Feast of the Transfiguration – and Hiroshima remembered

Today, 6th August, is the Feast of the Transfiguration on the church’s calendar. But in the history of humankind, this day is remembered for the 1945 detonation of the atom bomb over the city of Hiroshima in Japan. The city was totally destroyed, thousands of inhabitants were vaporised or crushed by the falling buildings, and thousands of others subsequently died of their injuries and of radiation sickness. Today I re-read Paul Tillich’s essay ‘The Shaking of the Foundations’ in which he explores humankind’s ability to use this terrible destructive power, now come of age in the twentieth century. The challenge for the human race is how to come to terms with what we now know of our power to annihilate life on earth. How will we live with ourselves, can we do it?

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