Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Heads up to David W. Critchley of Winslow, Buckinghamshire, for his letter in The Times yesterday, acutely undercutting the lastest version of various simplistic 'clash of civilization' theses. This stuff may sell airport books by the bucketload, but it doesn't help us to get to grips with the actual complexities of the world. Apart from setting up unhelpful self-fulfilling prophecies, that is... Anyway, Mr Critchley writes:

Anthony Gee argues that the world is witnessing a clash between moderates and extremists (letter, 28 September, 2006). Into which category would he place the rich young man of Assisi who took to wearing a beggar’s clothing and kissing the hands of lepers, driven on, according to his contemporaries, “by a very intoxication of the divine love”, St Francis?

Quite. As I often like to say: there are two kinds of people in the world; those who think there are two kinds of people in the world, and those who don't. I count myself in the latter category. (I should note, for those who haven't, that today is the 'saints day' for Francis of Assisi. There is a free online biography courtesy of the Gutenberg Project to be found here.)

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