Tuesday, August 18, 2009


If protestant churches are themselves scarcely decorated, Mennonite ones go a step further and lack any ornamentation at all. An abstract spirituality didn’t put Muslim calligraphists and architects to come up with Esfahan mosques. Its intricate designs avoid human figures but resourcefully extract all possibilities of flowers and purely geometric figures. Mennonites don’t just avoid representation; they avoid any sort of decoration. This iconoclast spirit also means they don’t have tombs for their dead. Only the land he so eagerly worked and oblivion wait for each man after his material cycle is over. Both religiously and economically, Mennonites are nothing but pragmatic. In the same way they do without the aesthetic additives of their temples they equally discard the symbolic background of the land they plough. Most of them couldn’t point the areas of Germany and the Netherlands their community is originally from. Most of the adults in the Colony at Nueva Esperanza were born in other Mennonite colonies in Mexico and Bolivia, out of a Nordic gene pool, displaced again towards Argentina, so I can understand they identify with their community rather than with any of the countries they have paraded through. The contrast is generated by their being so uprooted from the symbolic dimension of the grounds they work, while so inserted glued to it at a literal and concrete level.

1 comment:

Angelina said...

I admire the title of this post! It tells a lot about what RELIGION is for those who live by their means!