Tuesday, March 9, 2021

#68 / Dependence

Leah Libresco Sargeant teaches mathematics at King's College, in New York City, but her writings aren't focused on math. She is, in fact, a profoundly religious person, having written Arriving at Amen, a book about prayer, and Building the Benedict Option: A Guide to Gathering Two or Three Together in His Name.  

I first came across Sargeant in the Winter 2021 edition of Plough Quarterly, which published her short article on "Dependence - Toward an Illiberalism of the Weak."

Sargeant's point is that "no man or woman is an island, and no one should aspire to be one, either." She calls her perspective "illiberalism," I think because this view rejects the "individualist" emphasis that is central in what we often think of as our "liberal" Western culture. Sargeant's thoughts about our human dependence on one another, which are outlined in her brief, three-page article, does more than present a view of our culture that is aimed away from an individual-centered view of life; her view of life is profoundly religious. Sargeant's article, however, conveys a more "political" point besides: 

We cannot structure our politics or our society to serve a totally independent, autonomous person who never has and never will exist. 

This strikes me as correct. Perhaps it would be fair to say "profoundly correct." We are in this life together. All of us. 

Let's admit it. 
Let's glory in that fact.
Let us never forget this truth as we build and sustain our world

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