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Other: Loving Self, God and Neighbour in a World of Fractures
 
 

Other: Loving Self, God and Neighbour in a World of Fractures [Kindle Edition]

Kester Brewin
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Review

A book for mystics and poets and troubadours of a new world. Brewin invites you to look into the eyes of others and squint a little - to see the image of God. He dares you to see the world with new eyes - to look into the mirror and see one who is beloved, to look into the eyes of the orphan and see Christ, to look into the eyes of those whom we find hard to like and catch a glimpse of the One we love. (Shane Claiborne)

With his new book Other, English author Kester Brewin joins Peter Rollins from Ireland and David Dark from the US as leading public theologians for a new generation of thoughtful Christians. He moves gracefully from Scripture to philosophy to pop culture to sociology and back to Scripture again, offering fresh, honest, and needed insights at each turn. I look forward to keeping up with this important voice in the years ahead. (Brian McLaren)

In our socially networked and technologically advanced world we remain surrounded by mystery: the mystery of others, the divine mystery and mystery that we are unto ourselves. OTHER masterfully explores how we might embrace this often complex reality and draws out how love of that which is other is central to the Christian experience. This is a work of rare beauty. (Peter Rollins, Ikon)

Half-mystic and half hard-core intellectual, Brewin here offers us an intimate, personable, completely accessible and, at times, hauntingly beautiful engagement with the hard questions of emergence theology. This is a brilliant work. It illumines with reverence and care the paradox that is faith, even as it speaks, always with vigour, of love and the reality that lies at the centre of our not-knowing. (Phyllis Tickle)

By turns startling, heart-warming and thought-provoking, Other opens up old themes for a new generation. There are plenty of books that tell you what you expect to hear. This, I'm happy to say, is not one of them. (Maggi Dawn)

'...a brave, generous, wide-ranging and challenging exploration of the essential task facing us all as humans: to love ourselves, God and our neighbours in a world of fractures... It is a book which will become treasured in our festival's community. Indeed, if Greenbelt had a curriculum, OTHER would be required reading.' (Paul Northup, Greenbelt Festival 2010-11-01)

Product Description

'Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?'Jesus replied: '"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: "Love your neighbour as yourself." All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.' Matthew 22:36-40Noisy neighbours, international terrorism, racism, teenage violence and religious fundamentalism ...from the personal to the local to the international and theological, it is our failure to engage 'the other' that is at the heart of so many of the problems we face. Beginning with Jesus' instruction to love God, and love our neighbour as we love ourselves, Brewin explores how we might better engage 'the other' within the Self, within God and within the worlds we inhabit.Drawing on Brewin's work as a theologian, poet and teacher this accessible and highly original work prompts us to reconsider the key question of 'what kind of selves do we need to be in order to live in harmony with others?'

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 363 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder (10 Jun 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004GKMTO0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #499,695 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

http://www.kesterbrewin.com

Kester teaches Mathematics part-time in a south London school, and divides the rest of his time between writing on theology, technology, education and philosophy, and looking after his two children.

An accomplished poet, he also writes on education for a national weekly and is a consultant for the BBC. He has had two non-fiction books published in the last year or two, one on complexity and social change, the other on our relationship with 'the other.' Combining philosophy, sociology and theology, these have provided the background to his first novel, which is just being polished and readied for distribution to agents. Go on - get in touch!



Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An "Other" review 13 July 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A provocative read that will have you saying some loud "Amen's" whilst on other occasions tearing your hair out (assuming you have any!)- definitely a worthwhile read.
The book itself is divided into separate parts that address loving the other; within self, within God, within society and in Praxis. Kester draws you in during the first part and some of his reflections on the way we present ourselves to others is fantastic as it challenges us to think carefully about our own persona and the way we reflect it to others.
I was a little lost when referring to Temporary Autonomous Zones but after re-reading more clarity appeared - struggled with some of the concepts though - but grappling with new things is the point of reading, isn't it?

Well worth buying, reading and chatting through with other folk - this has been a valuable exercise
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading 25 Jun 2010
Format:Paperback
At the heart of Kester Brewin's second non-fiction book is Miraslov Volf's question: `What sort of selves do we need to be to live in harmony with others'? A simple enough question, perhaps. But one which Brewin uses as the touch paper to ignite a brave, generous, wide-ranging and challenging exploration of the essential task facing us all as humans: to love ourselves, God and our neighbours in a `world of fractures.'

And he gives us an incredibly broad range of references and tools with which to re-imagine our task: from philosophy to quantum physics, and from theology and sociology. Sometimes the sheer speed and spectrum of these references can feel dizzying. But trust me: you won't feel battered or ill-read in the end. Instead, there is something for all readers here. Something to catch the way almost any mind and heart might work, I'd guess. And this, too, is part of the genius of the book.

On another level, Other is a deeply personal and candid book. Brewin knits in very real and vulnerable examples from his own life - as a teacher, an emerging church leader and parent - but he is never maudlin or sentimental in doing so. Rather he is saying: look, this is how learning to love the other has looked like for me - what will it look like for you, where you are?

Among the many great seams of thought and research Brewin mines and then embraces and makes part of his project, perhaps of the most inspirational is his building on Hakim Bey's idea of Temporary Autonomous Zones (TAZs). Above all, it is this idea that has haunted me most since reading the book. In particular, the idea that we all need to give up our addiction to permanence as a virtue to be so slavishly pursued.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a good read 30 Jun 2011
By ExPat
Format:Paperback
I really enjoyed Other. In typical Kester Brewin style he takes a range of seemingly unconnected ideas and weaves them together - in some places very successfully and in others feeling like he is running between spinning plates. But more than anything I loved the way he wove all his ideas around a deep commitment to the search for genuine engagement with what is alien to us - within ourselves and within other people, and even within God. When Jesus told a young lawyer to love his neighbour as he loved himself, it wasn't a challenge to put walls around his comfort zone, but to become vulnerable to those who are perceived as the alien or even the enemy. How to do that in our modern, western, individualised, digitised world is precisely what Kester explores. A good read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brain manna 8 Dec 2010
Format:Paperback
"The fire that enters us at Pentecost is the searing desert sun and the light falling through the thinning canopy: the spirit is Heidegger's clearing, the wisdom of Jesus that understands we are being and doing, adoration and action, and human and Other. It is only as we engage one another in good faith that we will enter this perpetual life-cycle where the divine becomes human so that the human can become divine."

It's hard to argue with that. And I wouldn't want to. I'm a vicar's kid who grew up in cold, hard, dull churches. So I thought God and all his followers were much the same. But I had something of a conversion somewhere along the way. And somehow I've ended up helping to run a church where I have responsibility for the pastoral care of others. Or as I should say, Others.

This book really helped me understand my own journey and gave voice to my unspoken inner conviction that to truly receive God's love I have to participate in it. That is, to join in the God-business of figuring out what it really means to love Others.

I loved it. Although I confess to you that several chunks took a few Starbucks visits to get my head round. Brewin has the heart of a saint but the mind of a genius. I've rarely read any "Christian" book that draws on such a wide body of knowledge. It's the book's freedom from the usual self-referential fare that so many "Christian" authors recycle that makes it so interesting, fresh and provocative. Buy it!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
5.0 out of 5 stars Re-imagine What It Is Like To Love Others 7 Nov 2013
By Brian Murphy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
This book was fantastic. There were so many gems in here that it is really difficult to describe them all. The book doesn't set out to give you all the answers and if you read it you'll see that's not the point anyways. Brewin inspires our awareness of the other, in ourselves, in others, in God, and in the world. He gives examples of transformative experiences and encounters and provides a framework for truly loving the other, wherever they may be found.

The ideas in this book aren't entirely new to me, although it went into detail on a lot of topics that I have been wondering about. For most of the western church however, and unfortunately, it will be new, challenging, and possibly upsetting. The ideas in this book need to be heard and allowed to transform our churches. This is definitely worth the read and I know I'll be reading it again.
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