Developing an “Authority...”


In the task of forming public opinion, both in the church and in the larger society, the presence of an authoritative voice is very important--the voice of a group which, because of its religious commitment, academic preparation, experience in understanding and transforming the world, and considered ethical judgment about what needs to be done-- deserves to be listened to and taken into account in the processes of group understanding and action. This is basically what we’re engaged in with the formation of the AESE, and what Sojourners, for example, is looking for in our work.

(Hannah Arendt, in her chapter “What is Authority?” in Between Past and Future, NY: Viking Press, 1961, p. 123, quotes Momsen on what is involved in this process, i.e., the development of a judgment about something which is “more than advice and less than a command...advice which one may not safely ignore.”)

April, 2017