Duets in the land of the Nobel

2012-09-12 L’Osservatore Romano

The Courtyard of the Gentiles is going north and challenging the land of the Nobel prize. At the centre of the two days in Stockholm is the relationship between science and faith. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in StockholmThe opening on 13 September has been entrusted to Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, President of the Pontifical Council for Culture, and to the author Georg Klein; then a long series of "duets" will follow, on the theme "The world with or without God". The first duet is by Ulf Danielsson, physics professor at Uppsala University, and Ingemar Ernberg, biologist and author of What is life?. Antje Jackelé, a bishop of the Church in Sweden, and Per Christian Jersild, author and doctor, will question each other on "Does a non-material world exist?". While Ylva Eggehorn, author, and Åsa Wikforss, philosophy professor at Stockholm University, will discuss "What is a man?".

On 14 September Anders Carlberg, author and founder of Fryshuset, will converse with Linnea Jacobsson, vice-president of Young Christians Leftist. Then Jessica Schedvin and Christer Sturmark (respectively, chair of the Swedish Humanist Youth and chairman of the Swedish Humanist Association) will perform a duet, Per Wirtén, author, and Fazeela Zaib, agent of peace and blogger, will follow. The meetings on the first day will take place at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and on the second day at Fryshuset, the largest social activity centre in Europe that welcomes youth in difficulty.

The author Torgny Lindgren will be absent – he was forced to back out at the last minute. A great-selector of words, inspired by rural oral tradition, a weaver of silence, rooted deep in Sweden, in Biblical tradition and in European tradition, it would seem from his poetry that no sentence is final. Grace does not have rules and can arrive instantly and out-of-where. Lindgren's pages tell us that the border between the true and false in the world of things and people is much more than ephemeral; it makes no sense in a world governed by a fantasy that does not know borders, one that is bizarre, witty, gothic at times but never dark. His novels are imbued with action. However action which is entrusted to words and reflections: reckless and daring actions arise from words, from his ability to reveal not so much what is true but what is right.

Giulia Galeotti