Olivier Abel

is professor of ethical philosophy at the Faculty of Protestant Theology in Paris.


The controversy surrounding Benedict XVI’s speech in Regensburg in 2006 centred around what Muslims claimed was his misrepresentation of Islam. However, as Olivier Abel points out, the Pope’s criticism was directed less at Islam than at Protestantism, with its twofold spectres of sectarian utopia and consumer individualism. Nevertheless, in asserting that his Church alone was following the right path, the Pope was simply fulfilling his role: the real scandal was the way the speech, with its anti-rationalism, was warmly received by so many intellectuals.

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