Posted 19 марта 2021,, 10:43
Published 19 марта 2021,, 10:43
Modified 24 декабря 2022,, 22:38
Updated 24 декабря 2022,, 22:38
Priest Yakov Krotov published in his blog comments on the scandal that erupted around the exhibition "The World of the Body" at VDNKh. They are all the more curious because the Russian Orthodox Church considered holding the exhibition unacceptable:
“Faith firmly says: the body is not a person. Science, by the way, says the same thing. It's just that science generally finds it difficult to say whether a person exists, but the body of a monkey is not an ape from the point of view of science.
The human body is a person only up to the moment when the person is alive. More precisely, the body is a person only up to the moment, while the body is alive.
It is easy to define the life and death of the body; it is a matter of agreement between people. Determine what a person is, when it begins and when it ends (if it ends) human life, apparently, it is impossible, just as it is impossible to jump out of oneself.
One way or another, believers and unbelievers know for sure that a corpse is not a person.
A corpse is dead matter. Therefore, any manipulation of a corpse is qualitatively different from the treatment of a person. The treatment of a person cannot be regulated by society, social conventions and cultural conventions. Man has unconditional rights, the origin of which is not entirely clear, as is the origin of "humanity." A corpse also does not have any rights like a stone.
Any manipulation with a corpse cannot be positive or negative, as well as any manipulation with a stone. They are morally indifferent. Apparently, the manipulation of dead bodies is one of the most ancient ways of speech and expression. It is customary to distinguish people from great apes by the presence of burials.
Burial is not some mythical "respect for the deceased." Burial is the manipulation of dead matter in order to communicate something to oneself and other people.
Refusal of burial is a special case of burial. Exposing a corpse or part of a corpse for display. To understand what such an action communicates is often very difficult, and sometimes in principle impossible without an accompanying set of words.
Flaunting a severed head can be a statement: "Look, what a bastard!", Or it can be a statement: "Let us honor the memory of the saint".
Any attempt to evaluate the act of exposing a corpse or part of it, proceeding from "culture in general", "universal values" and just habits, is a naive transfer of one's norms to another. For communication, another algorithm is preferable: the presumption of the innocence of the other, the assumption that in the coordinate system of the other an action (statement) that is unpleasant and wild for us is quite positive, etc. The corpse is evidence either of our openness and rationality, or of our prejudices.
Two additions about corpses.
Firstly: "corpse" is a conventional designation of the most complex biocenosis, ecosystem. There is no man, but the disappearance of a man from the body frees hundreds of thousands of living organisms with which man was in symbiosis. For biologists, this is as delightful as a cemetery for archaeologists.
Secondly: funerals, graves, memorial services are all the same cultural phenomena as anatomical preparations. Performances! Positive developments! Layered, interesting. Even giving up burial is burial. The most striking example is the Kiev metropolitan, who bequeathed his corpse to be placed at the entrance to the church so that everyone would step on it, and then throw it into the swamp. Yes, there were corpses in our time, not like the present burden!
Precisely because burial - even in the Egyptian pyramid, at least to scatter in the wind - this statement - it is impossible to treat with the same respect any burial, to any form of veneration of the dead. Therefore, Christianity has always had such a conflicting attitude towards the cult of ancestors, and this is a conflict with the entire culture of Indochina and Africa. I do not see a conflict with von Hagens' plasticizers. If the bodies are not stolen, but, I think, during the tour in 50 countries of the world, he passed all possible checks.
Unfortunately, the conflict between Christianity and the cult of the dead in Christianity itself is completely underdeveloped. This is not about naive inclusions of paganism like parental Saturdays and All Saints' Day. It is about replacing "communion with the saints" with an elementary cult of personality. Completely irreligious. Here the conflict is not between the grave and the belief in the resurrection, but idolatry with faith. The cult of dead idols is dangerous because it feeds the cults of living characters..."