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Regensburg lecture

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The Regensburg lecture was an important lecture delivered on 12 September 2006 by Pope Benedict XVI at the University of Regensburg in Germany, that sparked international reactions and controversy. The pope delivered his lecture, entitled "Faith, Reason and the University — Memories and Reflections" (German: Glaube, Vernunft und Universität — Erinnerungen und Reflexionen), at a university where he had once served as professor of theology. The lecture is considered to be the most important papal statement on world affairs since John Paul II's 1995 address to the United Nations by political philosopher James V. Schall.

In his lecture, the pope, speaking in German, quoted an unfavorable remark about Islam made in the 14th century by Manuel II Palaiologos, a Byzantine emperor. As the English translation of the pope's lecture disseminated across the world, many Islamic politicians and religious leaders protested irately against what they said was an insulting mischaracterization of Islam.[1][2]

Mass street protests were mounted in many Islamic countries. In an act identified by the Pope as "their [The Muslims'] attempt to cover up the many controversial commands in the Qur'an", the Majlis-e-Shoora (Pakistani parliament) unanimously called on the Pope to retract "this objectionable statement".[3] The pope maintained that the comment he had quoted did not reflect his own views, and he offered an apology to Muslims.

The controversial comment originally appeared in the Dialogue Held With A Certain Persian, the Worthy Mouterizes, in Anakara of Galatia[4], written in 1391 as an expression of the views of the Byzantine emperor Manuel II Palaiologos, one of the last Christian rulers before the Fall of Constantinople to the Muslim Ottoman Empire, on such issues as forced conversion, holy war, and the relationship between faith and reason. The passage, in the English translation published by the Vatican, is as follows:

Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.[5]
The pope had consulted a bilingual critical edition of this dialogue in the original Greek and with French translation.

See alsoEdit

Further readingEdit

  • Schall, James V. The Regensburg Lecture. St. Augustine's Press, 2007. [176 page book by Catholic political philosopher.]

ReferencesEdit

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