Saturday, 22 October 2011

Ignorance rules, ignorance coarsens

I had a chance telephone call yesterday from an academic who teaches medieval history. The conversation, as it tends to do more and more these days, came around to a discussion of how little many of today's undergraduates know about their own country's history and culture, specifically in this instance about the architecture and internal design of church buildings - "what's a chancel?" - that kind of thing.
But the really disturbing remark (funny, but disturbing) concerned a university teacher of religious studies, a Muslim, who was told by a first year student that he (or she, I don't know) was unsure about the difference between Jesus and Buddha. "Just think of Jesus as the thin one," was the advice given, I'm told.
While we are playing around with issues of diversity and equality, the world passes by with increasing incomprehension.

On another subject altogether, but perhaps in some ways related to the increasing ignorance of the Christian faith and its values, graphic television footage and gruesome newspaper photographs of the bloodstained body of a dictator being dragged through the streets does nothing to alleviate the undoubted coarsening of our culture and the increasing lack of respect for the human person - every human person. Neither does the general delight expressed at the death by lynch mob of a human being - any human being, however evil his crimes and however deserving of punishment. Gaddafi's death may well have been necessary, but the western gloating is cheap, not to mention vastly hypocritical. And, if that's sanctimonious, according to one commentator (see here), I'm happy to plead guilty.

Meanwhile in the midst of the anti-capitalist protest, and after all the clerical posturing, St Paul's Cathedral closes its doors (including, according to the BBC, for Sunday services) for the first time since the London blitz. The closure has taken place for "health & saftey reasons," reports say. An example to us all.

For Our Lady on Saturday:

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this - and special thanks for Bruckner's "Ave Maria" (my favourite composer)


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