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Title: Inner City Poverty and the Ethic of Accompaniment
Author(s): SKOTNICI, Andrew
Journal: Louvain Studies
Volume: 26    Issue: 1   Date: spring 2001   
Pages: 50-62
DOI: 10.2143/LS.26.1.583417

Abstract :
In this essay I shall argue that any attempt to understand, let alone address, the tragedy and injustice of inner city poverty by those living in more structurally-privileged locales requires an ethic of accompaniment. The heart of this ethic is found in a compassionate presence that Alfred Schutz calls 'growing old together.' I shall also argue that Bergson is correct in his claim that the distinction between what he terms 'city' and 'world,' or, in the present case, between the culture of affluence and the world of the poor, is not one of degree but of kind. The epistemological and moral constraints that derive from this condition can be shattered by an experience of the transcendent source of life: the type of experience normally associated with contemplative prayer. Since this project calls upon one to view the universal through the lens of the particular, it seems appropriate to begin with a story.

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