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Old 09-20-2006, 06:07 PM
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Default Let's go back to the source

Excerpt Reprinted from the Vatican web site. Here is the actual page.




APOSTOLIC JOURNEY OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI
TO MÜNCHEN, ALTÖTTING AND REGENSBURG
(SEPTEMBER 9-14, 2006)
MEETING WITH THE REPRESENTATIVES OF SCIENCE
LECTURE OF THE HOLY FATHER
Aula Magna of the University of Regensburg
Tuesday, 12 September 2006
Faith, Reason and the University
Memories and Reflections


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. I think back to those years when, after a pleasant period at the Freisinger Hochschule, I began teaching at the University of Bonn. That was in 1959, in the days of the old university made up of ordinary professors. The various chairs had neither assistants nor secretaries, but in recompense there was much direct contact with students and in particular among the professors themselves. We would meet before and after lessons in the rooms of the teaching staff. There was a lively exchange with historians, philosophers, philologists and, naturally, between the two theological faculties. Once a semester there was a dies academicus, when professors from every faculty appeared before the students of the entire university, making possible a genuine experience of universitas - something that you too, Magnificent Rector, just mentioned - the experience, in other words, of the fact that despite our specializations which at times make it difficult to communicate with each other, we made up a whole, working in everything on the basis of a single rationality with its various aspects and sharing responsibility for the right use of reason - this reality became a lived experience. The university was also very proud of its two theological faculties. It was clear that, by inquiring about the reasonableness of faith, they too carried out a work which is necessarily part of the "whole" of the universitas scientiarum, even if not everyone could share the faith which theologians seek to correlate with reason as a whole. This profound sense of coherence within the universe of reason was not troubled, even when it was once reported that a colleague had said there was something odd about our university: it had two faculties devoted to something that did not exist: God. That even in the face of such radical scepticism it is still necessary and reasonable to raise the question of God through the use of reason, and to do so in the context of the tradition of the Christian faith: this, within the university as a whole, was accepted without question.

I was reminded of all this recently, when I read the edition by Professor Theodore Khoury (Münster) of part of the dialogue carried on - perhaps in 1391 in the winter barracks near Ankara - by the erudite Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus and an educated Persian on the subject of Christianity and Islam, and the truth of both. It was presumably the emperor himself who set down this dialogue, during the siege of Constantinople between 1394 and 1402; and this would explain why his arguments are given in greater detail than those of his Persian interlocutor. The dialogue ranges widely over the structures of faith contained in the Bible and in the Qur'an, and deals especially with the image of God and of man, while necessarily returning repeatedly to the relationship between - as they were called - three "Laws" or "rules of life": the Old Testament, the New Testament and the Qur'an. It is not my intention to discuss this question in the present lecture; here I would like to discuss only one point - itself rather marginal to the dialogue as a whole - which, in the context of the issue of "faith and reason", I found interesting and which can serve as the starting-point for my reflections on this issue.In the seventh conversation (διάλεξις - controversy) edited by Professor Khoury, the emperor touches on the theme of the holy war. The emperor must have known that surah 2, 256 reads: "There is no compulsion in religion". According to the experts, this is one of the suras of the early period, when Mohammed was still powerless and under threat. But naturally the emperor also knew the instructions, developed later and recorded in the Qur'an, concerning holy war. Without descending to details, such as the difference in treatment accorded to those who have the "Book" and the "infidels", he addresses his interlocutor with a startling brusqueness, a brusqueness which leaves us astounded, on the central question about the relationship between religion and violence in general, saying: "Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached". The emperor, after having expressed himself so forcefully, goes on to explain in detail the reasons why spreading the faith through violence is something unreasonable. Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul. "God", he says, "is not pleased by blood - and not acting reasonably (σὺν λόγω) is contrary to God's nature. Faith is born of the soul, not the body. Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats... To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm, or weapons of any kind, or any other means of threatening a person with death...".
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Old 09-21-2006, 05:18 AM
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hmmm... Sure... I'll light the match... But how about we take moment to study their respective works first? I see Raymond Khoury is an architect, illustrator, banker... writer... yet another set of parents still wondering what their son does for a living ( I say this without malice... because everyone knows I moonlight as a supermodel!)

Last edited by Mario; 09-21-2006 at 05:21 AM.
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Old 09-21-2006, 03:47 PM
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I am sorry mario, but when it comes to architects...in general... I draw the line!
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Old 09-22-2006, 02:21 AM
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Default "Kingdom of Heaven"

mario, have you seen "Kingdom of Heaven" ?... The movie by Ridley Scott that is...

I just finished watching (and studying the accompanying DVD). There was a lot of info I didn't know. Now I know where your reference about "the stake" came from... And, after this movie...I suppose, I'll never look at Shawarma the same way...
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Old 11-23-2007, 12:27 PM
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“Faith is born of the soul, not the body. Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats... To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm, or weapons of any kind, or any other means of threatening a person with death...".

I would add to this that there is a difference between “ideology” and “theology”. The essence of anyone’s theology is that a particular belief system has captured something within that individual’s spiritual belief system. How one follows or enforces that particular theology within oneself becomes one's ideology. As I believe we are spiritual entities having a physical experience, as goes the spirit, so goes the body.

The fundamental flaw of any fundamentalist crusade, is the belief that by killing the body, one “kills” an opposing ideal… that by killing the body, one anchors and builds a greater foundation for one’s own particular belief.

In Christianity, this method has proven itself as a hapless case time and time again. I think an interesting academic study would be to draw parallels between The Crusades in the early years of the Catholic Church and the Spanish Conquests and Inquisition of the Middle Ages to various fundamentalism mentalities within Islam that we are witnessing today.

“The spreading of faith through violence is unreasonable…”

During the Crusades, one of the goals was to recapture Jerusalem and the Holy Land from Muslim rule. During the Conquests, the Jews and the Muslim Moors were banished from Spain; almost as an ethnic cleansing. Christianity was deemed THE theology by the ruling parties and used whatever means were at their disposal to enforce their terms; this became their ideology.

Ironically, much of the reckless abandon of the crusades came back around and fractured Christianity….as it became more about the ideology, rather than the true theology.

The primary goal of Spain's ruling class was to homogenize belief; Christianity was the only accepted spiritual belief system and any group that believed otherwise were considered a threat. They did everything they could to weaken the communities of non-Christians. They exercised control via fear, intimidation, hysteria and death.

The are many paths for one to take along their road to a spiritual belief system. If one's spirit hears a calling to a particular belief system and another comes along in an effort to "convert" or change that individual's thinking process... that is firstly wrong and secondly, impossible. "Coercion" does not equate to "conversion".
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Old 11-23-2007, 01:07 PM
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Default Clarification

You might notice that Mario is responding to "mario" (with a lower case m) and wondering... why?

Simple: the member known to us as "Whitetiger" whose first name is "mario" decided to remove all of his posts (over 100 of them!) thus creating a big gap in many threads.

Prior to doing so, he had contacted Mario in private, seeking advice about getting book published (being that Mario is published himself).

We can only assume that Whitetiger used Daheshville as a training ground to test his work, or that he had to hide any link between him and Daheshism...

Either way...

Although we could easily "UN-DELETE" all of Whitetiger's messages and restore the continuity of the links, we decided that it would go contrary to our principal of free speech. We do not hold anyone hostage and any member has the right to delete any post (except a thread that he or she starts).

Unlike other "cities," Daheshville citizens need not submit their thoughts for scrutiny nor are they forever committed to stand by what they said.
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