Humor and "spirituality"
Those familiar with Umberto Eco’s novel, The Name of the Rose, will know that the whole intricate plot turns on the place of humor in the context of religion and spirituality. The story – essentially a whodunnit – is set in a northern Italian Benedictine abbey in 1327; the protagonist is the English Franciscan William of Baskerville (with more than a passing resemblance, as his name suggests, to Sherlock Holmes), and the fictional chronicler (William’s “Watson”) is a young novice named Adso. Less than 100 pages into the book, there is this significant exchange in the refectory between Brother William and the aged, blind monk, Jorge of Burgos (I’ll leave it to you to make that literary connection):
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