The christian calling and communication

Washington Uranga-

I shelter myself in a text -ancient but recently known- from Jesús Martín-Barbero, to begin a reflection that has as an end to analyse the value of communication from the perspective of the christian faith. In his PhD thesis -written in 1972 but just published in 2018- the colombian spanish master asserts that “dialoguing is beginning a one to one relationship, is launching my word to the encounter not of a resonance but of an answer. When I address the other it’s not a universal speech what I’m looking for, but their particular voice. Asking a question is assuming a name. In their answer or in their silence, the other accepts or not to take part of the ‘us’ that makes communication possible”[1].

Without directly mentioning it Martín-Barbero designs in this paragraph the essential meaning of human communication, which is also that of christian communication: the encounter with the other, parting from the difference and with the goal of constructing, collective and dialectically, the meeting based on rights and mutual recognition.

With mistakes and limitations, but with a firm conviction of walking by that path, the christian communicators from Latin America and the Caribbean have moved along this road over the last decades. To try to integrate our faith perspective with our responsibility as citizens from this part of the world, permanently pierced by conflicts, by differences, by disputes.

From view, communication is always a task that aims to the encounter, without that guaranteeing results. Because we recognize the process of communication is also of conflicts, differences, tensions, difficulties, ultimately, an area of symbolic and legitimate fight for the power of society. It’s a labour that requires vocation and also technical and professional skills to arrive at the best results.

Thus, we’ve understood that thinking and practicing communication goes beyond the techniques and the instruments. It remits us, inevitably, to human communication, because there is the source that constitutes the fundamental aspect of our life in society.

For this reason too, ina theoretical and practical way, we pretended to depict in our projects the perspective of communications as a fundamental human right, enabler of the set of rights insofar as it informs, generates conditions, and allows the assertion of them. We are convinced that there does not exist truly democratic societies without a communication that’ is equally so.

Between the other reasons because communicators have such an strategic role in the exploration of reality and in the construction of collective senses to interpret them. A task that, from our particular experience, must also be illuminated from the faith.

It is not a coincidence that a big part of our experiences with popular, communitary and civic communication in our latin american and caribbean region are pushed and promoted by christian communities and organizations. There is in these practices the idea that as part of our faithful calling we need to favour the visibility and free exercise of speech that is a experience of freedom for those who are affected by exclusion and live in situations of oppression. It is not about speaking in the name of others, but about enabling the voice of everyone and strengthening our own hearing so that it’s our word the one transforms in the experience of dialogue and makes a community with us.

It is also, as christians, the testimony that we can give to society through the exercise of our calling and the profession of communicators.

[1] Martín-Barbero, J., 2018. La palabra y la acción. Por una dialéctica de la liberación. Editorial Pontificia Universidad Javeriana. p. 103

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *