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Title:Exclusion & Embrace: A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness, and Reconciliation
Format Type:Ebook
Author:Miroslav Volf
Publisher:Abingdon Press
ISBN:0687002826
ISBN 13:
Number of Pages:306
Category:Theology, Non fiction, Religion, Christianity, Christian, Philosophy

Exclusion & Embrace: A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness, and Reconciliation by Miroslav Volf

PDF, EPUB, MOBI, TXT, DOC Exclusion & Embrace: A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness, and Reconciliation Life at the end of the twentieth century presents us with a disturbing reality Otherness the simple fact of being different in some way has come to be defined as in and of itself evil Miroslav Volf contends that if the healing word of the gospel is to be heard today Christian theology must find ways of speaking that address the hatred of the other Reaching back to the New Testament metaphor of salvation as reconciliation Volf proposes the idea of embrace as a theological response to the problem of exclusion .

Increasingly we see that exclusion has become the primary sin skewing our perceptions of reality and causing us to react out of fear and anger to all those who are not within our ever narrowing circle In light of this Christians must learn that salvation comes not only as we are reconciled to God and not only as we learn to live with one another but as we take the dangerous and costly step of opening ourselves to the other of enfolding him or her in the same embrace with which we have been enfolded by God .

Is there any hope of embracing our enemies Of opening the door to reconciliation Miroslav Volf a Yale University theologian has won the Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Religion for his book Exclusion amp Embrace A Theological Exploration of Identity Otherness and Reconciliation Abingdon Volf argues that exclusion of people who are alien or different is among the most intractable problems in the world today He writes It may not be too much to claim that the future of our world will depend on how we deal with identity and difference The issue is urgent The ghettos and battlefields throughout the world in the living rooms in inner cities or on the mountain ranges testify indisputably to its importance A Croatian by birth Volf takes as a starting point for his analysis the recent civil war and ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia but he readily finds other examples of cultural ethnic and racial conflict to illustrate his points And since September one can scarcely help but plug the new world players into his incisive descriptions of the dynamics of interethnic and international strife .

Exclusion happens Volf argues wherever impenetrable barriers are set up that prevent a creative encounter with the other It is easy to assume that exclusion is the problem or practice of barbarians who live over there but Volf persuades us that exclusion is all too often our practice here as well Modern western societies including American society typically recite their histories as narratives of inclusion and Volf celebrates the truth in these narratives But he points out that these narratives conveniently omit certain groups who disturb the integrity of their happy ending plots Therefore such narratives of inclusion invite long and gruesome counter narratives of exclusion the brutal histories of slavery and of the decimation of Native American populations come readily to mind but more current examples could also be found .

Most proposed solutions to the problem of exclusion have focused on social arrangements what kind of society ought we to create in order to accommodate individual or communal difference Volf focuses rather on what kind of selves we need to be in order to live in harmony with others In addressing the topic Volf stresses the social implications of divine self giving The Christian scriptures attest that God does not abandon the godless to their evil but gives of Godself to bring them into communion We are called to do likewise whoever our enemies and whoever we may be The divine mandate to embrace as God has embraced is summarized in Paul s injunction to the Romans Welcome one another therefore just as Christ has welcomed you Romans .

Susan R Garrett Coordinator of the Religion Award said that the Grawemeyer selection committee praised Volf s book on many counts These included its profound interpretation of certain pivotal passages of Scripture and its brilliant engagement with contemporary theology philosophy critical theory and feminist theory Volf s focus is not on social strategies or programs but rather on showing us new ways to understand ourselves and our relation to our enemies He helps us to imagine new possibilities for living against violence injustice and deception Garrett added that although addressed primarily to Christians Volf s theological statement opens itself to religious pluralism by upholding the importance of different religious and cultural traditions for the formation of personal and group identity The call to embrace the other is never a call to remake the other into one s own image Volf who had just delivered a lecture on the topic of Exclusion and Embrace at a prayer breakfast for the United Nations when the first hijacked plane hit the World Trade Center will present a lecture and receive his award in Louisville during the first week of April .

The annual Religion Award which includes a cash prize of is given jointly by Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and the University of Louisville to the authors or originators of creative works that contribute significantly to an understanding of the relationship between human beings and the divine and ways in which this relationship may inspire or empower human beings to attain wholeness integrity or meaning either individually or in community The Grawemeyer awards given also by the University of Louisville in the fields of musical composition education psychology and world order honor the virtue of accessibility works chosen for the awards must be comprehensible to thinking persons who are not specialists in the various fields

Exclusion & Embrace: A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness, and Reconciliation

Life at the end of the twentieth century presents us with a disturbing reality Otherness the simple fact of being different in some way has come to be defined as in and of itself evil Miroslav Volf contends that if the healing word of the gospel is to be heard today Christian theology must find ways of speaking that address the hatred of the other Reaching back to the New Testament metaphor of salvation as reconciliation Volf proposes the idea of embrace as a theological response to the problem of exclusion br br Increasingly we see that exclusion has become the primary sin skewing our perceptions of reality and causing us to react out of fear and anger to all those who are not within our ever narrowing circle In light of this Christians must learn that salvation comes not only as we are reconciled to God and not only as we learn to live with one another but as we take the dangerous and costly step of opening ourselves to the other of enfolding him or her in the same embrace with which we have been enfolded by God br br Is there any hope of embracing our enemies Of opening the door to reconciliation Miroslav Volf a Yale University theologian has won the Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Religion for his book Exclusion amp Embrace A Theological Exploration of Identity Otherness and Reconciliation Abingdon Volf argues that exclusion of people who are alien or different is among the most intractable problems in the world today He writes It may not be too much to claim that the future of our world will depend on how we deal with identity and difference The issue is urgent The ghettos and battlefields throughout the world in the living rooms in inner cities or on the mountain ranges testify indisputably to its importance A Croatian by birth Volf takes as a starting point for his analysis the recent civil war and ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia but he readily finds other examples of cultural ethnic and racial conflict to illustrate his points And since September one can scarcely help but plug the new world players into his incisive descriptions of the dynamics of interethnic and international strife br br Exclusion happens Volf argues wherever impenetrable barriers are set up that prevent a creative encounter with the other It is easy to assume that exclusion is the problem or practice of barbarians who live over there but Volf persuades us that exclusion is all too often our practice here as well Modern western societies including American society typically recite their histories as narratives of inclusion and Volf celebrates the truth in these narratives But he points out that these narratives conveniently omit certain groups who disturb the integrity of their happy ending plots Therefore such narratives of inclusion invite long and gruesome counter narratives of exclusion the brutal histories of slavery and of the decimation of Native American populations come readily to mind but more current examples could also be found br br Most proposed solutions to the problem of exclusion have focused on social arrangements what kind of society ought we to create in order to accommodate individual or communal difference Volf focuses rather on what kind of selves we need to be in order to live in harmony with others In addressing the topic Volf stresses the social implications of divine self giving The Christian scriptures attest that God does not abandon the godless to their evil but gives of Godself to bring them into communion We are called to do likewise whoever our enemies and whoever we may be The divine mandate to embrace as God has embraced is summarized in Paul s injunction to the Romans Welcome one another therefore just as Christ has welcomed you Romans br br Susan R Garrett Coordinator of the Religion Award said that the Grawemeyer selection committee praised Volf s book on many counts These included its profound interpretation of certain pivotal passages of Scripture and its brilliant engagement with contemporary theology philosophy critical theory and feminist theory Volf s focus is not on social strategies or programs but rather on showing us new ways to understand ourselves and our relation to our enemies He helps us to imagine new possibilities for living against violence injustice and deception Garrett added that although addressed primarily to Christians Volf s theological statement opens itself to religious pluralism by upholding the importance of different religious and cultural traditions for the formation of personal and group identity The call to embrace the other is never a call to remake the other into one s own image Volf who had just delivered a lecture on the topic of Exclusion and Embrace at a prayer breakfast for the United Nations when the first hijacked plane hit the World Trade Center will present a lecture and receive his award in Louisville during the first week of April br br The annual Religion Award which includes a cash prize of is given jointly by Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and the University of Louisville to the authors or originators of creative works that contribute significantly to an understanding of the relationship between human beings and the divine and ways in which this relationship may inspire or empower human beings to attain wholeness integrity or meaning either individually or in community The Grawemeyer awards given also by the University of Louisville in the fields of musical composition education psychology and world order honor the virtue of accessibility works chosen for the awards must be comprehensible to thinking persons who are not specialists in the various fields


Free of Charge: Giving and Forgiving in a Culture Stripped of Grace

We are at our human best when we give and forgive But we live in a world in which it makes little sense to do either one In our increasingly graceless culture where can we find the motivation to give And how do we learn to forgive when forgiving seems counterintuitive or even futile A deeply personal yet profoundly thoughtful book Free of Charge explores these questions and the further questions to which they give rise in light of God s generosity and Christ s sacrifice for us Miroslav Volf draws from popular culture as well as from a wealth of literary and theological sources weaving his rich reflections around the sturdy frame of Paul s vision of God s grace and Martin Luther s interpretation of that vision Blending the best of theology and spirituality he encourages us to echo in our own lives God s generous giving and forgiving A fresh examination of two practices at the heart of the Christian faith giving and forgiving the Archbishop of Canterbury s Lenten study book for is at the same time an introduction to Christianity Even more it is a compelling invitation to Christian faith as a way of life Miroslav Volf one of the most celebrated theologians of our day offers us a unique interweaving of intense reflection vivid and painfully personal stories and sheer celebration of the giving God I cannot remember having read a better account of what it means to say that Jesus suffered for us in our place Dr Rowan Williams Archbishop of Canterbury


Allah: A Christian Response

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A Public Faith: How Followers of Christ Should Serve the Common Good

Debates rage today about the role of religions in public life As the world becomes increasingly interconnected various religions come to inhabit the same space But how do they live together especially when each wants to shape the public realm according to the dictates of its own sacred texts and traditions How does the Christian faith relate in the religious pluralism of contemporary public life br While Volf argues that there is no single way Christian faith relates to culture as a whole he explores major issues on the frontlines of faith today In what way does the Christian faith come to malfunction in the contemporary world and how should we counter these malfunctions What should a Christian s main concern be when it comes to living well in the world today and How should we go about realizing a vision for human flourishing in relation to other faiths and under the roof of a single state br Covering such timely issues as witness in a multifaith society and political engagement in a pluralistic world this compelling book highlights things Christians can do to serve the common good


The End of Memory: Remembering Rightly in a Violent World

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After Our Likeness: The Church as the Image of the Trinity

In i After Our Likeness i the inaugural volume in the Sacra Doctrina series Miroslav Volf explores the relationship between persons and community in Christian theology The focus is the community of grace the Christian church The point of departure is the thought of the first Baptist John Smyth and the notion of church as gathered community that he shared with Radical Reformers br br Volf seeks to counter the tendencies toward individualism in Protestant ecclesiology and to suggest a viable understanding of the church in which both person and community are given their proper due In the process he engages in a sustained and critical ecumenical dialogue with the Catholic and Orthodox ecclesiologies of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger and the metropolitan John Zizioulas The result is a brilliant ecumenical study that spells out a vision of the church as an image of the triune God


Work in the Spirit: Toward a Theology of Work

Since the rise of modern industrial society work has come to pervade and rule the lives of men and women Although there have been many popular books on the Christian understanding of work this is the first scholarly effort to articulate a developed Protestant theology Volf interprets work from a new perspective in terms of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit and explores the nature of work in both capitalist and socialist societies Within these macroeconomic frameworks he considers a variety of work including industrial agricultural medical political and artistic Volf rejects the traditional protestant understanding of work as vocation and argues for a doctrine of work as cooperation with God


Flourishing: Why We Need Religion in a Globalized World

More than almost anything else globalization and the great world religions are shaping our lives affecting everything from the public policies of political leaders and the economic decisions of industry bosses and employees to university curricula all the way to the inner longings of our hearts Integral to both globalization and religions are compelling overlapping and sometimes competing visions of what it means to live well br br In this perceptive deeply personal and beautifully written book a leading theologian sheds light on how religions and globalization have historically interacted and argues for what their relationship ought to be Recounting how these twinned forces have intersected in his own life he shows how world religions despite their malfunctions remain one of our most potent sources of moral motivation and contain within them profoundly evocative accounts of human flourishing Globalization should be judged by how well it serves us for living out our authentic humanity as envisioned within these traditions Through renewal and reform religions might in turn shape globalization so that can be about more than bread alone


Against the Tide: Love in a Time of Petty Dreams and Persisting Enmities

Miroslav Volf s writing beautifully points away from the pettiness and selfishness so prominent in our culture today and toward the love that Christians are called to exemplify His insights in this volume will inform and inspire all who wish to follow that path of love


Practicing Theology: Beliefs and Practices in Christian Life

In a time when academic theology often neglects the lived practices of the Christian community this volume seeks to bring balance to the situation by showing the dynamic link between the task of theology and the practices of the Christian life br br The work of thirteen first rate theologians from several cultural and Christian perspectives these informed and informative essays explore the relationship between Christian theology and practice in the daily lives of believers in the ministry of Christian communities and as a needed focus within Christian education br br Contributors Dorothy C Bass br Nancy Bedford br Gilbert Bond br Sarah Coakley br Craig Dykstra br Reinhard Hutter br L Gregory Jones br Serene Jones br Amy Plantinga Pauw br Christine Pohl br Kathryn Tanner br Miroslav Volf br Tammy Williams


A Public Faith: How Followers of Christ Should Serve the Common Good, Against the Tide: Love in a Time of Petty Dreams and Persisting Enmities, Free of Charge: Giving and Forgiving in a Culture Stripped of Grace, Flourishing: Why We Need Religion in a Globalized World, Allah: A Christian Response, The End of Memory: Remembering Rightly in a Violent World, Work in the Spirit: Toward a Theology of Work, Exclusion & Embrace: A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness, and Reconciliation, After Our Likeness: The Church as the Image of the Trinity, Practicing Theology: Beliefs and Practices in Christian Life