Blasphemy revival

A Polish entertainer has apparently been charged with blasphemy—”insulting religious feelings.” It’s nice to see that it’s not only Muslims; Catholics are also doing their best to demonstrate how delicate their sensibilities are.

I also just finished David Nash’s Blasphemy in the Christian World. He has a lot of recent history in it as well, and he points out that blasphemy as a legal and social concept has been undergoing something of a revival in the Christian world since the 1990s. I’ve usually thought of this in connection with the “multicultural” variety of plural cultural conservatism. But Nash points out an internal Christian dynamic that has little directly to do with increasing social pluralism.

In other words, watch what you say. You might offend some community or other. And there are enough lawmakers out there that think this is a terrible thing, or are convinced that giving offense is a threat to public order.

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About Taner Edis

Professor of physics at Truman State University