Hermeneutic of Compassion

One of the great things about being at the Catholic Theological Union and involved in the Bernardin Center is that I am often invited to great events.  This morning I was invited to attend an interfaith breakfast as part of "World Interfaith Harmony Week."  Organized by the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago, the speakers addressed the following theme: "We are All Connected by Compassion."

I was struck by many things the speakers shared.  Perhaps the most useful, however, was from a Rabbi who spoke about reading the Scriptures through a "hermeneutic of compassion." Now, I am by no means a scripture scholar but as I have come to understand the term, a hermeneutic is the interpretive lens of framework through which we read the scriptures.  That part was not new to me.

What was new was the suggestion and invitation to read the scriptures through the lens of compassion.  Really, you could extend that beyond the sacred texts of our world religions to the whole world and all of life.

So today, and tomorrow, and the next day, I'm going to try it out.  Putting on the eyes of compassion, how might the world look differently?  What light might this throw on the violence in our streets and between and within countries? Might it not shed light on a path forward, a path toward peace?

Those are my deep thoughts this morning.  Before I delve into them too deeply, however, I am about to spend some extended time with my favorite 2 1/2 year old while my sister and her husband celebrate their anniversary.

Who knows, that might give me a whole new insight ... the "hermeneutic of the 2 year old."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh wow! What a thought! I can't wait to try this. Thanks so much for sharing.