If you discount Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People – see HERE, Tiger of the Stripe has only published one book on religion – Patrick Pullicino's . It proved to be an interesting challenge typesetting a book which contains English, Greek, Hebrew and Arabic. On a whim, we typeset it using LuaLaTeX, a typesetting language which has its roots in Donald Knuth's TeX, designed for setting mathematical texts in the 1970s.
In ancient Israel, there was no distinction between reason and emotion, as both were seen to operate within the heart and the Hebrew word for heart incorporates both. The heart is a pivotal symbol in Ezekiel. The giving of a new heart implies a reordering of reason and emotion, so that the Israelites could correctly perceive and love God. Modern psychology shows that emotion and reason are inseparable in decision making and learning, and the ability to reason emerged as a defining human trait in ancient Greece.
In ancient Mesopotamia (8th to 7th century bc), practical reason was used in the pursuit of rational interpretations of planetary movement through mathematics. This period has been called the 'first scientific revolution'. Since science is a rational discipline, the Babylonians de facto began to separate reason from emotion. It was into this milieu that Ezekiel was thrust at the age of 26 when he was brought with the Exiles to Babylon. The writing of the Book of Ezekiel started four years later with his experience of the Chariot Vision or Merkavah. It is not surprising therefore that the writings of Ezekiel mirrored his rationality-fertile Mesopotamian surroundings. I here pursue the link between Rationality, Science and Spirit within Ezekiel and the Chariot Vision.
This new analysis of Ezekiel explores the implications of the Chariot Vision for a modern reader. Although written as a thesis the text is well illustrated and makes the biblical texts relevant, illustrating how biblical revelation, science, psychology and natural phenomena are linked, giving support to contemporary ideas regarding the unity of knowledge.
Three key findings of the thesis are: 1. It shows that a science-based reasoning is present in Ezekiel and also that science can be a method of Divine revelation. Using the scientific- based structuring of Fuzzy Epistemology, it gives examples of 'experimental system' organisation in the Bible. 2. It gives a modern psychological interpretation to the ancient moral decision making framework of the four faces of the Living Creatures. It also shows that the psychological traits of the Creatures have gender polarity. 3. It explores Christ as the key to Ezekiel, showing examples within the Chariot Vision.
Patrick Pullicino was ordained a priest in the Diocese of Southwark, London, in 2020. Prior to this he was Professor and Chairman of Neurosciences in New Jersey, USA and Consultant Neurologist in Canterbury, Kent. A native of Malta, he was struck by the similarity between Maltese and Hebrew which he then studied after retiring from the NHS. A search for science in the Bible led him to the Book of Ezekiel and its iconic Chariot Vision.
His Catholic Herald podcast is here.
Pbk Published 2023 312pp List Price £15.00 ISBN 978-1-904799-74-0