Paul Ricoeur - The Socius and the Neighbor Essay

5198 Words Jul 3rd, 2014 21 Pages
THE SOCIUS AND THE NEIGHBOR
Paul Ricoeur
1) If we define sociology as the science of human relationships within organized groups, then it would seem that there is no sociology of the neighbor. This study flows from the astonishment engendered by such a statement. It is important for reflection to seize upon this surprise and deepen it into a positive meditation situated between a sociology of human relationships and a theology of charity. If there is no sociology of the neighbor, perhaps a sociology which has recognized its limits, in confrontation with a theology of charity, becomes changed in its project, that is to say in its intention and pretension. If there is no sociology of the neighbor, perhaps there is a sociology which
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Ricoeur: Socius and the Neighbor - (2)

gesture over and above roles, personages, and functions. It innovates a hyper-sociological mutuality between one person and another.
8) Astonishment is born of parable and is reborn of prophecy:
And the Son of man shall come in his glory...And he shall set the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the King shall say to them that shall be on his right: Come, ye blessed of my Father...For I was hungry, and you gave me to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me to drink... Then shall the just answer him, saying: Lord, when did we see thee hungry, and fed thee, thirsty, and gave thee drink?... And the king, answering, shall say to them: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of the least of my brethren, you did it to me.
Then he shall say to them that shall be on his left....2
9) The parable related an encounter in the present, the prophecy relates an event at the end of history which, in retrospect, unfolds the meaning of all the encounters in history. For prophecy bears upon and unveils the meaning of encounters, encounters similar to those of the Samaritan and the stranger overpowered by thieves: To give to eat and to drink, to take in the stranger, to clothe the naked, care for the sick, and visit those in prison, these are so many basic and simple gestures that are feebly

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