“Communiodicy?”

My supervisor has coined the term “Ecclesiodicy” to describe the project to “justify one’s ecclesial community.”

I wonder if “communiodicy” may also be true in a broader sense. When I say “I am this” it almost inevitably has to do with a community (real or imagined), whether that is farmers, academics, country-folk or urban dwellers. When it comes to political groups or ideological groups it becomes more difficult to speak truly of our moral intuitions and hunches. When faced with those who disagree with offer a “communiodicy” to justify identifying ourselves with one group or another (note, we also have reasons to avoid the bad parts of the community, because “that doesn’t truly represent the community etc.).

More difficult are communities that we do not voluntary choose, European, Indigenous, Asian and how much they influence us, even as we try to escape the worst aspects of our community’s history (or present).

Two quotes I found helpful on this note:

“The aspects of things that are most important for us are hidden because of their simplicity and familiarity. (One is unable to notice something–be-cause it is always before one’s eyes.) The real foundation of his inquiry do not strike a person at all.–And this means: we fail to be struck by what, once seen, is most striking and most powerful.” – Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations, #129

And from my supervisor

“If we want to think and talk about the Church we will in a basic way always be talking about ourselves, about something we cannot grasp “from the outside,” but which we must struggle to know and articulate as a given that makes and defines us as who we are. Thus, we cannot see clearly, because the Church is more intimate to our Christian selves than we can ever identify.”  – Ephraim Radner, Church, 10.

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