Jean-François Bensahel

Confronting the New World Epistle to Paul and to Our Contemporaries Publication date : October 2, 2019

The Other is there. In large numbers, physically, digitally. In fact, he/she has never been. A unique fact in history, one that upends everything, foremost our ways of thinking about politics, diplomacy, ethnicity, and aesthetics. Each one of us no long knows who we are, whether we can establish relationships with that Other, what we must do, and if it will still be useful tomorrow. The great leveling of globalization has passed through there.

We are at the precise moment when we don’t know how to think about our new world, whereas the former one is crumbling everywhere beneath our feet. The earth itself has begun to moan. We waver, petrified, between anguish and terror of the end, and of a beginning that delays breaking through. We are experiencing a Messianic moment.

Should we renounce the idea of humanity and attempt by ourselves to save our own skin, hiding in solitary retreat? Should we renounce nations and peoples because they would be the eliminated witnesses to a soon-to-be swallowed-up past? Should we renounce the certainty that there are still beings with whom we have things in common? Or, if not, how can one build and find it? How can we write this new chapter?