Just Love The Other? : An examination of the narrative of “the other” in Hauerwas’ and Bonhoeffer’s theologies

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Teologiska institutionen

Author: Jael Ahlin; [2021]

Keywords: ;

Abstract: The processes of “othering” often create coarse images of “the other”, therefore there is a need to rethink the narrative of “the other”. A fruitful narrative of “the other” could be helpful in the interaction in multi-religious and multicultural social settings. The aim is to scrutinize the narrative of “the other” in Christian thought, in order to see if there is a Christian particular and fruitful narrative of “the other”, and if so, if this representation is useful in peace-processes. This study investigates how the representation of “the other” from a Christian context may be helpful in shifting attitudes. Specifically, it investigates the history and settings of “the other” and “othering”, and tries to find a more inclusive approach. In order to test the hypothesis that a fruitful narrative on “the other” could be beneficial in peace-processes, an analysis is done of “the other” within Christian faith. This takes place in distinction to the phenomenological and ethical perspective, with a broad set of literature and articles. This qualitative literature analysis examines the Christology and ecclesiology in Stanley Hauerwas’ and Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s theological writings, with the help of a theoretical framework, which is developed to classify structural features.  The results suggest that there is a potentiality in redefining “the other”, and that Bonhoeffer’s and Hauerwas’ understanding of the narrative of “the other” leads to belonging (inclusivism) rather than exclusivism. On this basis, this narrative should be taken into account in peace-processes, because an understanding of “the other” is beneficial in accepting differences as something that unite us rather than divide us.

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