Paulo Freire & George Stoney Church Conversation

Uploaded by daveolive on 31.07.2012

(GCS) Paulo Freire, the Brazilian educator and philosopher,
was born in Recife where we are now.
we know that his work has had an effect all over the world
I asked him about religion at the time
he was a strongly religious person and
you see his response, yes...
(Julio off camera) ok, filming...
as a Protestant
I grew up with the
idea that all of this
glory and beauty and so forth
was the very symbol of oppression.
and you seem to have embraced it.
(Paulo Freire) yes, look, but maybe first of all
I should tell you that
I am
I seek, and I hope, that
I am much more
a man of faith
than a religious man.
maybe I have to work a little bit about this
on this difference.
That is, I strongly believe
I never could think
in the in-existence of God
for even one second.
Nevertheless, more and more
I don't feel, too much
the need for a church
in order for me to discover God.
Because above all for me
the... the true temple of God
is your body
is my body
is our bodies.
my rejection, mainly to the
bureaucratic aspects of the church life.
for example...
no matter if it is the Catholic method or methods
a Protestant Church, no matter...
that is....
in some moment
even though the churches are strongly
becoming world
they forget the world
and they seek justice of heaven
(GCS) yes.
It is as if the poor
in knowing they are poor
they became satisfied
just because they know that
they are being loved by God.
I am not a professional of theology
nevertheless, I also recognize how
theology of liberation touches, touched me
and how much I also touched the theologians of liberation.
(Father Patrick Clarke) So liberation theology began to design
a project of empowerment
within the church structures
by turning theology on it's head.
In other words,
Let's look at the way people live,
especially the poor.
Instead of offering them charity
and saying it will be grand in heaven, you know,
don't worry about that, because you know,
your suffering here will passing...
You'll have a great time when you get up there.
so, they turned this on it's head
and they said...
hey...there's loads of suffering here that's not necessary.
There's no God who wills
No God that we believe in
who wills that you suffer,
just for the sake of it.
and there's a whole load of stuff that is
of our own making
and of the making of the society that we live in.
but which we are disenfranchised in,
so how do we go about redressing that?
The theology of liberation
does not dichotomize
worldliness from transcendentality.
I think that the other things come up from this,
this impossibility to dichotomize
here and the there.
This theology of liberation
discovered the obvious.
That in order for us to go there,
it's necessary to be here.
I cannot arrive over there,
if I don't start from someplace.
and this place I start is precisely the world.
and secondly,
after that I think that it became easy
to perceive that
our great task is
is to make the heaven here.
and now, that is to build it here.
happiness here, and not just wait for arriving there.
to the extent that I don't dichotomize
worldliness from transcendentality,
neccesarly I understand the
the human beings historically
I understand the human beings
it their relationships
and also I understand them
here and now
fighting for being.
and then the question now is whether
I, I choose
for progressive world or a reactionary, immobilizing one.
Because maybe of that
I repeat to you that I feel myself
much more a man of faith,
than a religious man.
I think that one of the virtues
which we have to create in ourselves when
we seek to change the world is precisely
the virtue or the quality of
of dealing with the difference,
and being with the difference
and learning with the difference.
I have nothing with you
against you, if you, if you have
the same dreams that you
You would like to have
a world less ugly.
This is what I want also.
Why to fight with you
because you don't like the Saturdays.
I don't fight because of the objective things
but because of the substantive things.
What I want is a world in which it is easier for us to love.
This is what you want also!
I think that the question for us is
not to feel superior or inferior to the other believers
to the extent that we
believe in different ways.
For example, I also know or recognize that
the faith has... has also needs....a.... some....
some material...
a box... for example...
I use this metaphor
that is there is a certain relationship
between my faith and the way
how I manifest it.
It's beautiful...
(GCS) I think the essence of
the kind of Protestantism that I was reared around
and my father wanted to free me from
the belief that covered ignorance,
that did not question
you had no right to question.
My father was constantly questioning
and that's what I got from him.
and that was a good thing.
(PF) Good thing, yes...
(GCS) but what I did not get from him
was a kind of...
relaxation in being that you seem to have.
(PF) yes
(GCS) where do you think that comes from in your background?
(PF) I think that it comes mainly
from, from a, how do you say...
fundamental, fundamental,
a way of understanding
our own position in the world, I think.
that is...
I am sure that one of these things
we should ask every day to ourselves, is:
Why am I here? and....
With whom am I?
With whom I fight?
Against whom I fight.
What is my dream?
In favor of what must I be in history?
I think that it
for example...
the more I ask questions like this,
the more I perceive
the need I have to be consistent
with my friendship with Christ.
(GCS) Your friendship with Christ?
(PF) yes (GCS-reacts)
(PF) That's inglorious perhaps, no?
(GCS) That's a beautiful phrase
not a fear of Christ
but a friendship with Christ
Not fear of Christ, I never was afraid of Christ.
because in my point of view
to be afraid of Christ
is a way of offending him.
(GCS) offending him?
Offending him.
Denying him.
(GCS) yes
It is a contradiction
I cannot understand Christ
a liberating, a liberator of me
or ask,
if at the same time I am afraid of him.
Maybe I can be afraid,
but afraid of offending him,
not afraid of him.
(organ music)
Christ always meant for me and suggested for me friendship.
To be together,
To help,
To be helped,
To answer questions to me
and to ask questions to me.
(julio-off camera) George?
(GCS) yes?
(julio-off camera) talk to me...
(GCS) ok
Beautiful flowers back there...
(PF) yes
We should get this man back
(julio-off camera) ok...let's go to the car?
(GCS) sure (PF) yes
(Satie) Hello... who wants a water coconut? Hey Paulo? Here... Would you like some sangria?
(GCS) I...
after the big snowstorm, thank-you,
(PF) no, no, take it, take it, take this...
after this big snowstorm
I went out with my camera
no cars on fifth avenue,
I went by subway to Rockefeller Center to get my VISA
no cars around.... fifth avenue...
people out walking
some on skis.... (laughs)
and everybody friendly
(PF) good
(GCS) like a holiday.
(PF) yes, (laughs)
(background announcement)
(PF) Very good water...
(GCS) Wonderful blue sky....