"How Others See Us: An interesting Adventist reference in 'The New Yorker'"

(system) #1

By Jiggs Gallagher

In my reading life, magazines come and go. But The New Yorker has been a weekly companion for more than 30 years. Some weeks I'm too distracted to read anything but the illustrated drawings (never call them "cartoons"). But in the April 2, 2007, edition I read a long piece by Jane Kramer: "The Pope and Islam--Is there anything that Benedict XVI would like to discuss?"

The piece jumps off from the Pope's (perhaps) ill-considered reference in a speech at the University of Regensberg in Germany, where he once taught theology. In the speech, he quotes a 14th-century Byzantine emperor's remarks on Islam: "Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." The comment led to an uproar throughout the Muslim world, and the pope apologized later, albeit obliquely.

The New Yorker piece goes on to analyze the Joseph Ratzinger's position on Islam, and on the non-Roman Catholic religious world in general. It's an interested, textured analysis.

do you do that, when they don\'t even accept the critical interpretation of\u003cbr /\>our common texts?"\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\>I\'m wondering if any Spectrum blog readers were in the "official\u003cbr /\>conversation" with Puglisi and what they remember of it?\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\>Jiggs Gallagher\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\>>From: "Alexander Carpenter" <\u003ca onclick\u003d\"return top.js.OpenExtLink(window,event,this)\" href\u003d\"mailto:alexanderccarpenter@gmail.com\"\>alexanderccarpenter@gmail.com\u003c/a\>>\u003cbr /\>>To: "Jiggs Gallagher" <\u003ca onclick\u003d\"return top.js.OpenExtLink(window,event,this)\" href\u003d\"mailto:jiggs1000@hotmail.com\"\>jiggs1000@hotmail.com\u003c/a\>>\u003cbr /\>>Subject: Re: How do I START a topic on Spectrum Blog?\u003cbr /\>>Date: Thu, 24 May 2007 23:38:44 -0700\u003cbr /\>\u003c/div\>",1] );

//-->Right in the middle, the author quotes James Puglisi, a Franciscan friar at the Vatican who heads the Center for Christian Unity. Puglisi is talking about inter-religious dialog, and the difficulties pertaining to it, especially when one side is (or is perceived to be) fundamentalist. Then the zinger: (Puglisi) told me, "You need competence on both sides. And it's not just Islam. I was in 'official conversation' with some Seventh-day Adventists. I said to them, 'We need to write our common history.' But how do you do that, when they don't even accept the critical interpretation of our common texts?" I'm wondering if any Spectrum Blog readers were in the "official conversation" with Puglisi and what they remember of it?

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/4217