Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Peasants of Solentiname and the Parables (part 3)

The Gospel in Solentiname

To conclude the blog post from yesterday about the community's discussion of the Rich Man and Lazarus parable:

Elvis then argues that the parable teaches that humanity should not continue with these two classes of rich and poor; the goal should be to eliminate such economic disparities. William responds that the wealthy are ultimately responsible:

Abraham has told the rich man who is being damned that there is an “abyss” between him and the other man. There is an impassable, total separation. And it’s the rich man who has placed that abyss of separation between the two of them.

Such readings of Gospel texts proved dangerous. In October 1977, the Somoza regime destroyed the Solentiname community, and Cardenal and others joined the Sandinistas fighting against the Somoza government. In his “Letter to the People of Nicaragua,” Cardenal argues that it was the reading and discussing of these Gospel texts that convinced him to join the Sandinistas:

The Gospel is what most radicalized us politically. Every Sunday in Mass we discussed the Gospel in a dialogue with the peasants. With admirable simplicity and profound theology, they began to understand the core of the Gospel message: the announcement of the kingdom of God. That is, the establishment on this earth of a just society, without exploiters or exploited, with all goods in common, just like the society in which the first Christians lived. But above all else the Gospel taught us that the word of God is not only to be heard, but also to be put into practice (Cardenal 1982: 4:272).

The discussion of the peasants of Solentiname will continue with some of the art work the community created after their return to Solentiname.

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