Diversity: Negotiating difference in Christian communities

HTS Theological Studies 72 (1) (2016)
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Abstract

This article seeks to present challenges of negotiating difference and diversity in Christiancommunities in South Africa today. It reflects the intersectional nature of racial, gender, ethnicand economic difference, and ways in which land, capital and other power constructs continueto underpin and deepen exclusion. It then considers the status of diversity in Christiancommunities highlighting ways in which the fault lines in society are running throughChristian communities, and how such communities almost spontaneously engage in ‘othering’more naturally than in ‘embracing’. The article proposes the re-conceptualisation of diversitywithin the bigger South African project of socio-economic transformation, and that theconversation about difference and diversity in Christian communities should be brought intodialogue with critical diversity theory, which considers diversity in relation to equity, humanrights and social justice. Finally, the article provides an overview of the contributions that formpart of this collection of articles, tracing how a number of Christian communities seek tonegotiate diversity and difference ecclesially and theologically.

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