Julia Kristeva: The humanism of the Enlightenment must dialogue with Christian humanism
After the Holocaust and the Gulags, man can not be the "end". Secularization remains silent regarding the role of the woman and mother. "The diversity of our meeting here in Assisi, shows that the hypothesis of destruction is not the only possibility". The intervention of the representative of the non-believers at the Assisi Day
Assisi (AsiaNews) - We publish in full the intervention made by Professor Julia Kristeva at the Day of reflection, dialogue and prayer for peace and justice in the world, that Benedict XVI convoked today in Assisi.
For the first time in 25 years of Assisi meetings, the Pope wanted to invite representatives of non-believers, but who are "seekers of truth." In his speech he emphasized their very presence, which questions both believers and atheists. Professor Julia Kristeva, born in Bulgaria (1941), has lived in France since 1966. She is a linguist, psychoanalyst, philosopher and French writer. She has collaborated with Michel Foucault, Roland Barthes, Jacques Derrida and Philippe Sollers to whom she is also married. She has written thirty books.
What is humanism? A great question mark on the most serious of issues? This reality is a product of the European, Greco- Judeo-Christian tradition, and the same time it continues to promise, to disappoint, to re-constitute itself.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The words of John Paul II, "Be not afraid!" are not directed solely toward believers, because they may take heart in their resistance to totalitarianism. The appeal of that Pope, an apostle of human rights, also drives us not to fear European culture, but on the contrary, to dare humanism: the construct complicity between the Christian humanism and that which emerged from the Renaissance and Enlightenment, and which has the ambition of opening the dangerous ways of freedom.
1. The humanism of the twenty-first century is not a theomorphism. Neither "value" or ulterior "end", Man with a capital M does not exist. After the Shoah and the Gulags, humanism has a duty to remind men and women that if, on the one hand, we retain ourselves to be the only legislators, it is uniquely through the continuing questioning of our personal, historical and social situation that we can decide for society and history.
2. Humanism is a process of permanent refoundation, that develops uniquely through the ruptures that are innovations. Memory does not regard the past: the Bible, the Gospels, the Koran, the Rig Veda, the Tao, live in the present. In order for humanism might develop and re-found itself, the moment has come to take up again the moral codes built throughout history: without weakening them, in order to problematize them, to renew them in the face of new singularities.
3. Humanism is a feminism. The liberation of desires could only lead to the emancipation of women. The battle for economic, legal and political parity, necessitate a new reflection on the choice and responsibility of motherhood. Secularization is until today the only civilization that lacks a discourse on the of the mother. This passionate bond between mother and child, through which biology becomes meaning, alterity, and word is a "reliance" that, different from the paternal function and from religiosity this completes the participation in full in the humanist ethic.
4In order that the desires of men and women be rekindled, Humanism teaches us to take
care of them. The loving care for each other, the care of the earth, the young, the sick, the handicapped, the elderly dependents constitute inner experiences that create new proximities and surprising solidarity. We have no other way to experience the anthropological revolution, already announced by the leaps of the sciences, from uncontrollable processes of technology and finance, and the inability of the democratic model to channel the new pyramid.
5. Man does not make history, we are history. For the first time, homo sapiens is capable of destroying the earth and himself in the name of his beliefs, religions or ideologies. Similarly, for the first time men and women are able to reassess in total transparency the constituent religiosity of the human being. The diversity of our meeting here in Assisi, shows that this hypothesis of destruction is not the only possible one. No one knows what human beings will follow us, we who are engaged in this unprecedented anthropological and cosmic transvaluation. The re-founding of humanism is not a providential dogma or a spirited game, it is a gamble.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
the age of suspicion is no longer enough. Faced with increasingly grave crisis and threats, the time has come to gamble. We must dare to bet on the continuous renewal of the capacity of men and women to listen and learn together. So that, in the "multiverse" surrounded by a void, mankind can continue to pursue his creative destiny for a long time to come.