On the edge of the inside

An Internet search for the above phrase will produce several references to Richard Rohr. One link describes the “Eight Core Principles” of Rohr’s Center for Action and Contemplation. One principle is that “practical truth is more likely found at the bottom and the edges than at the top or the center of most groups, institutions, and cultures.” Another reference is Rohr’s describes 2-page essay, “On The Edge of the Inside: The Prophetic Position.”

That Internet search takes you to David Brooks’ 2016 New York Times opinion piece, “At the Edge of Inside” based on Rohr’s work. Brooks wrote, “…those who are at the edge of the inside …. are within the organization, but they’re not subsumed by the group think. They work at the boundaries, bridges and entranceways.” Brooks quotes Rohr, saying that when you live on the edge of any group, “you are free from its central seductions, but also free to hear its core message in very new and creative ways.”

Through the years I’ve read numerous Rohr references to prophetic voices “on the edge” or “on the periphery.” But yesterday Rohr helped me see that this idea comes, at least in part, from the lived example of a quiet hero–Brother Lawrence (1614-1691). More about him tomorrow.

From “Living on the Edge of the Inside,” daviddurham.org, July 11, 2016

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