CLENCHING
FIST
OR
OPEN HAND
IDENTITIES
ARE
FORMED BY
Stories.
SOME promote
violence.
SOME
PROMOTE
PEACE.
WHICH KIND
DO WE LIVE
We can discern at least 6 stories that
seem to “rule the world”:
Domination
Revolution
Purification/Scapegoating
Competiti...
-Domination - Romans, Sadducees,
Herodians
-Revolution - Zealots
-Purification/Scapegoating - Pharisees*
-Competition - We...
CLENCHING-FIST NARRATIVES
TYPICALLY DIRECT HUMAN
SOCIETIES:
1.THE DOMINATION STORY:
PEACE AND SECURITY
THROUGH BEING IN
CO...
2. THE REVOLUTION STORY:
PEACE AND SECURITY
THROUGH VIOLENT
OVERTHROW OF
OPPRESSORS.
“If only THEY weren’t in
control!” (R...
3. THE PURIFICATION STORY:
PEACE AND SECURITY
THROUGH NAMING,
BLAMING, SHAMING, AND
EXCLUDING A DANGEROUS
MINORITY.
“If on...
4. THE COMPETITION STORY:
PEACE AND SECURITY
THROUGH MONEY &
POWER IN A COMPETITIVE
ECONOMY.
“If only we could buy, enjoy,...
5. THE ISOLATION STORY:
PEACE AND SECURITY
THROUGH SEPARATING
FROM THE CORRUPT,
DOOMED MAJORITY.
“If only we could be left...
6. THE VICTIMIZATION/SELF-
PRESERVATION STORY:
PRESERVING OURSELVES BY
PRESERVING THE MEMORY
OF INJUSTICE & SUFFERING.
“If...
We could call these “stories of the
clenching fist...”
Conflict narratives
Warrior narratives
Conflict narratives
Sword na...
Domination: Us over them
Revolution: Us versus them
Purification: Us versus some of us
Competition: Us competing with
them...
DOMINATION PURIFICATION
COMPETITION
SELF-
PRESERVATION
REVOLUTION
ISOLATION
DOMINATION PURIFICATION
COMPETITION
SELF-
PRESERVATION
REVOLUTION
ISOLATION
CONFLICT!
Our religions can proclaim an
alternate story - one Jesus called:
the good news
of the kingdom* of God.
[*reign, commonwea...
A story of the
open hand ...
Gardener narrative
Peacemaking narrative
Plowshare/Pruning hook narrative
The good news of the kingdom
of God
-called people to repentance
(paradigm shift/ radical
rethinking),
- a new way of life...
Clenching Fist Stories
Domination: Us over them
Revolution: Us versus them
Purification: Us versus some of us
Self-preserv...
An Open-Hand Narrative of
Creation/Liberation/Reconciliation
NOT Domination: Service, Neighborliness
NOT Revolution: Recon...
DOMINATION PURIFICATION
COMPETITION
SELF-
PRESERVATION
REVOLUTION
ISOLATION
NEW CREATION/ RECONCILIATION
LIBERATION
DOMINATION PURIFICATION
COMPETITION
SELF-
PRESERVATION
REVOLUTION
ISOLATION
NEW CREATION/ RECONCILIATION
LIBERATION
Hypocrisy:
Religions can intentionally or
accidentally baptize, support,
legitimize, and camouflage the
six clenched-fist ...
Will we defect from the stories of
the clenching fist?
Domination: Us over them.
Revolution: Us versus them.
Purification:...
Will we embody the story of the
open hand:
Service: Some of us for all of us.
Reconciliation: Us reconciling with them.
In...
29
What doctrinal
rethinking will be
required?
What liturgical
reformulation will be
necessary?
What missional renewal
wil...
QuickTime™ and a
TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor
are needed to see this picture.
Ivan Illich (Austrian
former priest,
phi...
Neither revolution nor reformation
can ultimately change a society,
rather you must tell a new powerful
tale, one so persu...
… one so inclusive that it gathers all the
bits of our past and our present into a
coherent whole, one that even shines
so...
33
Sabeel a
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Sabeel a

  1. 1. CLENCHING FIST OR OPEN HAND
  2. 2. IDENTITIES ARE FORMED BY Stories.
  3. 3. SOME promote violence.
  4. 4. SOME PROMOTE PEACE.
  5. 5. WHICH KIND DO WE LIVE
  6. 6. We can discern at least 6 stories that seem to “rule the world”: Domination Revolution Purification/Scapegoating Competition Isolation Victimization/Self-preservation They are evident in the Gospels:
  7. 7. -Domination - Romans, Sadducees, Herodians -Revolution - Zealots -Purification/Scapegoating - Pharisees* -Competition - Wealthy Judeans -Isolation - Essenes -Victimization/Self-preservation - Poor Galileans, sinners, lepers, outcasts *as depicted in Gospels
  8. 8. CLENCHING-FIST NARRATIVES TYPICALLY DIRECT HUMAN SOCIETIES: 1.THE DOMINATION STORY: PEACE AND SECURITY THROUGH BEING IN CONTROL “If only we were in charge!” (Empire)
  9. 9. 2. THE REVOLUTION STORY: PEACE AND SECURITY THROUGH VIOLENT OVERTHROW OF OPPRESSORS. “If only THEY weren’t in control!” (Revenge)
  10. 10. 3. THE PURIFICATION STORY: PEACE AND SECURITY THROUGH NAMING, BLAMING, SHAMING, AND EXCLUDING A DANGEROUS MINORITY. “If only THOSE PEOPLE would change - or disappear.”(If only a minority would change.) (Scapegoating/Genocide)
  11. 11. 4. THE COMPETITION STORY: PEACE AND SECURITY THROUGH MONEY & POWER IN A COMPETITIVE ECONOMY. “If only we could buy, enjoy, and stockpile what we desire.” (Economic Advantage)
  12. 12. 5. THE ISOLATION STORY: PEACE AND SECURITY THROUGH SEPARATING FROM THE CORRUPT, DOOMED MAJORITY. “If only we could be left alone to be ourselves by ourselves.” (Elite/elect remnant)
  13. 13. 6. THE VICTIMIZATION/SELF- PRESERVATION STORY: PRESERVING OURSELVES BY PRESERVING THE MEMORY OF INJUSTICE & SUFFERING. “If only our oppressors would be brought to justice.” (If only the majority would change.)
  14. 14. We could call these “stories of the clenching fist...” Conflict narratives Warrior narratives Conflict narratives Sword narratives
  15. 15. Domination: Us over them Revolution: Us versus them Purification: Us versus some of us Competition: Us competing with them. Isolation: Us away from them Victimization: Us in spite of them
  16. 16. DOMINATION PURIFICATION COMPETITION SELF- PRESERVATION REVOLUTION ISOLATION
  17. 17. DOMINATION PURIFICATION COMPETITION SELF- PRESERVATION REVOLUTION ISOLATION CONFLICT!
  18. 18. Our religions can proclaim an alternate story - one Jesus called: the good news of the kingdom* of God. [*reign, commonwealth, dream, dance, economy, ecosystem, movement, beloved community, network, etc]
  19. 19. A story of the open hand ... Gardener narrative Peacemaking narrative Plowshare/Pruning hook narrative
  20. 20. The good news of the kingdom of God -called people to repentance (paradigm shift/ radical rethinking), - a new way of life, -a new identity
  21. 21. Clenching Fist Stories Domination: Us over them Revolution: Us versus them Purification: Us versus some of us Self-preservation: Us in spite of them Isolation: Us away from them Competition: Us competing with them.
  22. 22. An Open-Hand Narrative of Creation/Liberation/Reconciliation NOT Domination: Service, Neighborliness NOT Revolution: Reconciliation NOT Purification: Welcome/Hospitality/Inclusion NOT Competition: Generosity, Self-Giving NOT Self-preservation: Pursuit of common good NOT Isolation: Incarnation ... Penetration ... Identification
  23. 23. DOMINATION PURIFICATION COMPETITION SELF- PRESERVATION REVOLUTION ISOLATION NEW CREATION/ RECONCILIATION LIBERATION
  24. 24. DOMINATION PURIFICATION COMPETITION SELF- PRESERVATION REVOLUTION ISOLATION NEW CREATION/ RECONCILIATION LIBERATION
  25. 25. Hypocrisy: Religions can intentionally or accidentally baptize, support, legitimize, and camouflage the six clenched-fist stories. They can cover up a wolf-ish message in sheep’s language.
  26. 26. Will we defect from the stories of the clenching fist? Domination: Us over them. Revolution: Us versus them. Purification: Us versus some of us. Self-preservation: Us in spite of them. Isolation: Us away from them Competition: Us competing with them.
  27. 27. Will we embody the story of the open hand: Service: Some of us for all of us. Reconciliation: Us reconciling with them. Inclusion: Us welcoming them to the table Empowerment: Us working for the common good with them. Incarnation: Us as neighbors in solidarity with them Sacrifice: Us risking and giving on behalf of them
  28. 28. 29 What doctrinal rethinking will be required? What liturgical reformulation will be necessary? What missional renewal will be essential?
  29. 29. QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture. Ivan Illich (Austrian former priest, philosopher, social critic, 1926-2002)
  30. 30. Neither revolution nor reformation can ultimately change a society, rather you must tell a new powerful tale, one so persuasive that it sweeps away the old myths and becomes the preferred story …
  31. 31. … one so inclusive that it gathers all the bits of our past and our present into a coherent whole, one that even shines some light into the future so that we can take the next step…. If you want to change a society, then you have to tell an alternative story. - attributed to Ivan Illich (Austrian former priest, philosopher, social critic, 1926-2002)
  32. 32. 33

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