Wednesday, 18 March 2015
Exclusion and Embrace: Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness and Reconciliation,
Miroslav Volf, Abingdon Press, 1996, page 99
Switching now from his basic chapters on 'exclusion' to start looking at 'embrace', Volf examines what he says is the fallacy of the "there is no choice" argument.
In all wars, whether large or small, whether carried out on battlefields, city streets, living rooms or faculty lounges, we come across the same basic exclusionary polarityL "us against them", "their gain - our loss", "either us or them". The stronger the conflict, the more the rich texture of the social world disappears and the stark exclusionary polarity emerges around which all thought and practice aligns itself.
Volf maintains it is necessary to get out of that whole social order to avoid being sucked into the morass. The dichotomy is false, Volf explains, because
to destroy the other rather than be destroyed oneself is itself a choice.
Volf claims that it is possible to resist the vortex of mutual exclusion, to relocate common ground and existence and re-engage in embrace rather then destruction.