nice little twist here from the caustic pen of Dorothy Parker. it’s something too many hedonists and ‘happy pagans’ perhaps forget – the interruption of reality; the drizzle of a grey morning after.

The Flaw In Paganism

Drink and dance and laugh and lie,
Love, the reeling midnight through,
For tomorrow we shall die!
(But, alas, we never do.)

Dorothy Parker

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20th Century

“O Tempora! O Mores Evangelicii!” 10. A milestone and a decision

Something Hugh said at that meeting in Sheffield has been etched on my memory every since. I’d only been in ordained ministry perhaps 2 or 3 years and we were having our normal post-Summer catchup and planning session.

We would habitually begin with a short devotional, but that day, Hugh was in reflective mood. Only a few weeks before, he’d celebrated his 50th birthday, and now he openly described how affecting that milestone had been. If memory serves, it was on the lines of “I now realize that I have more years of formal ministry behind me than ahead of me.” 

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20th Century

“O Tempora! O Mores Evangelicii!” 9. Believing the propaganda

You will know of Godwin’s law, I’m sure, whereby the longer an internet discussion countinues, “the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.” So, I’m afraid, the time has come.

One of the most gripping if chilling works of history that I’ve read is one that I find myself returning to a lot these days, despite the fact that it is well over 10 years since I first encountered it (in early research for Wilderness of Mirrors). Sir Ian Kershaw has spent a lifetime researching 20th Century German history and has brought all kinds of profound insights to the anglophone world (including through his mammoth two-volume biography of Hitler).

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This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Farthel

    Death will come, ah, we shall all taste sweet death.

  2. markmeynell

    Too true, too true. But isn’t the point that for all the fleeting joys of hedonism, the consequences catch up all too quickly, before death?

  3. Ross

    Maybe the way to reach out to pagans is a Piper esq appeal to Christian hedonism?
    On another note there are very few real pagans around these days which is a pity as you can have really good conversations with them. I used to get on very well with a lesbian pagan in my previous job – she was far more open than others to have a chat about faith and religion, and I remeber having a conversation with her about the beginning of Romans and whether creation did reveal the gospel or was simply to be worshiped in and of itself.
    At least she believed in something more than doubt (referring to your good blog on John Humphrys – who according to Paxman recently is the most famous Welshman in the world).

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