Skip to comments.Lecture 1 in Abp Jensen's Boyer Lectures on Jesus
Posted on 11/13/2005 7:19:05 PM PST by sionnsar
One does not have to wait until Monday night in the USA to hear Archbishop Peter Jensen's first Boyer Lecture being presented on ABC Radio in Australia, as they have made it available for listening in either Windows Media or Real Player format now on their site:
Lecture 1: Jesus, the Prophet at the End of the World
There is also a transcript of the lecture available there as well, and this is how the Archbishop begins his presentation:
Ive spent most of my life talking to Australians about Jesus. He is my great enthusiasm. But its a job thats getting harder. I am wondering how the future of Jesus and the future of our country will intersect. Let me illustrate.This applies to so much of the West--not just Australia, and that is why I think you will find these lectures most relevant.
Four of our brightest and best university medallists, historians, lawyers, Harvard graduates, first class honours men have written a book called, Imagining Australia: Ideas for our Future. It is a work of bold and imaginative suggestions. Rightly, they put a discussion of Australian values in the first chapter, headed, Australian National Identity. After all, its hard to imagine the future, without starting with matters of beliefs, identity, ethics, relationships, history.
But they do not have much room for Jesus in their vision of our future. They see that we need values, but they favour humanist values. They seem to think that a secular state means a secular community. Perhaps they think that multiculturalism has disaffiliated Jesus; he is too divisive to be allowed to speak.
I wonder, though, how much they actually know about Jesus. Perhaps they lack the requisite knowledge to bring him into the discussion. For example, they casually quote Abraham Lincoln as an authority: Lincoln saying, a house divided against itself cannot stand. No doubt he did say this. But he knew quite well, as did all his hearers, that he was quoting Jesus. He was citing a supreme cultural authority; he did not have to offer a footnote.
But we have now reached a stage where four highly educated and intelligent Australians apparently fail to recognise a standard quote from the Bible. It explains, I suppose, the absence of Jesus from their treatment of values. Mind you, it is a surface absence, because, whether they know it or not, Jesus is basic to our history, and so our culture. Thus, when they are trying to upgrade traditional Australian characteristics, such as a fair go, Jesus pops up, anonymously. In a truly striking sentence, they say: The modern fair go demands that we should do unto others as we would have done unto ourselves.
It is striking, isnt it? Once again there is the utterly unconscious quoting of Jesus, as a source of modern secular values. And there is the lovely irony that the modern fair go is described in the antique English of, do unto others straight out of the King James Version of Jesus Sermon on the Mount.
Jesus is there, but hes been rendered invisible. He is an anonymous Jesus; he makes his contribution without acknowledgement...
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