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Creating a space for the others
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Creating a space for the others

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Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht
This articledemonstrates howthe “hidden”Europeposes a challenge tothe theologyof diaconia. It... mehr
Creating a space for the others
This articledemonstrates howthe “hidden”Europeposes a challenge tothe theologyof diaconia. It focuses on those who are marginalized. Three documents from the last decadesillustrate that exclusion is a fundamental challenge to modern European societies. The centripetal forces of globalization as well as the centrifugal force of ethnicity tend to destroy genuine pluralism and the democratic way of negotiating differences. By contrast, the Bible has a vision of an alternative response to pluralism, e. g., Jesus’ table fellowships, which affirmthe plurality of identities and the value of marginalized persons. In a similarway, the Pentecost in Acts 2 is a powerful paradigm for negotiating diversity. The Spirit does not bring about a homogenized and secure uniformity, but rather a differentiatedand costly unity of all people. The Bible also highlights the importance of “seeing” others in their otherness. Moreover, seeing the world from the perspective of the “other” is animportant aspect of New Testament testimony. The Christian community is fundamentally an inclusive community marked by hospitality. It is argued, however, that not only the church, but society as whole should become an inclusive community of hospitality. The challenge of diaconia in a European context is to create communities where human dignity has the highest priority.