God, Pope Benedict and violence: Regensburg revisited

John McDade

That religion touches something dangerous in us is the question that John McDade ? lecturer in theology at St Mary?s University, Twickenham ? explores while revisiting Pope Benedict?s 2006 Regensburg lecture.

In 2006, Pope Benedict XVI gave an academic lecture in his old university at Regensburg, and then, as The Sun put it, we had the spectacle of 'the Pope on the ropes' as the controversy flared. There were many interesting aspects to this event:

????? how to raise a serious religious issue in a media context that necessarily simplifies, looks to generate a tone of conflict and antagonism among communities and therefore distorts;

????? how to go beyond the conventions of religious political correctness and ask a serious theological question about God, reason and violence;

????? how to suggest, even tentatively, that there can be bad forms of religion that are incompatible with the mystery of God and that equally there can be bad forms of human reasoning that are incompatible with human flourishing;

????? how a Christian leader might speak and not be attacked by an aggressively secularist media.

The Dominican Fergus Kerr says that religion touches on something dangerous in us.

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