Journal Article

‘The Darkness Inside the Human Soul’: Uncertainty in Theological Humanism and Michael Frayn's Play <i>Copenhagen</i>

David E. Klemm

in Literature and Theology

Volume 18, issue 3, pages 292-307
Published in print September 2004 | ISSN: 0269-1205
Published online September 2004 | e-ISSN: 1477-4623 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/litthe/18.3.292
‘The Darkness Inside the Human Soul’: Uncertainty in Theological Humanism and Michael Frayn's Play Copenhagen

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Michael Frayn's play, Copenhagen, dramatises as a ghost story the conversation concerning the moral implications of atomic fission among Werner Heisenberg, Niels Bohr, and his wife, Margrethe Bohr, in September 1941. This paper argues that the play generalises from the famous uncertainty principle in quantum mechanics to present the necessary appearance of uncertainty at the historical, moral, and theological levels of reflection. The paper traces the meaning of uncertainty back to the ‘being of the self’ as a cipher for divine transcendence, and it interprets the meaning of uncertainty for the theory and method of theological humanism.

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Subjects: Literature ; Religion and Art, Literature, and Music

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