Sunday, December 14, 2008

Golgotha Undiscerned: Philosophy's Fatality

"In my most optimistic mood I see myself as a Hellenized Jew from Alexandria visiting an intellectual friend. We are walking along, engaged in philosophical argument. Our path takes us past the base of Golgotha. Looking up, we see an all too familiar sight- three crosses surrounded by a jeering crowd. Frowning with prim distaste, I say, 'It's disgusting the way the mob enjoys such things. Why can't the authorities execute criminals humanely and in private by giving them hemlock to drink, as they did with Socrates?' Then, averting my eyes from the disagreeable spectacle, I resume our fascinating discussion about the nature of the true, the good and the beautiful." -W.H. Auden, 'Meditation on Good Friday' in A Certain World: A Commonplace Book (Faber, 1971), qtd. in Richard Harries' Art and the Beauty of God: A Christian Understanding, (Continuum, 1993).

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