I’m reading for my dissertation at the moment and it is a great joy to be cossetted away with so many amazing books. Among the best in the last few weeks have been:
Vulnerable Communion, T Reynolds
The Theology of Food, Angel F Mendez-Montoya
The Disabled God, N Eisland
Becoming Human by Jean Vanier, the titan of theology on living together in community, is one of the shortest yet most powerful. He speaks into the parable of Lazarus and the rich man, considering why there is separation between them, on earth and in heaven. He concludes:
I am beginning to discover how fear is a terrible motivating force in all our lives. We are frightened of those who are different. We are frightened of failure and rejection. And I have become increasingly aware now only of my own fears but of the fears of others. Fear is at the root of all forms of exclusion, just as trust is at the root of all forms of inclusion…There is an endless list of those whom we may exclude; every one of us, we may be sure, is on someone’s list: the homeless, the sick, the young, the old, the weak, the disabled, the stranger, the immigrant, those with AIDS…p71
Who do we fear and avoid, deep down, and what are we going to do to effect reconciliation with them and our broken selves?