I believe that it was at the Pax Christi USA National Assembly in Cleveland in 1996 when scripture scholar and teacher Ched Myers invoked the story of Gulliver and the Lilliputians (from Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift) to describe the task that is before the peace movement. For those unfamiliar with the story, Gulliver, the titular hero, is washed ashore after a shipwreck and awakes to find himself a prisoner of the Lilliputians.
The Lilliputians are a miniature people, with an average height of around 6 inches tall. To them Gulliver is a giant, and a threatening one at that. Their attempts to subdue Gulliver include hundreds of Lilliputians racing around Gulliver’s prone body, throwing tiny ropes over various parts, seeking to keep him immobilized, tied to the ground. Some Lilliputians are trying to fasten down his knee, others his wrist, some around his midsection, and so on.
Our apologies for the recent lack of communication from us at the GCW. Things got a little busy, we went to the SOA (we’ll have photos up next week), then Thanksgiving week was upon us, and we simply didn’t find the time to get on the website and keep everyone abreast of what was going on. But we are back–Haiti, anarcho-primitivism, Advent. . . Come on, there’s really something for everyone this week! To jump right to the schedule for this week without the commentary below, feel free to click here.
We need some extra help this week! Patrick is off to Haiti this week on a one-person fact-finding delegation for Pax Christi USA, so we’re going to be a little short-handed, especially at Tuesday’s cafe, this week. If you can drop by and give us a few hours anytime Tuesday, between 10am and 6pm, we would be very grateful! And look for a Roundtable on Patrick’s trip to Haiti sometime in the spring semester.
Speaking of Roundtables. . . Rusty Poulette, GCW regular and staff member of the Presbyterian-Disciples Student Center, will be our speaker at the Roundtable this Thursday beginning at 6pm. Rusty spent some time with Friend of the GCW Ched Myers, a scripture scholar from LA, recently at a conference on “anarcho-primitivism.” Anarcho-Primitivism is a radical critique of civilization that has surfaced in the last few decades in response to our ecological crisis. New anthropological evidence suggesting that pre-civilized societies were actually less violent, more leisurely, much more egalitarian and much more ecologically sustainable has gotten many re-thinking the “superiority” of industrial civilization. Interestingly, a handful of theologians are re-reading scripture through this lens to find that the bible may actually be, as one anthropologist said, “the first known resistance literature to the project of civilization.” So join us on Thursday, bring a dish to share if you can, and check out Rusty’s presentation and our discussion.
Advent Morning Prayer: Each weekday at 7:30am, we’ll be doing a short Advent morning prayer, no longer than 30 minutes, if you’d like to join us. Also, if you’re looking for good ideas for prayer-study-action during Advent, check out Pax Christi USA’s website by clicking here.