Wednesday, January 05, 2005

The Adventure of Living, By Paul Tournier

"'Nostalgia is a temptation for our Churches (one into which they often fall), nostalgia for the first century of our era, or for the twelfth or the sixteenth, or even for the first fifty years of the ecumenical movement!' ... History never repeats itself. We shall only be deluding ourselves if we hope to experience what others have experienced in a different age. The real adventure for us is our own day and age.

Every age is an adventure. Every life is an adventure. Every adventure has its own individuality, which cannot be mixed with any other" (41).

2 comments:

my15minutes said...

I read an interesting article this week that dealt with the subject of nostalgia. It was the writer's contention that there is a big difference between memory (which the Church is encouraged to participate in) and nostalgia. Here's a quote:
"If you read the various Last Supper accountes it is amazing that, although it is th eLast Supper and Jesus speaks of memory, none of the accounts are nostalgic. None of them are a sad looking back but a looking at the present and a hope in the future based upon what is present. Jesus says "Do this in memory of me." However, Jewish, and thus Chrisan, memory is a making present of the events and covenants that have happened in the past...it is a recalling of something whose presence is here now." He goes on to use the Emmaus incident as an example, where Jesus chides the disciples for their backward-looking viewpoint. He concludes, "This is the great mercy of Christ. He knows that we cannot really live in the past, but only in the here and now, and so it is here and now that he stays with us, promising always and for ever to make all things new."

julieunplugged said...

That's an interesting distinction: memory versus nostaligia. Reminds me of Bonhoeffer (naturally!). He is keen to suggest that we keep memory alive but that we not romanticize it, rather that we allow it to inform our ethical choices, as well as making us more conscious of what we have that we can appreciate in the here and now.

I like the distinction the author you cite makes. I also like the idea that through participating in memory, we are creting a new time/new experience here and now as well (not trying to duplicate an old experience).