Friday, 24 August 2012

Luther in Weimar

Regarding Luther:

Caught as I am here in Weimar in the Luther decade, I'm very dubious about his value as a thinker. (As an exAltarboy and minor seminarian, the German Dominican nuns of my elementary school acadeny spoiled me as an honorable witness of this evil heresy.)

By an incredible serendipity, I was in Wittenberg (for the first time) to attend an urban planning seminar sponsored by the Bauhaus Dessau in the Melancthon Gymnasium. (I overnighted in the youth hostel of the church on which Luther had nailed his theses.)

I attended the opening ceremony for the Luther decade at which noble UNish sentiments were uttered by eloquent Lutheran bishops from all over the world. The dedication ended with the forced liberation of 500 doves! (A quincentennial occurs, happily for the birds, only once every 500 years.) It was followed by an enactment on the shores of the nearby Elbe of Luther's flight from his Augustinian Catholic promises in Erfurt. Later on that day  I ran into a delightful Cranach exposition about his tenure there as well as a memorable exhibition in the former city hall taken over to exhibit Christian art of the last century. (All these experiences usefully secular).

My five year old son Danny attends the Jonas Falk kindergarten for which my Lutheran wife and I are very grateful. Holidays she often succeeds in dragging me to her church as well as to weekend seminars in the boonies.The folks are civilized and the food is good, but I don't have a nanosecond of interest in theirs or any other theology. They are a not very useful heritage from a prescientific era of competing European nationalisms.

I read Danny new illustrated books on dinosaurs about which he has a commendable passion. He scrutinizes bugs with an energy that makes me hope he will become a natural scientist using the greatest of all allegedly divine gifts, reason. What happens in the allegedly  greater Hereafter is a silly distraction from the unlimited wonders of daily existence.

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