martedì, marzo 15, 2005


Leggo su wxre due brevi riflessioni sul popolo ebraico. E' vero, la capacità degli ebrei di affermarsi in ogni campo del sapere ha qualcosa di misterioso.
Visto che si avvicina la Settimana Santa, volevo condividere con voi quanto ha scritto qualche giorno fa Geoffrey Klempner, ebreo, fondatore di Pathways to Philosophy, un programma di formazione a distanza con cui collaboro.

A few years ago, on an Easter visit to London with my wife, I had an experience which profoundly affected my attitudes on the question of peace and religious toleration. As a Jew married to a Catholic, I have always been more than ready to preach tolerance. But, as I discovered, my high-minded philosophical views about religion had never been fully put to the test.

Of all the services in the year, the one church service that a Catholic must not miss is Good Friday. I'd expected to spend a pleasant couple of hours in the Spring sunshine while my wife attended to her devotions. Then, as we reached the church door, she said, 'Will you come in with me?'

Good Friday. For Jews, that day has particularly bitter memories. Memories of tales told to me as a young child of mobs inflamed by hatred preached from the pulpit dragging Jews from their homes. School teachers coldly talking about the 'killers of Christ'. Now, it seemed to me that I stood at the mouth of the lion's den.

What did I expect? The service was sombre, moving. There were no words of hatred. Instead, I felt the reverberations of the intense sense of unity of the congregation as they pondered a two thousand year old historical incident which defines their faith. Then the priest delivered a sermon which I shall never forget.

The theme of the sermon was peace and justice. In the Middle East, then as now, all the talk was of 'peace with justice'. But justice demands that the guilty be punished. And who would there be left, the priest asked rhetorically, who did not have some part in the guilt? Yet how can there be peace without justice? The New Testament teaches that peace can only be achieved through forgiveness and reconciliation. That was Christ's message to humanity. We cannot, and should not forget. But we can forgive and beg for forgiveness.

That experience was formative for me. Many years later, when I wrote 'The Ethics of Dialogue' and 'Ethical Dialogue and the Limits of Tolerance' (, it was the spirit of that sermon that I tried to recapture. One cannot be fully human and lack a sense of justice. Yet the ethical demand to open up to this particular other, to strive to grasp how things appear from the other's perspective, however painful that may be, is higher than blind justice.

Let us continue the dialogue.

Geoffrey Klempner


At 11:05 AM, Anonymous demiet said...

Non c'è pace senza giustizia: questo slogan implica guerra perpetua, se assoluto. Per risolvere la contraddizione, è necessario aggiungere: non c'è giustizia senza perdono. A meno che non interessi la disputa perpetua.
Ciao e grazie.


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