Monday, 19 October 2015
Torah and Canon: 2nd Edition,
James A. Sanders, Cascade Books, 2005, page 31
Sanders gives an example of the way in which memory, identity and survival are linked:
Flesh and blood survival of individuals does not in itself constitute continuity. Without memory a people's past and its identity are lost. Annual recitations of a people's story provide the vehicle for its survival. A recent example would be the people of Poland, who for fifty long years suffered the repression of two totalitarian regimes: the German Nazis (1939-1945), and the Soviet communists (1945 until the collapse of the USSR in 1989). One of the major results of the election in 1978 of the Polish cardinal, Karol Jozef Wojtyla, to the office of Pope in Rome was to revive Polish identity as a Catholic country. Within a tear of his elevation to the papacy, Wojtyla returned to Poland and in sermons and speeches urged the people to remember their roots, and in doing so he gave them the power of survival as a people. It is precisely in remembering that survival and community obtain.