A new book from Presbyterian author Wendy Farley presents a powerful expression of Jesus Christ as experienced by those who are marginalized and persecuted in contemporary society. In Gathering Those Driven Away: A Theology of Incarnation, Farley speaks to gay and lesbian persons, women, racial minorities, and anyone else who has ever felt wounded by the church. Recognizing the ways in which those on the margins have been treated by the church, Farley compellingly argues that the doctrine of the incarnation is the basis for a radical inclusivity and defense of the preciousness of all human beings, especially those the church marginalizes. In her introduction, Farley writes:
“The reflections in this volume work on the hypothesis that the institutional churches and their canonical theologians do not represent the only lineage of apostolic witness from whom we know something about the mystery of incarnation. African American, white, Hispanic, Asian women, women battered or silenced, queers, the afflicted, the poor, the imprisoned can trace their own witness to the idle tale of women who were dismissed by male disciples.”
Farley’s work takes on classic thinkers and historical figures to illuminate the church’s tendencies toward exclusion in the past. In constructing her Christology from the margins Farley consults alternative voices in the Christian tradition, which have not been dominant through history but still offer significant insights about the incarnation. Throughout, she maintains the power of the Divine Eros, manifest in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, to provide a vision of life that can break the powers of sin, and where love reigns as norm.
Wendy Farley is Professor in the Department of Religion at Emory University. She is the author of Tragic Vision and Divine Compassion: A Contemporary Theodicy and The Wounding and Healing of Desire: Weaving Heaven and Earth, both published by Westminster John Knox Press. Farley discusses her work on the latest episode of WJK Radio with Dan and Jana.
For more information, contact Westminster John Knox Press at (800) 523-1631 or visit the Westminster John Knox Press website.