Paul writes – I’ve just had an interesting conversation with a wise friend who also saw the play Doubt. It was my first opportunity to talk with another person who had seen the play. As I talked and as I listened, I began to wonder, to wonder about my reading of the play, and ironically to wonder about my sense of certainty that my take on the play was the right one – perhaps the only one!
As I said in my earlier post – you come away from engaging with the play with more questions than answers. That however didn’t stop me from falling into the trap of certainty and exhibiting the very things I was ‘railing’ about in relation to Sister Aloysius. I was drawing unfair conclusions around Sr. Aloysius and questions of faith, doubt, and certainty. As this dawned on me, and I ‘confessed’ such to my friend, my first thought was to take the earlier post down.
However, I thought a more honest action would be to leave it up as an illustration of someone – me – falling into a trap constructed of their own certainty. How ironic. Whether my take on the play is right or wrong, doubt needs to remain. Space need to be made for alternative tellings of the story. My certainty blinded me to other perspectives, alternative ways of reading the play, and ultimately my ways of seeing and feeling about Sr. Aloysius.
I saw the play as a male and didn’t notice that my own maleness was shaping how I wanted to see the play and its characters, and particularly the priest, Father Flynn.
Jeremy Young’s opinions and observations seem to me to be valid, but I needed to comment on them in relation to other contexts (e.g. churches) and situations, not in relation to Doubt.
1. Sit with the questions.
2. Make space for other perspectives, for alternative ways of perceiving issues.
3. Make space for people and acknowledge that more often than not we actually know very very little about them and their stories. Honour that reality.