Wednesday, May 23, 2007

What is the difference between the theater and the church?

I can never figure out Kierkegaard's attitude to organized religion:

The difference between the theater and the church is essentially this: the theater honorably and honestly acknowledges being what it is. The church, however, is a theater that in every way dishonestly seeks to conceal what it is.

An example. On the theater poster it always states plainly: money will not be returned. The church, this solemn holiness, would shrink from the offensiveness, the scandalousness, of placing this directly over the church door, or having it printed under the list of preachers on Sundays... The actor is an honest man who says outright: I am an actor. Never for any price, never for any price would one get a pastor to say that.

Kierkegaard was himself a pastor, though he retired from church work in the later part of his life.


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