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​Looking

· Editorial ·

A unique event, which we often forget, characterizes our Christian tradition: God was made man. And in the body of this man he met human beings. In the current discussion on subjects such as the use (abuse) of social media and the consequent loss of personal identity, on the increase in isolation and on the absolute lack of knowledge of others let us try to think of an alternative, a different way of finding some human dimensions which seem to us to be being reduced. Thus is born our proposal, to return to that unique event: to our humanity. In returning to it there is a path of salvation. For the individual, hidden identity which we can create behind our user names on social media, we suggest substituting the more totalizing experience of rediscovering the world through the senses. The world is far more than the images conveyed by the media, and it is through our senses that we can grasp it in all its richness.

Doaa el-Adl, “Self-Portrait”

Jesus is a man of words and silences, of listening, of looking, of touching, given and received. Women are his main companions in this: it is women who note where his body is laid (cf. Mk 15:47), it is a woman who bathes his feet with her tears, kisses them and anoints them with ointment (cf. Lk 7:38). It is precisely to these women, who have been forbidden by history to look, to raise their eyes and who have been obliged to keep their eyes cast down, it is precisely to them, who are frightened, who are looking at the ground, that the Risen One addresses the first word of salvation, a word which liberates (cf. Lk 24:4). And today women need to rediscover themselves freed in order to transmit freedom and life.

Eyes set free: our proposal starts from here. What sort of experience do we propose to the still free gaze of children? Teaching can play a special role in opening questions on the processes of formation of the gaze (Rosana Brambilla). In our western society which reduces the world to images, when we make social media the principle vector of daily life, the eye is directed towards ourselves and no longer to others, our looking is restricted to selfies (Piero Di Domenicantonio). Looking permits us to see and contemplate beauty, thus painting and sculpture are to be considered as a “patrimony”, according to a wonderful text of the Muslim tradition (Samuela Pagani). Savouring life, the world and relationships is the promise of every existence, and it was for this reason that a women who has made attention to life her modus vivendi, prayed with the words of the poet George Herbert: “‘Ah, my dear, / I cannot look on thee.’ / Love took my hand, and smiling did reply, / ‘Who made the eyes but I?’”. (elisa zamboni)

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