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Katie van Schaijik

Bumping up against a bogus notion of charity

May. 9, 2012, at 2:36pm

The other day a friend sent me a message asking if I'd be interested in reviewing a book she's just published.  I told her I was scared I would hate it, which would put me in a dilemma.  I'm a critic by nature and vocation.  I can't dissemble.  And I'm afraid my honest impressions would discourage her in her work.  

She laughed and assured me that she finds private criticism helpful.  Then she sent me the book.  It came in the mail just now.  

As I held it, disliking the cover art, it occurred to me:  Wait a sec.  "Private criticism"?  Did she mean (perhaps unconsciously) to bind me not to say anything in public? 

Maybe she didn't mean to do that at all, but it's a notion I come across

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Katie van Schaijik

Truth as inter-personal breathing space

Jul. 7, 2009, at 12:58pm

I think I could spend the day posting the new encyclical paragraph by paragraph.  Number three raises a point that came up in the Personalist Project’s recent discussions on forgiveness.  In my experience, conventional Christian “forgiveness thinking” downplays truth in the name of charity.  But more on this later.  (Hint: The idea that to insist on truth is “harsh,” together with demands that it be set aside in the name of peace and “unity” are, I claim, prime characteristics of dysfunctional relationships—relationships where selves are suffocated for lack of due breathing space.)

Meanwhile, here’s the paragraph.

3. Through this close link with truth, charity can be recognized as an

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