As one commentator has pointed out rather convincingly, we are witnessing a worldwide movement toward antipluralism, an ideology that takes many shapes – nationalism, authoritarian populism, racial and religious separatism. He sees these movements as “reactions against diversity, fluidity and the interdependent nature of modern life.” Antipluralists he says, “yearn for a return to clear borders, settled truths.” There is a worldwide fear about what is not pure, what is other, different, integrated. And he witnesses to the reality that for a very long time in America, the network of relationships, connectedness and trust that everything else relies on has been failing.*
In recent months with the pandemic and the mandate for distancing and isolation, and the growing racial tension that has been unmasked once again; we see clearly our real need for one another and our dependence on human connectivity and compassion. And most of all, best of all for us as Christians, we have been given a grace, perhaps difficult and unforeseen, to understand more clearly our desperate dependence on that Someone who alone can give us hope and help us reconnect.
*See David Brooks. Photograph by Kathleen Trainor.