Monastic Mission: The Monastic Tradition as Source for Unity and Renewal Today

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Arts and Humanities | Christianity | Religion


In Dostoevsky’s novel Crime and Punishment Katerina Ivanovna Marmeladov, evicted from her home on the very day of her husband’s funeral, exclaims in desperation: “There is law and justice on earth, there is, and I will find it!” and in a frenzy that is a prelude to madness she runs “into the street with a vague intention of going at once somewhere to find justice”. Discussions of justice, unity and renewal too often lapse into the formal, the abstract; we too easily detach our language from the immediacy and tension of real life. The novelist better than the philosopher reminds us that behind all theories of justice there are people running at once, somewhere, to find it, impelled by a vague intention, but with a determined conviction that there is law and justice on earth, there is!


DOI: 10.1111/j.1758-6623.1987.tb01417.x

This paper was presented at a consultation on the theme “Justice, Unity, Renewal” organized by the World Council of Churches' (WCC) Faith and Order Commission in Singapore in November 1986.