Translation Louise Thunin
It is becoming possible to speak about religion, about religious practice, without being suspected of trying to convert people. Yes, religion exists. The men and women of the twenty-first century have not lost their taste for the sacred, for transcendance, for hope. It is true that religious expression has been repressed. It has been repressed within the collective consciousness, repressed in public space, confined to privacy, in conformity to the wishes to those who have wanted to implement even further the absolute prohibition of anything to do with religion. One really wonders if religion hasn’t been considered bad for people’s health.
The actual danger however is confining religion to the shadows of society, far from public space, that is, far from places where people communicate with one another, where ideas come up against other ideas, where it is possible to ask and to answer questions, where one can test the quality of one’s reasoning and the depth of one’s convictions, where a regulation of belief is possible. Jesus, who, according to the evangelist Matthew, thought he had been sent for the children of Israel alone, discovers that faith is a matter that doesn’t stop at one’s own doorstep (Matt. 15 : 24). Even Jesus’ certainties are disturbed by a foreign woman of non-Jewish culture. Thanks to this woman, who represents complete unworthiness to the orthodox of her period, Jesus opens to a new and greater understanding of life, a sort of generous secularism whereby whoever doesn’t share my culture is not necessarily a reprobate but may be a bearer of truth.
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