It's a fictional streetscape we wander, here, a metropolis whose buildings, boulevards, and back alleys are in a constant state of flux. This is every place, and yet, no place at all - a city of dreams and a dream of a city.

Here, we explore the life and work of Ivan Illich and his circle of collaborators. There's no comprehensive index to the articles published, but we invite you to use the Search box, to the left, and to explore the Archive links that appear at the bottom of each page. Comments are welcomed.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Illich's resting place

A few days after Ivan Illich died on Dec. 2, 2002, friends gathered for a funeral mass at a local Bremen church, St. Johann. A Roman Catholic church built by the Franciscans in 1380, St. Johann is located in Bremen's Schnoor, a district of tiny streets dating back to the 10th century. This is St. Johann:

616px StJohann 01

Illich was buried, though, at another church, also called St. Johann but unrelated. This church, located in a part of the Bremen city-state called Oberneuland, is Protestant. There is, we gather, no Catholic burial ground in Bremen. Barbara Duden has told how she had to make a special appeal to this church to get permission for Illich, a Catholic and non-German citizen, to be buried there. There is a tradition, or rule, she learned, that makes special provisions for those are traveling far from home when they die.

This is St. Johann in Oberneuland, as seen in the winter of 2003; we walked there from the center of town, which took most of an hour:


Illich is buried in the yard behind the church. His grave is marked by a well-constructed wooden cross and, when summer arrives, by sunflowers.


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Santa Rosa, California, United States
Writer, photographer, music fan; father and husband living in northern Calif.