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The Family: Home of Holy Anarchy

Fabrice Hadjadj
Fabrice Hadjadj

Neumann’s Dr. Mary Beth Yount will chair a panel discussion entitled The Family: Home of Holy Anarchy on September 22 at 7 p.m. in the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The featured speaker at the event is Fabrice Hadjadj, a French philosopher and writer.

Hadjadj, 44, was born in a suburb of Paris to Jewish parents of Tunisian heritage. An atheist and anarchist in his youth, he converted to Catholicism in 1998 at age 27. His book Réussir sa mort: Anti-méthode pour vivre won the French Grand Prix Catholique de Littérature in 2006. In 2014, he was nominated as member of the Pontifical Council for the Laity.


In a preliminary draft of his September 22 remarks, Hadjadj writes: “To say that the family is humanity’s basic cell means that our fundamental reality is not an individual or social one, but that of the family, which fuses both the individual and social dimensions. This is why the family is ultimately a source of resistance to the dictates of the state as well as to popular delusions.”


He views technology as a threat to the organic anarchy of the family. “Information technologies systematically downgrade the gift of life into data,” he writes. “God’s Revelation does the exact opposite. Where science sees only data, Revelation makes it plain that all the data of the created world are a gift.”


Hadjadj sees technology as an attempt to control and impose uniformity upon the spiritual essence of humanity. “When the ambition of an age is to reconstruct everything on the basis of new technologies, it’s not political anarchism which is most dangerous; it’s the family,” he writes. “It’s a pocket of resistance to the perverted human hunger to control everything, whether that hunger is collective or individual.”


He concludes: “All human dogmas -- including the modern dogmas of liberty and relativism -- tend to submit life to some abstract model and thus to reduce life to a problem with a solution. In contrast, God’s Word goes beyond abstract models and seeks to respect life as a donation in itself, and to show that it is not a problem needing a solution, but a mystery pointing toward redemption.”


Following Hadjadj’s presentation, Dr. Yount will moderate a discussion that includes Dr. Anna Bonta Moreland, an associate professor in the Department of Humanities at Villanova University, and Cardinal Ludwig Gerhard Muller, honorary professor at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich.


The event is free and open to the public.


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