Woll is the rabbi, Sweeney is the religious-books editor, who now works for Ave Maria Press, a Catholic publisher. But their religion is, in each case, more experiential, and mystical, than theological. This presents its own problems, but saves them others. Rusty and Juliana Reno are a different kind of interfaith couple: believers in a conventional God, they are both intensely theological, in love with abstruse argumentation, less mystics than big old nerds. But like the Woll/Sweeneys, the Renos have both been transformed, religiously as well as personally, by their interfaith romance.
If a faith community is viewed only as a sociological or political reality, a community in which belonging and recognition are the fundamental point, that is, if one viewed the covenantal community as just another liberal democratic institution whose very mandate was to prescind from substantive truth claims, then, says Soloveitchik, we would have no problem at all meeting “the other on the basis of equality, friendship, and sympathy.” But covenantal faith, to be itself, must maintain a sense of uniqueness, distinction, and difference. Ignoring or evacuating that difference—the hardness of encounter—denies the duality of confrontation by bracketing the community’s ethos, beliefs, and imperatives—which is not respect but negation, not compassion but absorption, not sensitivity but dishonesty.
"Through his Incarnation, the Lord has united himself forever with suffering humanity — not as an abstraction, but throughout history with each suffering person. Jesus is already at the peripheries. The question for us is whether He will be there alone or whether His disciples will be there with Him."
- Supreme Knight Carl Anderson
Discuss the role of the Catholic Church going to the peripheries, then select one of the following ideas to complete your essay:
a) Describe the work of one widely known current Catholic who went to the periphery.
b) Describe the work of one widely known historical Catholic who went to the periphery.
c) Describe the work of one person in your life, who helps alleviate human suffering.