I came across this quote in A Theology of Reading, by Alan Jacobs (Boulder: Westview Press, 2001).
Importantly for me I am often pressed to distinguish between charity and justice. This distinction is patently clear when read through the eyes of Aristotle's Magnanimous Man as excerpted from Jacobs. Though I am grossly oversimplifing this, Jacobs intent in writing this book was to provide a careful exploration of the varied contexts that inform our habits of reading built around our understanding of the nature of love.
In the context of our attitude towards giving many offerings are made, however benevolent they may seem, out of a posture of power and privilege rather than one of gratitude and humility. The former case for giving reforcing status distinctions between the giver and the receiver, while the later reinforcing solidarity between two people of shared dignity and worth. When we look carefully at the charitable ministries offered by our congregations, do we include those we serve in the pool of volunteers and contributors or do we limit the volunteer pool to the priviliged so that they can leave having satiated their conscious through good works, while preserving a distance of separation from those they would consider as different? Have we purposed through our charitable acts to strengthen our bonds of humnanity or to strengthen our status of distinction?
I leave it to you to answer the basis for your motivation of giving.
The Magnanimous man...is disposed to confer benefits, but is ashamed to accept them, because the one is the act of a superior and the other that of an inferior. When he repays a service he does so with interest, because in this way the original benefactor will become his debtor and beneficiary. People of this kind are thought to remember the benefits they have conferred, but not those that they have received (because the benficiary is inferior to the benefactor, and the magnaimous man wants to be superior), and to enjoy being reminded of the former, but not of ther latter.
Friday, May 27, 2011
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Jubilee Ministry was established in 1982 by General Convention resolution A080. The mandate for Jubilee Ministry was to be a joint discipleship in Christ with poor and oppressed people wherever they are located, to meet basic human need and to build a just society.
In 1985 the General Convention adopted resolution A106 which resolved “that in each diocese there be appointed a Jubilee officer who will become informed on all facets of the Jubilee Ministry, serve as a liaison to the Jubilee Ministry Commission, and be available as a resource to their bishops and congregations and otherwise bring support to further Jubilee Ministries in each diocese of the Church.”
To this end, the Office of Social and Economic Justice is sponsoring a Diocesan Jubilee Officer training from July 06-09, 2011 at Cathedral Domain in the Diocese of Lexington.
To register and for more information go to http://events.signup4.com/djolexington.