As opposed to the traditional concept of lost community, Jean-Luc Nancy stressed the loss of a humanist Christian consciousness that “gives every appearance of recuperating the transcendental illusion of reason when reason exceeds the bounds of all possible experience… the experience of concealed immanence.”(p. 11) Perhaps the most significant implication of this is how “community” is rendered absent in pre-Christian timeline or in non-Christian communities. The religious argument is that God designed men to enter into a relationship and that ideally there is never a loss in the community. It does away with other factors such culture, gender, and politics, among others.
This argument takes a religious standpoint, which unfortunately marginalizes the previously mentioned issues. While it has merits, the Nancy claim is just an aspect and it does not have sole claim to what constitutes a community, and, hence, exclusive causality over the alleged loss. According to Seyla Benhabib, a human has self-identities which are closely linked with the self-other relations. (p. 72) In her explanation, it is clear that religion is not the only basis of the moral judgments and in the formation of self-identity. For example, Linnel Secomb talked about the familial, tribal or cultural similarities as well as the common history and shared cultural institutions as the elements that constitute a community. (p. 85) Is it not that an erosion of any of these elements in the course of time and human experience undermines community, or at least change it?