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Beard Theology by the Church Mouse. The Beard Liberation Front view

In Uncategorized on August 31, 2019 by kmflett

Beard Theology by the Church Mouse

I’m not of course religious although having checked Steve Bell cartoons for decades I do know that God has a beard. In addition Marx noted (though he was joking and Marxism is *not* a religion) that no philosopher could be taken seriously without a prophet’s beard.

The Church Mouse and myself converse occasionally on twitter and I am pleased to see that the Beard Liberation Front gets a name check in Beard Theology (Rowan Williams was Beard of the Year a while back).

That said the Beard Liberation Front, while aware of the issue of beards and religion, for that reason steers religiously clear of the subject. It is one that excites controversy which in various parts of the world can be life threatening.

Full marks then to the Church Mouse for writing a detailed guide to the issue of beards and religion and indeed to Dave Walker for providing some of the better beard related cartoons Ive seen recently.

It is established that while there are no drawings of Jesus by anyone who would have encountered him he definitely had a beard as he was an observant Jew who grew beards for Biblical reasons.

The book runs through a number of beard related comments and instructions in the Bible (almost all in the Old Testament) and moves on to look at what I, as a non-religious person, might describe as Church fashions on whether beards should or should not be worn through history.

The Crusades were a particularly concerning time where it is pointed out that it would be wrong to assume that all the Crusaders were clean shaven. The Templars were not.

From the Middle Ages to the Victorian period religious ‘fashion’ dictated beards or not sometimes with difficult consequences for the hirsute or the clean shaven depending on the period.

The book concludes that if you are taking guidance from the Bible on whether or not you should wear a beard its probably up to your personal preference. The Bible might have more important guidance on the need to avoid wars and poverty.

If you are religious you’ve probably already drawn a long list of ‘errors’ that the book contains but if you are not you’ll find it both instructive and entertaining. In 2019 I would not underrate the value of either

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