Monday, November 06, 2023

Dean Powery on Memory as a Way to Reconciliation

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In this fall season with holidays and services that remember the dead, Chapel Dean Luke Powery writes in the (Duke) Chronicle, “It makes sense to me to celebrate memory because it is so essential for our lives.”

In addition to the many ways of remembering events, facts, and appointments, Dean Powery says:

I’d like to add one more mode of memory to that list: remembering one another as fellow human beings. I say that both in the sense of remembering the infinite value of the life of another person but also in the sense of repairing broken relationships near and far — that is, “remembering” people and bonds that have been dismembered by violence, hatred or indifference.

He cites an example of this kind of remembering from a class he taught on the Spirituals in a federal prison, and he then concludes:

So, in this fall season of nostalgia and memory, I want to ask you: Who do you remember and who do you forget? And in this time in the world of strife and broken bodies, I want to ask you: Will you remember with me?

Read the column “Lest we forget.”