Friday, February 17, 2006

Toilet Stall Graffiti from the Radcliffe Camera


For some time, I have been wanting to post a comprehensive guide to the Bathroom Grafitti found in Oxford's famous Radcliffe Camera. Unfortunately, those in charge monitor the situation carefully, cleaning and repainting the walls with amazing regularity (i.e., think Switzerland). But today, like a gift, I found the following hilariously theological piece of vandalism:

"READ KARL RAHNER!"

5 comments:

evenash said...

OK, a new name to add to the glossary: Who is Karl Rahner?

Anonymous said...

i suppose that reading karl rahner could help you to self-transcend to ignore the reality of the crap that comes out of you whether you like it or not

Jeff Dean said...

Evenash,

Rahner is the Roman Catholic contemporary of Barth. He predicates the human understanding of God on the depth of human emotion--love and despair are too profound to exist in a purely materialist universe. His theological system is hugely influential among Roman Catholics, but is notoriously difficult to understand.

See the following cartoon:

http://www.ub.uni-freiburg.de/referate/04/rahner/rahnerkarikatur2.gif

The actual content of the cartoon is not entirely relevant. The point is in the final panel, where Rahner's theology confuses even Jesus.

His devotees, of course, contend that all of the answers can be found in his thought and he therefore must be read.

(I think he's pretty boring, myself)

John Zahl said...

Someone I respect once told me that, "Rahner is the least profound theologian" they had ever read. That said, I think it's pretty cool that he made the ranks of Camera stall scrawl.

Anonymous said...

The most interesting Graffiti in the Camera is on the 18th century windows at the top. Scratched into the pains of glass are names in beautiful handwriting with dates as early as the late 18th century through to the 1960s.