A Vision

CornelAn excerpt from The Sun Magazine’s interview with Dr. Cornel West.

Fluidity doesn’t necessarily mean subversion. You can be highly fluid and just come up with creative ways of adjusting to or reproducing the status quo. Fluidity and flexibility are important, but to transform society you need more than that. You need a vision. You need a different way of looking at the world. That’s where the Hebrew prophets and the legacy of Jerusalem come in. The words of Isaiah, Micah, and others authorized an alternative vision of the world.

The genius of the Hebrew Scriptures is that they put a premium on the plight of the vulnerable, the stranger, the orphan, and the widow. They emphasize compassion and sensitivity to suffering. They insist that the vulnerable need to be attended to and treated with loving-kindness, or chesed. The Hebrew Scriptures say that the ordinary lives and suffering of everyday people are essential; that a pauper is just as important as a priest; that a prostitute matters just as much as a queen.

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