Tuesday, 24 March 2015
Exclusion and Embrace: Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness and Reconciliation,
Miroslav Volf, Abingdon Press, 1996, page 140-141
Inspired by the "drama of reciprocal recognition" in Hegel's The Phenomenology of Spirit, Volf takes the idea of 'embrace' as a picture for the interplay in human relations as reconciliation takes place.
The four structural elements in the movement of embrace are opening the arms, waiting, closing the arms and opening them again. For embrace to happen, all four must be there and they must follow one another on an onbroken rimeline; sopping with the first two (opening the arms and waiting) would abort the embrace, and stopping with the third (closing the arms) would pervert it from an act of love to an act of oppression and, paradoxically, exclusion. The four elements are then the four essential steps of an integrated movement.