31 March 2010

Entertaining Murder

This is not a well thought out post.

So apologies out of the way, I'll get on with sharing a random thought.

In Leviticus there is describe a Day of Atonement at which time the sins of the community are placed on a goat and the goat sent off into the wilderness. As I read this I thought "what a marvellous method of cleansing the community psyche".

And then I thought the Christian community has a similar cleansing ritual--our sins become Christ's burden and we receive a gift of resurrection, of new beginnings.

But in a secular society, where do we find this washing away of psychic grime (for lack of a better phrase)?

In murder mysteries the sinner (the murderer) is cleansed from the community either through death or imprisonment or some other equally harsh punishment. Does the murderer take with them the community's sins? Is something in us satisfied not simply that justice is done, but that the grime in our community can be and is removed?

Maybe murder mysteries are more than modern morality plays, maybe they're spring cleaning.

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