Dancing on a Rope:

Celibacy and Child Abuse in the Catholic Church

Friday 01 March, 2013
6:30pm, $0/Rsvp

New York University, Deutsches Haus
42 Washington Mews

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Author Michael Göring will discuss with Martin Rauchbauer, Director of Deutsches Haus, how in his new novel Der Seiltänzer [The Dancer on the Rope], a liberal Catholic priest who advocates against celibacy, is suddenly confronted with allegations of child abuse.

Der Seiltänzer has two protagonists, Andreas, a Catholic priest, and Thomas, a college teacher, who have been friends for forty years and have just turned fifty. When Andreas is accused of sexual abuse of an altar boy, Andreas turns to Thomas for help, but Thomas has recently suffered a stroke and cannot provide the support he seeks. The novel follows Andreas as he recalls the events of his youth with Thomas: living in a small town in Westphalia, playing music together, fighting over a beautiful girl, and visiting divided Berlin in the late 1970s. Thomas has always been against Andreas’s decision to become a priest, and now Lisa, a widow Andreas has been close with for over two years, offers to help him start a new life outside the church. What will Andreas do? Can he keep his balance on the rope that is shaking so fiercely?

Michael Göring studied literature at the University of Cologne, at Swansea, at Wayne State in Detroit (where he participated in some fiction writing seminars), and at Munich University, where he finished his PhD. He started writing as a student in the 1980s, and has since published a book on melodramatic structures in modern political drama, two books on foundations and charities, and multiple articles. His first novel appeared in 2011, and the second one is due out in September. As head of the ZEIT-Foundation, Göring oversees its day-to-day activities, which include supporting a top German law school and an art forum, both based in Hamburg.

Events at Deutsches Haus are free of charge. Please let us know which event you would like to attend by sending us an email to deutscheshaus.rsvp@nyu.edu. Space at Deutsches Haus is limited, please arrive ten minutes prior to the event. Thank you!

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