Amy, of course, has the definitive round-up of articles. I must of course mention John Allen's piece in today's NYT: A Challenge,Not a Crusade.
EEN in context, Pope Benedict XVI’s citation last week of a 14th-century Byzantine emperor who claimed that the Prophet Muhammad brought “things only evil and inhuman” to the world was not intended as an anti-Islamic broadside. The pope’s real target in his lecture at the University of Regensburg, in Germany, was not Islam but the West, especially its tendency to separate reason and faith. He also denounced religious violence, hardly a crusader’s sentiment.There's Robert Moynihan's analysis, a sneak-preview of the October issue of Inside the Vatican: Reaping the Whirlwind.
Benedict's main point -- and few have noted this -- is that the West, unless it recovers a vision of God, cannot engage in a fruitful dialogue with the other great cultures of the world, which have a basic religious conviction about reality. Among these great cultures, of course, is Islam.And via Bill Cork is a link to an extremely thoughtful blog run by a Muslim: Apology accepted, but the damage is done. Another (not so "orthodox") Muslim voice: Irhad Manji on CBS News (via Happy Catholic)Oh, and of course the idiocy continues: Pope asked to convert to Islam. [Via Dogwood.] Yeah, whateva.
His entire talk is focused on this point.
He attempts to persuade his academic audience that giving theology a voice in the modern Western university would be of immense benefit to Western society, because it would lead to a rational dialogue on the central meaning of human existence; namely, an investigation of the nature of God. Such an inquiry, he says, would counter Europe's destructive denial of its own origins.