I guess many of us are trying to make sense of these political and cultural times we live; we’re trying to understand how to become more fully human; how to be gospel-shaped; and how to respond in ways which are humanizing and life-giving. Certainly I’m trying to understand these things, and more besides, especially when so much is corrosive with respect to all that’s important to me. Today I want to juxtapose a few resources that have funded my thinking of late. This follows on from yesterday's post, which primarily brought Patrick J. Dineen and James K A. Smith into conversation, with a little input from Stanley Hauerwas and Alasdair MacIntyre.
I want to add to that conversation Alfred Hitchcock's classic film Rear Window, a conversation about Hannah Arendt, and a conversation with Margaret Wheatley (who interestingly mentions Arendt in passing), and in particular Wheatley's focus on clear seeing, the importance of thinking, the critical need to act, and the importance, as she sees it, of "Islands of Sanity" (I’d have used the expression “Islands of humanity” committed to humanizing practices!
For me, some of the juxtapositions are:
- The importance of thinking in the midst of contemporary reality, i.e. not abstractly and at a distance.
- The importance of resourcing deep thinking and conversation (in this particular case, for me: Arendt, Roxburgh, Dineen, Smith, Alfred Hitchcock, and Margaret Wheatley; or: written texts, audio, and visual - all juxtaposed)
- The importance of moving from being a mere "observer" (passive watching) to active engagement and doing.
- The importance of nurturing hope (communities of hope)
- Imagining "Islands of Sanity" through the lenses of mission and nu-monasticism (local, Jesus-embodying, Spirit-empowered, enacting communities). Allowing the gospel to shape and form us as “missional outposts”.