The language that spiritual carers use is sometimes a language different from that of policy-makers, doctors or managers. The UCGV thinks along with wedding journalist Peter Henk Steenhuis about the boundaries of language in pastoral care. We join in the preparations for a day of reflection for pastoral caretakers and intermediaries at the Zonneheuvel estate. Read more about the idea behind this project below and on the website Bubbelonie.

Language describes the world, but language also makes the world. We can tell in the pub what touches us, that’s how we describe our world. When we get thirsty, we walk to the bar and order a few beers, so we change the world. At home we talk to family, we fill the public space with conversations, politics benefits from debate, and our work is also largely filled in linguistically. According to René Gude, former thinker of our homeland, however, we have forgotten language in order to speak about common goals, interests and responsibilities. This is because in recent decades we have gone from solidarity to solitude. This led to what Gude called Schnabel’s Law: things are going well with me, things are going badly with us.

Of all the domains in which we use language, one has become too dominant in recent decades: the economic and financial sphere, with the result that “the language of money eats away at our soul” – geographer Ewald Engelen. In other words: the language of the private sphere has gained territorial drive, as a result of which countless concepts have been annexed by the economy. Think of flexible, sustainable, goal, mission, vision, strategy, liberalizing, stress, pressure, debt, ability, performance, career, crisis, customer, client, patient, growth, bank, bonus, result, administration, free, cost, human capital, BV Netherlands. With Welcome to Bubbelonia, we want to beat our own language, as poet Gerrit Kouwenaar once said, listen, dust off, so that we reload our vague financial language and get clear language with which we can also work in the private sphere, the public sphere and the political sphere. That is the goal of Welcome to Bubblyonia, a three-year project made financially possible by the Gak Institute. To achieve that goal, we first need to raise awareness. In the coming years, we want to show through publications, debates, education, games that our language has narrowed. This has consequences for our world view. Because as the Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein said: “The limits of my language are the limits of my world”.

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