POP(e) MAGAZINE EXCLUSIVE!
Pope Benedict XVI and Patriarch Bartholomew I discuss ... 'Beard and Trembling'.
... I just can't get this Kierkegaard thing out of my head, now; and so, snaking around the overgrown garden of the Interweb, I found a few interesting bits n bobs.
FIRST off, a world renowned Kierkegaard expert considers Soren's take on Islam.
"Did Kierkegaard offer anything on Muhammad and Islam? Hong predicts there won't be much. Osama, if you're reading this, now's the time to turn the page. Kierkegaard, it so happens, refers directly to Muhammad or Muhammadinism multiple times. Some passages are innocuous, as when he writes, "Like Muhammad's tomb, my soul hovers between two magnets." Others suggest a more judgmental stand."
SECOND, an extract from Introduction to Christianity, authored by a pre-Pope Ratzinger in 1967, in which the then Cardinal uses a citation from Kierkegaard to illustrate the difficulties faced by any modern day Christian trying to communicate with the young bredren dem:
"According to the story," he wrote, "a travelling circus in Denmark had caught fire. The manager sent [the] clown, who was already dressed and made-up for the performance, into the neighboring village to fetch help, especially as there was a danger that the fire would spread across the fields of dry stubble and engulf the village itself. So, the clown hurried into the village and requested the inhabitants `come as quickly as possible' and help put the fire out.
"But the villagers took the clown's shouts simply for an excellent piece of advertising, meant to attract as many people as possible to the performance; they applauded the clown and laughed till they cried. The clown felt more like weeping than laughing; he tried in vain to get people to be serious, to make clear to them he was speaking in bitter earnest, that there really WAS a fire! His supplications only increased the laughter; people thought he was playing his part splendidly -- until finally the fire DID engulf the village, and both circus and village were burned to the ground."
And that, said Father Ratzinger, almost 40 years ago, is the "theologian's position today . . . the appearance of a clown trying in vain to make people listen to his message!"
Still completely in the dark about the message on that damn placard, tho.
posted by Ian 11/29/2006 11:02:00 PM