Richard Dawkins interviews the Most Rev. Rowan Williams, The Archbishop of Canterbury. Dawkins asks how Williams reconciles his scientific view of evolution with believing in miracles:
I think I am most impressed with Rowan Williams when he is doing precisely this--talking about faith in the context of the Bible and history. It is when he attempts to deal with the politics of the church that he seems to get in trouble. To use a metaphor from the video, it seems like Rowan Williams is most comfortable with the language of poetry when the language of politics is most decidedly prose.
On the flip side, the challenge for us is how to appreciate the current ABC's poetic nature, mind, and viewpoint in solving some of the nuts-and-bolts issues we face in the church. Certainly Jesus was poetic in much that he said and did, and yet there was a practical side to him as well. Much to think about...
Tom Sramek, Jr. |
May 4, 2010 3:23 PM
I found Rowan less than persuasive in his rhetoric, as in his phrase "not a suspension of the laws of nature but nature itself opening up to its own depths." This is almost a parody of church double-talk. Both Dawkins and Rowan agree this is poetic language, that is, not advancing any argument. Interestingly, they both assume that it should be easy to separate out poetry from prose, as if poetry were merely, as Alexander Pope said, "nature to advantage dressed what oft was thought but ne'er so well expressed." Poetry is far more than ornamentation. Both of them seem too willing to accept terms as is. Physis in Greek, for example, as Heidegger pointed out, has different connotations than the static Latin "natura."
In theology he seems as evasive as in church politics.
A suspension of nature and nature opening itself up to its depths both seem to be ways of saying the speaker doesn't know what he or she is saying.
Gary Paul Gilbert
May 7, 2010 3:05 AM
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