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May 26, 2009


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Travis Greene

I think of community as folded into the quadrilateral/tetralectic under tradition. Or perhaps the other way around: tradition is just how we experience community with someone who happens to have lived during the time of Charlemagne, or whenever.

Obviously community can, like cancerous cells, become aberrant and harmful.

Michael W. Kruse

"...tradition is just how we experience community with someone who happens to have lived during the time of Charlemagne, or whenever."

I like it.

Travis Greene

Like many good ideas, Chesterton thought of it first.

John Stackhouse

No, community in my scheme is not merely tradition. I refer to our past and current social contexts in which we do our thinking: the family we were raised in, the schools we went to, the clubs or teams or ensembles in which we participated, the countries or ethnic groups we belong to, the churches we have inhabited and now attend, and more. These communities represent social resources and social forces that shape us willy-nilly and also can be intentionally drawn upon, even intentionally inhabited (the way one changes churches or attends a particular graduate school or subscribes to a certain blog) in order to improve our thinking.

So it's not just tradition, per Chesterton, but social context, per Berger, Luckmann, et al.

(I am staying out of this discussion for obvious reasons, but I think this point needs to be clarified!)

Michael W. Kruse

Thanks for this clarifiction.

What I liked about Travis' comment is the idea that community exteneds to those who are departed. Unfortunately, tradition is almost all we have that links us with those of the past. We don't have the serendipitous experiences or the "intentionally inhabited" communities with daily interaction. Tradition is but an echo of past community.

Every page of your book is so rich that I regularly feel like I'm not doing it justice. Please feel free to jump in anytime, Dr. Stackhouse, especially if I've seriously misrepresented you in anyway.

Travis Greene

Dang, corrected by the man himself!

Michael W. Kruse

I think I initially read past your opening "...community as folded into..." I think that is what he was reacting to and rightly so. That is a divergence from the his perspective in the book.

I was responding to your second sentence. I do agree that tradition is an important way we are in community with those who came before.

"Dang, corrected by the man himself!"

Hey, if were gonna get corrected, who better to get it from? ;-)

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