Speaking Differently is a distinctly Australian contribution to theological anthropology which looks principally at religious understandings of humankind. Focussing specifically cally on divergence in context, it builds on the foundational Christian claim that each person is created by God and fashioned by the divine. It also acknowledges that every individual has fallen into sin and is called to repentance as a vehicle for being reconciled with God and the created order. Implicit in some accounts of these claims is the assumption that some classes of people ought to be more highly regarded than others and that difference is an enemy to be combatted instead of a companion to be esteemed.
This set of thoughtful essays challenges these assumptions in identifying instances where differences between people have been used to marginalise, exclude and even to demonise some members of society. The authors contend that difference contributes powerfully to the shaping of human identity, dignity, vocation and destiny, and that respecting difference has the capacity to transform the exercise of power and control while re-shaping the norms and values that provide a community with its ethical bearings. Rather than depicting difference as an evil to be eradicated, these essays counsel a humble befriending of human difference as both a reflection of the divine personality and as a means of promoting cultural harmony, political unity and religious solidarity.
This collection will be of value to anyone with an interest in theology, anthropology, sociology and ethics.
About the authors
Rev. Dr Phillip Tolliday is Academic Dean and Senior Lecturer at St Barnabas’ Theological College. His interests lie in Systematic Theology, including the works of Karl Barth, in Anglican Studies and in the enagement between Christian Theology and the Holocaust. He has written and contribted to a number of books, and his teaching interests are listed as Theological Ethics; Sacramental Theology; Truth and Knowing in Theology andSystematic Theology.
Dr Heather Thompson BSW NSW, MTh Syd Coll Divinity, PhD CSU is Senior Lecturer at St Mark’s Canberra. She lists her research interests as feminist theology, hermeneutics and systematic theology.