December 15, 2011

What does it take to understand the world? How does one begin to grapple with the issues faced by communities beyond our borders? Is it possible to connect with people who have lived experiences so vastly different from our own?

If there’s hope in doing any of these, its can only be through love.

What’s love got to do with it? Everything.

Augustine of Hippo was a preeminent medieval Western theologian and philosopher. A hermeneutic refers to a particular method of interpretation – and on particularly thoughtful days, Augustine’s hermeneutical principles come to mind.

Making reference to Biblical interpretation, Augustine argued that true understanding did not come from an intellectual pursuit of an objective reality. Instead, such revelation only comes when the interpreter herself starts from a position of love, and is changed by love through the pursuit of understanding.

As Foucault has taught us ad nauseam, knowledge = power, and we know that power is usually not very kind to the common man. And so alas, we find ourselves in a world with lots of knowledge and not a lot of love. Despite massive gains in technology, science, philosophy and anthropology, the boundaries between the West and the Rest, the rich and the poor, the old and the young, the left and right wing, are increasingly divisive. To me – and I trust Augustine is in agreement – if knowledge does not produce love it is devoid of any real understanding.

far·sight·ed. adj. a: seeing or able to see to a great distance; b: having or showing foresight or good judgment.

Together, these principles form the pillars of this blog. To see and understand worlds beyond our own through a compassionate pursuit. And through dialogue and understanding, accumulate more than just knowledge, but also learn to love a little more each time.



One Response to “Far·sight·ed”

  1. alphaabebe said

    “Knowledge that takes you not beyond yourself is far worse than ignorance.” – Sufi saying.

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