Some glanced askance at me, sitting my fine Arabian horse but wearing battered armor, sword at my side, bow and arrows slung on my saddle. No doubt they wondered at such a man being interested in their discussion.
The lecturer, a thin man with a sour face, was expounding upon Bernard’s condemnation of Abelard for his application of reason to theology, and praising Bernard for his sentence against Abelard, who he called a heretic.
“Nonsense!” I said irritably. “Bernard was an old fool!”
Every head turned, and the teacher stared, aghast. “How dare you say such a thing?” he demanded.
“I dare say anything,” I replied more cheerfully, “because I have a fast horse.”
Several of the students laughed, and one shouted, “Well spoken, soldier!”
“Have you no reverence?” the teacher demanded.
“I have reverence for all who ask questions and seek honest answers.”
“A philosopher!” laughed a student.
“A wanderer in search of answers,” I said, then to the teacher, “You asked if I have reverence? I have reverence for truth, but I do not know what truth is. I suspect there are many truths, and therefore, I suspect all who claim to have the truth.”
Walking my horse a few steps closer, I added, “I have reverence for the inquirer, for the seeker. I have no reverence for those who accept any idea, mine included, without question.”
“You ride an infidel horse.”
“My horse has never committed herself, but judging by her attitude on a frosty morning, she is an unbeliever.”
There were subdued chuckles, and the teacher’s eyes narrowed. “You ridicule the Church,” he threatened.
“Who mentioned the Church? On the contrary, I have great respect for religion. My objection is to those who are against so many things and for so little.”
Saturday, October 03, 2009
A passage to think about
Okay, I never thought I would ever quote anything from Louis L’Amour, but below is a passage from The Walking Drum, an adventure story set in 12th century Europe. In this passage, the protagonist (the narrator of the story) stumbles across a group of students in Paris, sitting out in the open listening to a teacher. The protagonist’s comments kind of resonate with me (page 245):
Posted: 5:29 pm