Subj: Devils and Hell etc. A marvelous book, 'The History of Hell' by Alice K. Turner, H

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Subj: Devils and Hell etc. A marvelous book, "The History of Hell" by Alice K. Turner, Harcourt and Brace,1993 goes into the history of how Western art depicts hell and the devil and all that. Many pictures of paintings from Egyptian times through the 18th Century Europe, in churches and museums. A very good account of the Judaic-Christian-Muslim tradition of glorifying violence, rape, torture, incest, murder, adultery, genocide, etc. You know, the traditional Judaic-Christian-Muslim family values. The Old Testament glorifies these horrible human behaviours in words and myths - the later Christian painters and sculptors do it with pictures and carvings etc. Nonetheless, the same old western religious stuff. This was Ms. Turner's thesis in Art History at Michigan. I was privileged to hear her lecture at the Art Institute of Chicago about a year ago. She has adelighful and very iconoclastic sense of humor. Her slides were much more salacious than what she has in the book. Although pain, lots of nucity, and various depictions of the devil abound. My favorite two were the depoiction of the devil on a chamber pot swallowing the lost and damned while excreting the previously swallowed souls down to hell. The full scene from swallow to poop is depicted . The other is the church scene where the seven deadly sins are portrayed and Lust contains depictions of oral sex. Not bad for a middle age church. A harbinger of 20th century X-rated stag films. Maybe that's how the church fathers got their rocks off. Good reading. Walter Laffer

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