How Religion Can Make Friends of Strangers
Churches can create the context in which sociability can be made safe and expressed.
One of the things that stop communities from forming is the lack of a host. What does a host do? A host gathers a group of people together and does a very simple job of releasing their sociability, of making sociability safe within, in some ways, a limited context. So, a day a week or in a particular building sociability can be made safe.
Nowadays in the modern city, in the anonymity of the modern republic, we tend to walk around with stern faces and do not talk to strangers. And we don’t talk to them because we think, guided by the media, that they’re all very strange, potentially murderers, pedophiles, crazy people so that we want nothing to do with them.
Churches and communities of the religious persuasion often brings strangers together and say, "Look, beneath the mask of strangeness, there is potentially goodness and sociability." And it creates the context in which sociability can be made safe and expressed.
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