Moder Teresa under mikroskopet

Moder Teresa skal helligkåres i Roma 4. september i år, og interessen for henne begynner å øke igjen. I dag leste jeg en artikkel om henne på Mercatornet, en artikkel som presenteres slik: «Although her name is a byword for generous service to humanity, the Albanian-born nun has attracted some criticism. Gëzim Alpion, also Albanian, a sociologist at the University of Birmingham, has become an expert on her life, writings and reputation. His book Mother Teresa: Saint or Celebrity? was published in 2007 and another book is on the way.» I artikkelen leser vi bl.a.:

… My interest in Mother Teresa is part of my own ongoing quest as an individual to make sense of who we are. Notwithstanding her religious devotion, Mother Teresa does not have all the answers to the meaning of life or the hereafter, if there is such a thing.

mother_teresa Which is just as well. In fact, Mother Teresa is of interest to me not because she was enlightened more than others on matters spiritual. On the contrary, my continued interest in her is explained particularly because she herself was in the dark all her life. Not many religious “professionals” would admit this “deficiency” as Mother Teresa did in her talks and writings to her spiritual directors. Honesty and integrity separate her from theological hypocrisy often manifested at institutional level.

… Mother Teresa devoted her life from the late 1940s onwards to “human debris”. This is one of the reasons why she broke up with the Loreto order formally in 1948 to set up her order of the Missionaries of Charity on September, 10, 1950.

Mother Teresa has never worked in relative obscurity, though. The first article on her work as an independent nun was published as early as 29 December 1949 in The Statesman, Kolkata’s leading English language daily established in 1875. My good friend C. M. Paul, founder of Mass Communication Department at Assam Don Bosco University, is currently carrying out pioneering research on representation of Mother Teresa in the Kolkata press between 1948 and 1962.

In view of this, we should perhaps reassess the claim about Malcolm Muggeridge’s “discovery” of Mother Teresa in 1968. By the time Muggeridge accidentally, and arguably rather reluctantly, ended up conducting the first interview with the Albanian-born nun, she had already been discovered throughout India and South East Asia and beyond. Mother Teresa had received national (Padma Shri) and international (Magsaysay) awards in recognition for her work at least six years prior to the chance encounter with Muggeridge.

As such, one could argue that Muggeridge “discovered” Mother Teresa only as far as the Western audience was concerned …

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