Solidarity Ethics Reflection Questions

Solidarity Ethics:  Transformation in a Globalized World

By Rebecca Todd Peters

Study/Reflection questions

Introduction

1)       Peters dedicates the book to those who have become her “cloud of witnesses”.  Who are the people who have become the “cloud of witnesses” for you?

2)      Reflect upon Peters’ questions:  “To what extend will [you] participate in a system that benefits some at the expense of others?  To what extent are [your] own daily habits and practices complicit in the exploitation of other human beings and the planet?

3)      Peters writes: “Solidarity is the building of relationships between people across lines of difference with the explicit or implicit intention of working together for social change.  Relationships of solidarity are rootted in the mutual recognition of the human dinity that everyone possesses and that Christians understand as a reflection of the Imago Dei.” (pg 10)  How would you define solidarity?

4)      What is your social location?(pg 10)

5)      Have you participated in experiential education or immersion?  What was that like? What were the risks?  Challenges?  Benefits?  Do you agree with Peters when she suggests that experiential education and practices of immersion can be an important factor in working toward social transformation?  Why/why not?

6)      Peters writes, “Developing significant personal relationships with real people offers the possibility of changing the way we understand the world.”   How does this relate to Marcus Borg’s thoughts on moving beyond belief to transformation? (Borg’s written link:  http://progressivechristians.org/marcus-borg-event/  listening interview:  http://www.explorefaith.org/audio/interviews/borg_jones.mp3 )

Chapter 1

1)       What parts of Peters’ historical summary particularly resonate with you?

2)      Peters writes, “Within theological discourse, the principle of solidarity has primarily developed in three concrete ways.  The first way focuses on how base Christian communities (or other communities of poor and near-poor people work together with one another as support networks for engaging in the process of social change.  The second way focuses on how the institutional church (or churches) can develop ecclesial relationships of solidarity with the poor in order to take up their cause, to partner with them in development, resistance, and justice, and to speak for them when they lack access or voice.  The third way is a strategy or tool that can contribute to the support of a short-term action, campaign, or relief effort.”  What would you add here?  How have you experienced these three principles of solidarity in your context?

3)      What is your response to the last paragraph in chapter 1, pg 30?