Review of Gathering Those Driven Away

Meet the Author

Wendy Farley is professor in the Department of Religion at Emory University with “teaching and research interests (that) include women theologians, religious dialogue, classical texts, contemporary ethical issues, and contemplative practices.” She is the author of four books including Gathering Those Driven Away: A Theology of Incarnation (2011) and The Wounding and Healing of Desire: Weaving Heaven and Earth (2005).

Book Basics

Gathering Those Driven Away is a postmodern, eclectic and inclusive approach to constructing a new theological understanding of incarnation that emerges from but moves well beyond the author’s own pain.  Farley addresses the book especially to those who have been hurt by the institutional church, but especially “women, queers, the afflicted, and those who feel alienated by oppressive or empty qualities of the Christian narrative” (p.16).

At its finest, Gathering Those Driven Away draws from contemporary and classical views and theologians bringing those at the margins closer to the center via the lens of incarnation.  In other places, the rationale for and flow of the many sources is less clear as the many names used for God detract from the construction of the argument.  Overall, it is a solid consideration of the topic that effectively invites conversation and further consideration.

So What?

Many people feel alienated from the institutional church, yet views of Jesus by those outside that entity remain high for both believers and non-believers alike.  How might a new understanding of incarnation be useful in welcoming those who have traditionally been and/or felt excluded?  What would your theology of incarnation look like if redeveloped with that group in mind?

Wendy Farley.  Gathering Those Driven Away: A Theology of Incarnation (Westminster John Knox Press, 2011).  ISBN: 9780664233211.

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