Tuesday, 3 December 2013


From the 'dialogue' (not only interreligious) panel at the recent Gregorian International Lonergan Workshop in Rome: one of the questions, if I remember right, was: here we are, elites, speaking about high minded matters; but does all this affect the simple people in the bush? - And my response was: no, but yes. In a sense, no, because most people live in the world of undifferentiated consciousness (which is not to assume that we, just because we are 'scholarly', live in the world of theory). But in other ways, yes, because, first of all, even simple people do not live in a world of pure immediacy, but rather always in a world mediated by and constituted by meanings and values; and, secondly, because we just cannot assume that this world in which they live is 'innocent.' There is no first innocence anymore. Everyone, even the people in the bush, are somehow 'contaminated' - think of dominant cultures, the Selbstverstaendlichkeiten that seep down to every level, the influence of the media, and so on. There came to mind the Nicholas who I knew in Bosco Boys Home of long ago: so simply he told me, as he was going to see Ganpati: But brother, all religions are equal. 

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