Piercing the heart

He was sitting quietly, almost impassively, as I talked to a group of people gathered in Zagreb at the launching of the Croatian translation of my book Exclusion and Embrace. The forcefulness and impatience with which he asked his question as he brought the book to be signed took me by surprise. "But where does that will come from, that will to embrace the enemy?"

I had just finished explaining one of the central claims of the book. I had argued that truth, justice and peace are unavailable without the will to embrace the other. Moreover, the will to embrace must precede any "truth" about others and any construction of their "justice." In a sense, everything in my argument depended on that will, but I said nothing about how to acquire or sustain it; I simply assumed it.

"Is it instinctive?" he inquired.

 

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