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A New Demand: The Challenge of Inclusion to the Theology and Practice of Diaconia
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A New Demand: The Challenge of Inclusion to the Theology and Practice of Diaconia

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Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht
Twomeanings of inclusion are being discussed presently: a concept of ’functional inclusion’ and a... mehr
A New Demand: The Challenge of Inclusion to the Theology and Practice of Diaconia
Twomeanings of inclusion are being discussed presently: a concept of ’functional inclusion’ and a normative concept of human rights based inclusion. Only the second concept is a validbasis of full and effective participation of marginalized people in all core areas of society. It is also the necessary foundation for respecting their inherent dignity. Although inclusion is not a genuine theological term, nevertheless inclusion as a process of social change and as a fundamental attitude contains central intuitions of the Gospel. Inclusion conveys an idea which is taken up by Christians with respect to the liberating practice of Jesus. Seen in this light, a modern understanding of inclusion can be linked with Biblical roots. The Christian tradition sets forth impulses which can illuminate any inclusive practice including the diaconal practice of Christian churches. Churches try to enable the marginalized and the poor ’leftovers’ of society to become stronger actors who can enforce their own interests in orderto live in dignity and gain sufficient participation. In order to do so Christian churches have to become an enabling church which can be adequately described as a diaconal church, a listening and learning church, a researching church, a participative church, a prophetic church and nevertheless sometimes a pondering silent church.