Tuesday, 16 November 2010

More fragments ...

I have been re-reading an interesting article by Sören Asmus I am more than you think - Fragments and Diversity within. The essay explores identity and how the idea of fragments can actually help to put identity together. I was particularly struck by reference to Henning Luther's theology of fragments as formative for identity - fragments of the the past, fragments of the future and fragments of relationships to others. Asmus writes about interesting elements from on how we construct modern identity citing Anthony Giddens, Bonhoeffer and Amin Maalouf amongst others, but I think what I like is how he ends by pointing to the idea of developing a pilgrimage identity as a way of holding things together in a tension of movement. It's not easy for me to explain why I find this so moving and meaningful at the moment but I do. Here's how the essay ends, with a prayer from Jan Comenius:

As we are called to live our lives as being on our way to an aim which we will not fulfil, but which is promised to us, we might as well learn to develop the identity of a pilgrim people: the awareness that we do not “hold an identity”, but we are called to become what we are not yet. The theologian, pedagogue and reformer, Jan Amos KOMENSKY (COMENIUS), being a migrant for most of his life, expressed this attitude:
“I thank my God, Who has wanted that I shall be a man of longing for all my life. I praise Thee, my saviour, that You have given me on Earth no native country and no home. Thereby You saved me from the folly to mistake the accidental for the substantial, the way for the aim, the striving for the peace, the shelter for the home, the wandering for the native country.”