The Role of the Holy Fool in the Context of Danish Cinema

1580 Words Feb 19th, 2018 6 Pages
Holy fools flout social norms, and are thus unable to be properly accommodated in their respective societies. With their position of outsider, holy fools are ideally suited to critique mainstream ideas and practices, acting as a narrative device to provide commentary on the world. Holy fools exist in a separate sphere from “regular” fools due to their associations with Christ figures. Christian tradition speaks of many famous holy fools, from nameless monks who give up all of their worldly possessions to become closer to Jesus, to characters of Biblical renown, such as Saint Paul (Thomas 2009: 204). The depiction of a holy fool is undoubtedly influenced by the religious climate of a society. Traditionally, holy fools have been part of Roman Catholic and Orthodox faiths, where saints have traditionally been revered for their ability to follow God in the most extreme fashion so that they appear foolish to the majority of society that is less in tune with God’s wishes. In Denmark, Protestant traditions dominate the religious landscape, so the depiction of the holy fool must be adjusted accordingly.
In order to understand the role of the holy fool in the context of Danish cinema, it is first necessary to look at the role of religion in Danish society. Starting in 1536, Denmark has transitioned into a country…
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