Friday, January 15, 2010

Ellul on "Dialogue"

"I will not insist on the word "dialogue," for it is now bandied about everywhere and has become for some a universal panacea. As J. Lecroix finely puts it, "dialogue has become the answer to all difficulties. To make problems go away we have only to enter into dialogue. Religious differences, class divisions, diversities of interest, and psycho-sociological contradictions are all magically dispelled by the one force of dialogue. This is no only false, it is dangerous. There is nothing worse than verbalizing a man's humanity when the situation renders it impossible. Better sometimes naked violence than a pseudo-dialogue which is merely a hypocritical mask." This is why I never present dialogue as a way of resolving conflicts. I simply present an attitude of freedom which allows conflicting situations and tendencies to meet in truth, and thus opens the way for love to heal the breach. But this does not lead to a smoothing over or a solution." (The Ethics of Freedom, page 324 in the footnotes)

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