5. März 2008

Of All Places: Lourdes

George Weigel zitiert die Oxforder Historikerin Ruth Harris mit ihrer Arbeit über ein geographisches Zentrum des christlichen Feminismus im 19. Jahrhundert und eine Hochburg klassenübergreifender Solidarität:

Professor Harris' scholarship is impeccable, but it's neither detached nor dessicated. As few secular academics do, she went to Lourdes as a volunteer aide to the sick and found herself caught up in a web of human solidarity, open-mindedness and "spiritual generosity" (as she puts it in a fine phrase).

That experience, coupled with the discovery that modern medicine had no diagnosis (let alone a cure) for a condition then plaguing her, led Ruth Harris to question the modern mythology of scientific progress, according to which phenomena like Lourdes are mindless and reactionary. Breaking with the chief unexamined assumption of secular modernity -- that humanity, tutored by the scientific method, will outgrow its "need" for religion -- Professor Harris found her scholar's interest piqued by aspects of the story of Lourdes that skeptics typically miss.

Like the fact that Lourdes became one focal point for a new Christian feminism in 19th century France, as the pilgrimage to the Pyrenees "offered [women] a world of opportunity" for service and leadership. "The hundreds of thousands of Catholic women in the religious orders, mainly working in nursing and teaching, and the untold legions of lay women active in fundraising and charity" demonstrated by contrast how small and ineffectual were the initiatives on behalf of women taken by the hyper-secularist French Third Republic.

Or the fact that Lourdes became a place of social solidarity immune from the class divisions and rancors that had riven French society for centuries. As Harris puts it, Lourdes "brought different ranks of society together... [in] the seemingly spontaneous creation of a Christian collectivity that erased class and status." What Marx imagined and Lenin tried to ramrod into history by mass murder, Bernadette effected by summoning others to faith, hope, and charity.

Schon interessant, was Unsere Liebe Frau vom Unverdorbenen Konzept mit ihrer Freundin Bernadette Soubirous alles in Bewegung gebracht hat...

Kommentare:

dilettantus in interrete hat gesagt…

Vom unverdorbenen Konzept!

dilettantus in interrete hat gesagt…

Zu schnell gedrückt, also hier die Konklusion:

"Vom unverdorbenen Konzept"

Du bist ein Held!

Scipio hat gesagt…

Ist nicht auf meinem Mist gewachsen, sondern von Ida Friederike Görres...