Friday, June 12, 2009

"Angels and Demons", Comments and Personal Opinion

My husband and I went to see " Angels and Demons" yesterday. We had heard the story a few years ago on CDs, while on our travels and he enjoyed it so much, he wanted to make sure we saw it before it left our local theatre.

We really enjoyed the movie and I would highly recommend it. It's theme is one that my husband has had interest in all his life, science and religion, but this movie does not ground its message in science fiction, so much as probable real life scenarios of "church history".

It was interesting not only for its content and acting, but because we just were in Rome and were at the very same locations as the film depicted. I think whenever real life experience intersects fiction, the fiction seems to present a "reality" that is confirmed by the person's ability to identify with the 'fiction". This is what is experienced in "conversion", as the stories of Scripture are translated by the person's experience. But conversion is not unlike any identification to other sources of literature that teach human tendencies, and moral dilemmas. Literature is a means of communicating and uniting us, as humans.

Reason is situated within a context of personal history itself and promotes the hermenuetic. On the other hand, those who adhere to a more ideological understanding of "truth", dismiss this aspect of personal experience/history, ignore "other realities", or behave in an irrational manner, because it "fits" within their particular hermeneutic of "truth". (Of course, in human relations, "irrational" is defined within its own context).

The priest in the movie, "Angels and Demons", was trying to protect the Church from science. His "ideological" commitment was not void of personal history in understanding the Church's nurturing influence in his own life. This was his "truth". In trying to protect God and the Church, he became a person who lacked integrity. He thought that science's discoveries had undermined the authority of the Church by undermining the Church's message. He wanted to continue to promote the diconnect between the sacred and the secular, so that the Church and God could continue to remain behind the "veil of faith", without engaging the real world in scientific endeavor.

We all have "commitments". Some of these are not consciously acknowledged, until they are challenged. We should not be upset by challenges, for anyone that seeks after truth, continues to do so, as it is a lifelong endeavor, that has many avenues. We will never come to the end of it.

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