Tuesday, January 29, 2013
It took me a whole life to understand Friedrich Schiller's regret at the overcoming of polytheism. Grown up in a Catholic village I regarded the belief in the one and only God as the triumphant emancipation from the stupidity of barbaric paganism. It seemed strange that someone would praise that outdated superstition. I was 13, and it never occurred to me that the revered Schiller was an atheist, because my teachers never mentioned it. Revisiting Schiller in my old days I start to understand his thinking. As an atheist he could compare the various religions from a distance. Being an aesthete, he naturally preferred the fantastic and colorful world of the Greek gods to the one-dimensional, comparatively dull monotheism. At 15 I hated his ode to the Greek Gods, mainly because we had to learn it by heart. Lately I re-read it and discovered the beauty of it. I finally understand Schiller's regret.
Posted by Michael Kunze at 7:00 AM