Archive for September 19th, 2006

19th September
written by simplelight

A week ago Pope Benedict XVI gave a speech at the University of Regensberg in Germany. He touched briefly on the question of whether there is an underlying intellectual strain in Islam which promotes violence. Talking to people around me, I have been stunned at the intensity of feeling on the topic given that no one I have spoken to has read either the Qur’an or the actual speech.

Robert Louis Wilken gives a good background on the now infamous Byzantine emperor, Manuel II 

Richard John Neuhaus, editor of First Things, writing about the outcry, summarized the speech as follows:

It was a considered reflection on the inseparable linkage of faith and reason in the Christian understanding, an incisive critique of Christian thinkers who press for separating faith and reason in the name of “de-Hellenizing” Christianity, and a stirring call for Christians to celebrate the achievements of modernity and secure those achievements by grounding them in theological and philosophical truth.

Below is the full text of the speech so that you can judge for yourselves whether the reaction was justified:

Your Eminences, Your Magnificences, Your Excellencies, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen

It is a moving experience for me to be back again in the university and to be able once again to give a lecture at this podium.