Friday, January 18, 2008

Fr Andrew Pinsent on Nature and Supernature

On Sunday 13th January Fr Andrew Pinsent from the diocese of Arundel and Brighton spoke to Forum Christi on the topic of "Nature and Supernature: Jesus Christ versus Friedrich Nietzsche and Clark Kent". He began by discussing how many aspects of the sacred in today's liturgy have become blurred with the secular - for example many churches no longer have a clearly defined altar area, and priests and religious do not always dress as such. Fr Andrew went on to give definitions of the "supernatural" as described both by Vatican I documents, and by St Thomas Aquinas. These definitions focussed on gifts given by God, rather than the popular ideas of the supernatural as seen in Buffy the vampire Slayer. He also showed us parallels between the natural life, and our supernatural life, for example natural birth has a parallel with baptism. The final part of the talk was about Nietzsche's ideas of an amoral world where there is no God, and any course of action can be justified. He linked Nietzsche's concept of an ubermensch (superman or superhuman) with the fictional superhero Superman (otherwise known as Clark Kent). It is now our job to go out into the world and regenerate the supernatural life to ensure that Nietzsche's ideal does not become a reality.