Wednesday, May 26, 2021
I've been enjoying a newish journal called Plough Quarterly. The latest edition has (among other things) a really nice essay by Leah Libresco Sargeant called "Let the Body Testify: Whose Body Counts?" Sargeant makes good use of the new book by my colleague, Carter Snead, What It Means to Be Human. Here is Sargeant:
The vulnerability of our bodies is part of what binds us together into a community. In Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan, the story begins with the traveler’s suffering when he is beaten and robbed. His need is what calls neighborliness out of the Good Samaritan, who binds the traveler’s wounds, takes him to a refuge, and ensures his continued care.
This story is Christ’s answer to an expert in the law, who asks Jesus to clarify the limits of the Great Commandment. God calls me to love my neighbor as myself, but who, exactly, counts as my neighbor? And, left as the subtext, who doesn’t count? Whom am I allowed to not love?