In his beautiful book, Berlin Childhood around 1900, Walter Benjamin endeavors to narrate his childhood years without the tinge of nostalgia, but nevertheless, in a way that is enchanted. Nostalgia, he implies, and I agree, does not enable but, rather, undoes the magic of enchantment. Nostalgia – the past idealized – is a weapon easily employed by fascism. It paralyzes our ability to live with our past integrated honestly with our present. It undermines the possibilities of liberation in our future.
Theological themes of memory and nostalgia captivate my imagination. How can we remember well? Continue reading