A Play for Our Time?
As it happens, tonight is the final run of a play that I'm in, about the courage of one Christian scholar, Johannes Reuchlin, who defends Jewish holy books from the German Catholic church's attempt--with the aid of a converted former Jew, Johannes Pfefferkorn--to confiscate and destroy them.
The play is called "Burning Words," by Peter Wortsman. It's based on real events, and the main characters show up in a Google search.
The author has been present for the entire three-show run, doing talkbacks after the show.
Last night, he spoke movingly of the play's relevance for our time. He cited fundamentalist zealots of several major religions who have gotten into positions of power, and who have tried to foist equally crazy schemes on the rest of us, including the destruction of ancient and irreplaceable iconic art (such as the Taliban's wanton despoliation of an ancient Buddhist monument in Afghanistan).
I'm proud to be a little part of this small effort to bring free speech and freedom of worship issues to the foreground.