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The “Other” is my Neighbour  

Brief volume offering invaluable insights into the biblical and theological dimensions of migration following extensive expert consultation and research. An ideal autumn study for preachers and study groups leading up to Advent

 

The other is my neighbour250The “Other” is my Neighbour 
Developing an Ecumenical Response to Migration
WCC Publications, Geneva, 2013
ISBN 978-2-8254-1605-1
Reviewed by Alec Gilmore

Following 16 months of extensive consultation, research and dialogue with regional ecumenical organisations, member churches, related ecumenical activists and theologians, this book is the product of a working group of theologians and a drafting committee to address the question ‘who is my neighbour?’ with a view to an ecumenical response to matters of migration.

Practical down-to-earth issues include how we see ourselves in relation to others, how we hold current economic powers which thrive on the abuse of human beings, and how to encourage and equip congregations to become inclusive communities.

Three sections explore the biblical and theological insights related to migration, identify the subsequent ecclesiological implications of migration on the ecclesial landscape and for the nature and mission of the church, and call for a renewed ecumenical response to migration in the light of the WCC 2013 Assembly theme, ‘God of life, lead us to justice and peace’.

Three underlying basic convictions are the sacredness of all human life and the sanctity of creation, the biblical values of love, justice and peace which require us to renew Christian response to the marginalised and excluded, and the biblical challenge to build inclusive community as we accompany the uprooted in service and witness.

Biblical insight moves us  from ‘Strangers on the Move’ (Genesis) to ’no room at the inn’ with a reminder that we are all ‘foreigners’, aliens and vulnerable, living between paradise lost and the heavenly Jerusalem — a ‘pilgrim community called to cross boundaries’ seeking to discover what it means to be ‘neighbour’ to the ‘other’.

Appendixes deal with migrant workers, displaced families, trafficking and economic emancipation, and family life (tension, exclusion, exploitation and racism).

An excellent tool, small enough to be easily manageable and deep enough to challenge and stimulate even the most informed and enthusiastic. An ideal autumn study for preachers and study groups leading up to Advent and a wholly different ‘feel’ for Christmas. But do the churches and their leaders have the stomach for it?

 

The Revd Alec Gilmore is a Baptist minister 





 

Baptist Times, 31/05/2015
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