentator by the name of Thomas Browne who I'm pretty sure was drawing on earlier writers.

Aaron G said...

On desire check out Rowan Williams excellent essay,"The Body's Grace."

kim fabricius said...

Aaron G,

Right on!

JoBloggs said...

Thanks for this link, Aaron - it's a profound essay.

michael jensen said...

yes, but not one its author now appears to endorse...

English strawberries are FAR superior to their doughy Australian shadows...

Ben Myers said...

English strawberries? Fair enough. But I'd like to see you try eating an English mango....

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