Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Community and Metanarrative

A lad growing up in an animistic culture in the remote jungles of Brazil would have different family experiences, learn a different language, hear different stories, laugh at different jokes, go through different initiation rites, listen to different music, view ancestors differently, and treat elders differently than a Caucasian boy growing up in the suburbs of Philadelphia or Edmonton. Each boy would have a distinct and different tacit view of what constitutes community -- community rites, community metaphors, community relationships, community signs, community symbols, community obligations, and community rights. Each view comes via a particular (lived-in) metanarrative – the former characterized largely by the larger story connected with animism, the latter quite possibly characterized by the larger story of postmodern, pluralistic, secular-humanism. Here the postmodernists have it right – each community does indeed come up with its own (non-universal) metanarrative. Here the postmodernists also have it wrong – each community’s metanarrative is not equally valid. 

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