Wednesday, 4 March 2015
The Dubious Triumph of Inclusion
Exclusion and Embrace: Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness and Reconciliation,
Miroslav Volf, Abingdon Press, 1996, page 60
In the second chapter of the book, 'Exclusion', Volf moves on to talk about the way that the normative western narrative of inclusion, often framed in practice on colonisation, was actually base on exclusion ofthe non-European other.
In the mirrors made in the sweatshops of "submodernity" and held by the exploited and emaciated hand of "the other" a mean streak appears on the face of modernity, acquired through the protracted practice of evil. Those who are conveniently left out of the modern narrative of inclusion because they disturb the integrity of its "happy ending" plot demand a ong and gruesome counter-narrative of exclusion.
After a brief discussion of the Atlantic slave trade, Volf returns to the attack:
Barbaric conquest, colonisation and enslavement of the non-European other, legitimised by the myth of spreading the light of civilisation - this is a non-European counter-narrative of exclusion suppressed by the modern narrative of inclusion. And that counter-narrative is no unfortunate side-plot that, were it excised, would leave the pace and the shape of the narrative of inclusion intact. The undeniable progress of inclusion fed in the persistent practice of exclusion.