Exclusion and Embrace // Miroslav Volf.


Miroslav Volf has done a tremendous service by exposing his own wounds as means for theological panacea. Historically, the human race has mastered the art of absolute exclusion of “the other,” “the subhuman,” or “the nonbeing.” Unrestricted exclusion, or abandonment, is what morphs suffering into agony (26). Why? Because all humans are inescapably and intrinsically intertwined: we are, at the same time, both in distance and in belonging to another (ch. 1). To completely exclude is to mar oneself. So, this dual aspect calls on the dual work of exclusion and embrace. Only by limited exclusion can there be meaningful distinction between persons, necessary for self-identification. And only by daring embrace can there be impassioned communion between persons, necessary for healing. Invite the excluded, wait, embrace with closed arms, and let go. This is the drama of embrace. This is the drama of the crucified Jesus.


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