Thursday, November 18, 2010

Religion, Relationship, Power, and Conformity

I liked this paragraph, from last night’s School of Community reading--“Living is the Memory of me,” Julian Carron, Aug. 2010, section 5, p. 39.
Here we can understand, as we heard yesterday from Marta, what influence the power has on us (it is peculiar that Giussani uses the same term Friedrich Nietzsche used: bourgeois religiosity). What effect has power on us? What influence? It atrophies our relationship with Christ, making it ineffective socially and in our personal lives. What brings us to this predicament is not persecution, but rather conformism. Nobody prohibits it, but nobody dares to live fully his religious dimension as the form for his entire life. We stay in society like everybody else. We detect the influence of power in the fact that we stop desiring to the extent that our humanity is capable, we reduce our desire for the infinite. It is not that we are not religious, that we do not make some particular religious gestures. Nietzsche never thought for a moment that religion had disappeared; when he was talking about God’s death, he was objecting to religion’s ability to move the person and open the mind, of making the “I” be reborn. So, we see that we belong to the power due to this reduction of the “I” that power achieves. We are content with a reduced way of being together, and often we don’t even have an inkling that something is missing, so much has the power assimilated us, reducing us.

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