Imagination Beyond Horror

An Introduction to the Catholic Commons

Jeffrey Metcalfe

“The horror is that for the first time we live in a world in which we can no longer imagine a better one.”1

Theodor Adorno

Can an idea change the world?  If not, we in the Church should give up now; there is no point in continuing.  For over two-thousand years we thought we knew the answer to this question.  It led us to welcome the stranger, to feed the hungry, to redistribute our wealth, and to fight against the principalities and powers of the darkness of the age.  Granted, we were never entirely faithful to the Idea.  From the beginning, some of us tried to use it to enslave the stranger, to engorge ourselves, to consolidate our wealth, and to become the principalities and powers.  Yet the Idea would not stay our possession, it would always return to confront us, to invite us back, and at times, it would bring the Emperor himself to his knees. Continue reading