Just Hospitality

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In this book, theologian Letty Russell redefines the commonly held notion of hospitality as she challenges her readers to consider what it means to welcome the stranger. In doing so, she implores persons of faith to join the struggles for justice.

Rather than an act of limited, charitable welcome, Russell maintains that true hospitality is a process that requires partnership with the "other" in our divided world. The goal is "just hospitality," that is, hospitality with justice.

Russell draws on feminist and postcolonial thinking to show how we are colonized and colonizing, each of us bearing the marks of the history that formed us. With an insightful analysis of the power dynamics that stem from our differences and a constructive theological theory of difference itself, Russell proposes concrete strategies to create a more just practice of hospitality.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780664233150
  • Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press
  • Publication date: 4/2/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 158
  • Sales rank: 557,116
  • Product dimensions: 0.37 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 8.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Letty M. Russell was one of the world's foremost feminist theologians and a longtime member of the faculty of Yale Divinity School. She died on July 12, 2007, at age 77. She was one of the first women ordained in the United Presbyterian Church and served as pastor of the Presbyterian Church of the Ascension in East Harlem for ten years. She joined the faculty of Yale Divinity School in 1974 and retired in 2001. She wrote and edited numerous books, including Church in the Round: Feminist Interpretation of the Church, Dictionary of Feminist Theologies (with J. Shannon Clarkson),and Inheriting Our Mothers' Gardens: Feminist Theology in Third World Perspective (with Kwok Pui Lan, Ada Maria Isasi Dias, and Katie Cannon).
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction xiii

From Many Parts, a Whole xiii

In Honor of Letty Mandeville Russell xv

Following the Clues xvi

1 Why Hospitality? 1

On Being a Misfit: Embracing Hospitality 3

In But Still Out 4

Making Sense of Myself 5

Living on the Margins 9

Becoming a Feminist 12

The Gift of Not Fitting 13

The Church Inside Out 15

The Church in the Round 16

One Call, Many Ministries 17

Ministry of Hospitality 18

Hospitality 19

Difference 20

Questions for Thought 22

2 The New Hospitality 23

Postcolonial Interpretation 24

Postcolonial Subjects 26

Postcolonial Theological Perspectives 29

The Doctrine of Election in Postcolonial Interpretation 38

When Election Is a Problem 39

The Ambiguity of Chosenness 41

Feminism and Hospitality in Postcolonial Interpretation 42

A Feminist Hermeneutic of Hospitality 43

Postcolonial Subjects Practicing Hospitality 49

Questions for Thought 50

3 Riotous Difference as God's Gift to the Church 53

Biblical Views of Difference 53

Babel's Gift of Difference 54

Pentecost's Gift of Understanding 59

A Different Kind of Unity 63

Unity-in-Tension 63

Unity in Hospitality 65

A Community of Christ 69

The Source of Unity 69

Liberating Difference 71

Questions for Thought 74

4 Reframing a Theology of Hospitality 77

Framing and Reframing 78

Making a Change 80

Steps to Reframing 81

God's Hospitality: Reframing Safety in Biblical Tradition 85

The Meaning of Safe Space 86

Searching the Scriptures for Safe Space 88

Reframing a Text: Ruth's Story 91

Attending to Context 92

Developing a Spirituality of Listening 94

Questions for Thought 100

5 Just Hospitality101

Unequally Yoked 102

Justice in "Just" Hospitality 106

Amos's Message 107

Justice as Hospitality in Worship 111

Hospitality in Just Hospitality 113

Welcome as a Metaphor for Action 113

Transforming God's Welcome 114

Recognizing Just Hospitality 116

Limits 116

Essential Characteristics 118

Questions for Thought 124

Notes 125

Index of Scripture References 135

Index of Subjects 137

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