Speaker: Solomon Umazi
Paper Topic: “A Critical Evaluation of Miroslav Volf”s ‘Embrace’ Theology”
In a world grappling with the adverse impacts of exclusion and difference, Miroslav Volf’s book: Exclusion and Embrace: A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness, and Reconciliation is considered a poignant attempt to taming tide. In this book, Volf addresses the issues of identity and otherness by projecting a concept of self-donation in the Christ event (citing Romans15:7) as an ultimate model of embrace (reconciliation). This paper reviews Volf’s concept of self-donation against the backdrop of the above biblical text and observes that self-donation as expressed in the Christ event remains strictly an inimitable divine prerogative (a distinctive excellence) that no mortal can or is required to replicate. It, therefore, proposes the virtue of compassion as modeled by the ‘other’ (the Samaritan traveler in one of the parables of Jesus in Luke 10: 25–37) as a more realistic alternative biblical framework for a possible universal praxis of Volf “embrace” theology.