Refo500 Oslo Conference

There is more information here, including:

Speakers plenary papers

• Volker Leppin, Tübingen: Preparing the death. From the Late Medieval ars moriendi to the Lutheran funeral sermon
• Helen Watanabe (Oxford): A Gender Perspective on Death and Burial Traditions in the 16th Century
• Peter Marshall (Warwick): After Purgatory Death and Remembrance in the Reformation World
• Vanessa Harding (London): Personal and Political: Burial in Early Modern England and France
• Herman Selderhuis (Apeldoorn/Emden): The dying Calvinist. Death in Early Reformed Theology
• Philipp Zitzlsperger (Berlin): Memoria in Rome. Tombs of elites in Early Modern Rome
• Tarald Rasmussen (Oslo): The Uses of Comparative Methods in Reformation History
• Martin Wangsgaard Jürgensen (Kopenhagen): Spacing Death – Facing Death: Early modern death culture in Scandinavia
Thematic sessions

The second RefoRC conference offers also thematic sessions, such as:
• Reformation at the Museum? A round-table discussion on arts museums and the 2017 jubilee with participants from major European museums.
• Presenting ArtRefo. ArtRefo is the Refo500 section coordinating various international projects on visual arts, music and poetry.

Sounds fascinating, doesn’t it!

The Jerusalem Post’s Stupidity

In an unusual move for a newspaper, the Jerusalem Post has published a full-length editorial apologising for a previous editorial which attracted widespread criticism for its comments on last month’s Oslo massacre.

Titled Apology to Norway, Friday’s editorial in Israel‘s leading English-language daily said the original leader column “squarely condemned the attack” in which 77 people were killed by an extreme rightwing gunman acting alone. “However, it also, inappropriately, raised issues that were not directly pertinent, such as the dangers of multiculturalism, European immigration policies and even the Oslo peace process.”

The first editorial, published on 25 July, three days after the attacks, said: “While there is absolutely no justification for the sort of heinous act perpetrated this weekend in Norway, discontent with multiculturalism’s failure must not be delegitimatised or mistakenly portrayed as an opinion held by only the most extremist elements of the right.”

Steve Linde, the Post’s editor-in-chief, swiftly posted an addendum to the online version, clarifying the editorial: “This editorial is not aimed at deflecting attention from the horrific massacre perpetuated in Norway, nor the need to take greater precautions against extremists from all sides.”

However it failed to stem an avalanche – the Post’s own word – of letters and comments criticising the editorial and some comment pieces. “Your editorial … shockingly and shamelessly attempts to offer justification for [an] extremist violent act of terror,” said one.

The Oslo peace process…  why the Post cared about that is anyone’s guess, since Israel hasn’t abided by it in any respect.  Anyway, the JP’s apology is not really all that meaningful since it only comes in the wake of criticism.  They aren’t sorry.  They’re just sorry that they got heat over their ignorant column.

The BBC’s Video of the Utoeya Camp

This is quite amazing footage.

Norway’s prime minister has said his country’s way of life has been abused and attacked, and the violence is “beyond comprehension”.  More than 90 people, many of them teenagers, are now known to have died in Friday’s twin attacks.  Police have arrested a 32-year-old Norwegian man and searches are still taking place for more victims.  The BBC’s Europe Editor Gavin Hewitt reports.

Do give it a watch.

The Death Toll in Norway is Soaring

NPR is the bearer of the sad news of the senseless act.

Authorities in Norway now say more than 80 people were killed Friday at a conference for young people shortly after a massive explosion killed at least seven people in nearby Oslo. It’s believed the two incidents are related.

One person has been arrested for the shootings at the conference, which was being held on an island in a fjord about 45 minutes from Oslo. As this report says, “though police did not release his name, Norwegian national broadcaster NRK identified [the suspect] as 32-year-old Anders Behring Breivik and said police searched his Oslo apartment overnight. NRK and other Norwegian media posted pictures of the blond, blue-eyed Norwegian.”

As our Swiss friends say, at such things we can only gaze shocked and speechless.


Norway has to be one of the most peaceful, peace loving countries in the world.  So whoever attacked Oslo and other targets there today acted as despicably as any person or persons can.

A big bomb damaged Norway’s main government building in the capital Oslo on Friday and police said seven people were killed and two badly wounded. There was no claim of responsibility.  Shortly afterwards, reports in local media came through of a shooting incident at Utoeya, an island south of Oslo where Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg’s Labour party youth section’s yearly gathering was taking place. Daily newspaper VG said on its website a man dressed as a policeman was shooting wildly and had hit many people.TV2 said several people were killed. Bombings in city centers and marauding guns attacks are both tactics that have been used by Islamist militant gangs in recent years, mostly notably by al Qaeda-aligned guerrilla groups in Asia.  But in one unconfirmed report, the London-based Exclusive Analysis risk consultancy said the man in the shooting incident apparently infiltrated the party gathering on the pretence that he had been sent by the police as a security measure in the wake of the Oslo explosion.

Violence is so senseless.  Such attacks prove only one thing:  Total depravity.