Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Turkish Speaking Jesuit

Fr. Felix Koerner, S.J.
the theology department at the University of Ankara, which Newsweek in 2008 hailed as "the new face of Islam". A new edition of the Hadith (narrations concerning the words and deeds of the Prophet Mohammed) and a desultory gesture towards modernization made the Ankara group celebrities for a moment - before Turkey turned towards a more fundamentalist reading of Islam under Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

At the time, Sunni fundamentalist websites denounced the Ankara theologians as agents of the Vatican, citing the presence in the department of a Turkish-speaking Jesuit  Fr. Felix Koerner [2]. That is ludicrous; perhaps more than any Catholic order, the Jesuits go to extreme lengths respect other cultures and religions. Although this particular accusation was the product of paranoia, paranoids still have enemies. If Turkish intelligence decided to employ its university theology departments to manufacture designer heresies for use in Iran, for example, the capability is in place.
Link (here) to the complete story at Asia Times Online.

1 comment:

TonyD said...

When we look at such situations we tend to see only aspects of a truth.

The actual actions taken – responses to situations – are less important than the values and judgments used to craft those responses. We are witnessing lessons – and often mistaking those lessons for “evil”. Remember, the material world is used for immaterial improvements. Thus, a lesson is used to convert the evil created by free will into a good. The “evil” now exists in service of a lesson.

So when we look for the “truth” in other religions we completely miss a bigger truth. Situations are created where we can refine our emotions, values, and judgment. Thus, our responses to other religions define how we have progressed in our own lessons.