Tuesday, 28 October 2014
Social and Cultural Memory
Memory, Tradition, and Text: Uses of the Past in Early Christianity,
Ed. Alan Kirk and Tom Thatcher, SBL, 2005, page 22
Building on Social Memory Theory, Alan Kirk writes about the way that the past stays current or fresh in our present:
The past, both generating and absorbed into resilient commemorative images, narratives, rituals and texts, flows with its own energy into the ongoing, creative formation of the life of the community.
They made me think: how does the past inform our communties today and how important a role does it have in reminding us who we are? Does the way we use the past - particularly through our congregational rituals and texts - create new life in our communities? Those who shut out the past and insist on everything new risk becoming disconnected from our identity, while those who exclude everything new in the interests of maintaining tradition, shut down the fresh invigorating work of the Spirit. Both old and new have a critical role to play in a healthy community that is sure of its identity and moving forward in the kingdom of G-d.