Friday, September 22, 2006

What started this? The Tablet last week ...

So, in the house at Grand Rapids I spent a few minutes reading last week's issue of the Tablet. Robert Mickens has a report on Pope Benedict's visit to Germany: Bavaria's Benedictfest. And you know what? There's not a single word about Islam in there. The story has a dateline of Sept. 16. I guess it went to press before the sh*t hit the fan. This is what Mickens has to say about the famous address at Regensburg:
Later, in what was easily his most weighty speech, Pope Benedict delivered a public lecture to professors and academics at the University of Regensburg. He offered what he defined as a "critique of modern reason" painted "with broad strokes". His basic point was that a gradual de-Hellenisation of Christian faith, still in progress, had reduced faith to something unreasonable. "This ... has nothing to do with putting the clock back to the time before the Enlightenment and rejecting the insights of the modern age," the Pope insisted. "The intention here is not one of retrenchment or negative criticism, but of broadening our concept of reason and its application," he continued. And he repeated that the West would continue to have difficulties with other cultures as long as it marginalised religious faith. "A reason which is deaf to the divine and which relegates religion into the realm of subcultures is incapable of entering into the dialogue of cultures," he warned.
Islam is not mentioned at all.

A journalist of the stature of the Tablet's Robert Mickens didn't see anything intrinsically anti-Islamic in Benedict's address. [Unfortunately, this week's article by Mickens, "Anatomy of a Crisis" is not available online for free.]

So, how did this start? What am I missing?

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