37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
"Exclusion" tears us apart and "embrace" brings us together.,
By A Customer
This review is from: Exclusion & Embrace: A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness, and Reconciliation (Paperback)
This is a beautiful and powerful examination of the forces that bring us together or tear us apart. The book contains many profound ideas with abundant illustrations from the Bible and modern history. Volf is a thoughtful Protestant theologian born in Croatia who has experienced first hand all of the devastating consequences of "exclusion" as practiced between his people and Serbia. He looks at the many ways we exclude people who are different from ourselves by dehumanizing, judging, labeling and demonizing. Thus, we render inferior and less than human, people who differ by race, culture, economic status, religion and gender. And so we perpetuate injustice and victimization.
Volf then shows us that the injustices of "exclusion" can not be righted by revenge. Victims need to repent of what the perpetrators do to their souls lest they mimic the behavior of their oppressors and let themselves be shaped in the mirror image of the enemy. Neither revenge nor reparations can redress old injustices without creating new ones. The only healing path is forgiveness and reconciliation. He suggests that agreement on justice depends on the will to embrace the other and that justice inself will be unjust as long as it does not become a mutual embrace.
He has an interesting view of God's justice. We usually think of justice as treating everybody the same. Volf says that God treats different people differently so that all will be treated justly.
This book is a treasure.