Thoughts of a Catholic convert

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015


- The latest pic in my France calendar is of the town of Colmar where the Unterlinden Museum lives which contains the Isenheim Altarpiece (see above).

- On Holocaust Remembrance Day, I'd like to recommend a movie I posted about in 2010 - Nuremberg. As I wrote in my original post ... The movie (three hours long) starred Alec Baldwin as Robert H. Jackson, a Justice of the Supreme Court who was chosen by President Truman in 1945 to be the chief United States prosecutor at the International Military Tribunal, the Nuremberg trial of Nazi war criminals. Christopher Plummer played Sir David Maxwell Fyfe,1st Earl of Kilmuir, one of the British prosecutors at the trial, and Brian Cox played Nazi Hermann Göring, Hitler's designated successor and commander of the Luftwaffe .... One of the most disturbing parts of the movie was when a film made by allied soldiers of their liberating of concentration camps was shown at the trial.

- How Did the Homeless Survive Last Night?

- A new Gresham College lecture by Keith Ward, Experience and the Spiritual Dimension. Hopefully the video version will appear soon, but you can read the transcript now at the link. Here's just a bit of it from the beginning ...

[...] There may be many reasons why the word ‘spirituality’ has become important in our society. One of them is that the institutions of traditional religion have come under much criticism for their seemingly authoritarian attitudes which, both with regard to modern scientific knowledge and to rapidly changing moral beliefs, seem too many to be out of touch with reality. Another is that the encounter of differing claims to apparently absolute revelation in an increasingly globalised world has often led to scepticism about how one could possibly choose between them, and to a refusal to sign up to any of them. Spirituality can then be seen as a personal search for objective value and meaning, not restricted to any ancient authorities, but perhaps able to take some elements, and reject others, from many old religious traditions.

Later in these lectures I intend to address both these points, and argue that things are not as bad for religion as they might seem. At present I simply want to address the fact that although in Britain and perhaps in Europe generally participation in religious institutions is very low, there is still a widespread feeling that there is something more to human life than just making money and gaining pleasure or social status. There is a spiritual dimension which could give objective value and meaning to human existence, and which it might be possible to experience ...


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