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Connect to Something Greater Than Ourselves


Rufus Burrow, Jr. in Communitarianism and the Beloved Community, wrote that Martin Luther King Jr. believed people must strive to be in community in a particular way – “…minimally, this must mean respecting each other’s personhood, sharing the bounties of God’s world, and intentionally working toward the development of the ‘Beloved Community’.”

“An initial step is the establishment of a framework for the practical realization of the Beloved Community—one that leads to a conscious re-visioning of a 21st century ideal that can hold “…all the people, all the faces, all the Adams and Eves and their countless generations.”

Many social activists have come to realize there is something missing in the struggle for justice and human rights. We have replaced a larger vision of Beloved Community with a less inclusive strategy of community-building and community organizing. In so doing, we have lost our connection to spirituality, in the sense of being connected to something greater than ourselves—something whose inherent outcome is the creation of Beloved Community.

Some see communitarianism as a “crushing hand” while others see it as “a third way to a good society.

According to Wikipedia, “Communitarianism (not to be confused with Communism) is a philosophy that emphasizes the connection between the individual man and the community. Although the community might be a family unit, communitarianism usually is understood, in the wider, philosophical sense, as a collection of interactions, among a community of people in a given place (geographical location), or among a community who share an interest or who share a history.[1]

Check out Amitai Etzioni’s contributions, “Common Good“, “Community“, and “Communitarianism“,  in the latest edition of The Encyclopedia of Political Thought!