Protest As Prayer: Paul Ricoeur and the Surplus of Political Meaning

By Timothy Harvie.

Published by The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: August 17, 2016 $US5.00

This article argues that participation through social activism in the form of protest can be understood as a religious praxis of prayer within the public realm. Using Paul Ricoeur’s account of the surplus of meaning found in symbolics, I will argue that protest involves a hermeneutical act which offers an account of the world and generates a multiplicity of meaning by envisaging other possible worlds for religious and societal bodies to inhabit. The surplus of meaning found in the generative, responsible action of protest for and with another embodies, in action, the same movement as prayer in Christian religious communities. As such, the praxis of protest in movements of social justice can be understood to have eschatological and sacramental dimensions found in Christian prayer.

Keywords: Ricoeur, Symbols, Politics, Protest, Prayer, Hermeneutics

The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society, Volume 6, Issue 4, December 2016, pp.37-43. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: August 17, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 319.680KB)).

Dr. Timothy Harvie

Associate Professor and Chair, Humanities, St. Mary's University, Calgary, Alberta, Canada