Imagine There’s No Countries: Contemplating Nations and Nationalism

Our theme this year has been “The Earth, the Air, the Fire, the Water”. We have explored land ownership, community, and how to be in this world with climate change. This Sunday, we will talk about nations as communities that humans create, feel part of, or seek to belong to. Nationalism, like religion, can be used exclude and harm, and this becomes a great challenge as we face climate-induced mass migration and wars. Thus, some of us have come to understand nationalism primarily negatively – employed by those in power to rile up, appeal to tribal instincts, close borders, even wage war. But national identity has also been the motivating force for colonized peoples to achieve independence, and it has been instrumental in giving countries attacked by others a reason to fight for self-determination. How do we as a small community of somewhat like-minded people think about nation and nationalism, and how will this shape our views and actions in the world?

Friederike Keating has been with MMUUF since 2004. She is an immigrant from Germany who has by now spent half her life in the US, most of that right here in Jericho. Her views on nationalism were shaped by lessons learned growing up in post-post-war Germany, and challenged by recent events. She has raised two children in Jericho and works as a cardiologist at UVM Medical Center.

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion, too

John Lennon


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