Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Ubuntu - Think Corporate not individual

Descartes was in a pub having a drink, and the barman came up to him to ask him if he would like another drink. He refused. The barman pressed him, and Descartes paused and then said, “I think not”. . . at which point he disappeared.
 Great quote from an article in the Church Times by Paula Gooder on how first century people wouldn't have understood the current focus on individual identity, linking it to Desmond Tutu's use of Ubuntu:
I am because you are
 I have also heard Ossie Schwartz preach on this and it seems to come from South African society where people could not survive without each other.  In the modern first world we seem to have this illusion that we are in control and can survive as individuals.

When I was in Marlow we had the choir from our link church St James, Galeshewe to visit, and when they were asked how they were going to get home from the airport one of them said he had a credit card - there was no sense that each should pay their own way - they were in this together.

Joan Chittister comments in "Insights for the Ages" (which you all know is a commentary on the Rule of Benedict that I love):
Common ownership and personal dependence are the foundations of mutual respect. If I know that I literally cannot exist without you, without your work, without your support, without your efforts in our behalf, without your help, as is true in any community life, then I can not bury myself away where you and your life are unimportant to me. I cannot fail to meet your needs, as you have met my needs, when the dearth in you appeals for the gifts in me.
Paula Gooder says:
I am not arguing that we should give up individualism and attempt to embrace corporate identity again; I am not sure that that would be either possible or desirable. What I am suggesting is that there are insights from the corporate way of viewing the world which are vital for our comprehension of some pieces of the New Testament, and resurrection is one of them.
 and I would add that I think that it is not just comprehension of NT texts that would benefit from viewing things corporately!

1 comment:

  1. What a crock! My parents died and I didn't disappear!
    "Ubuntu" has all the pseudo-theological resonance of "Kumbayah" and "Hakuna Matata".



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