The Gift of the Other
Levinas, Derrida, and a Theology of Hospitality
Imprint: Pickwick Publications
"The Gift of the Other provides a salutary perspective on a world in which fear threatens to dominate our lives. Shepherd engages such well-known voices as Derrida and Levinas to offer a constructive theological account of how hospitality can be recovered through our engagement with the divine other. By the transformation of our fearful selves into ecclesial selves we are freed to participate in God's redeeming purposes."
--Beth Newman, Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, Virginia
"In a world of a wrongly supposed benign globalization on the one hand, and various forms of militant reactionary movements on the other, millions of people are on the move looking for a new homeland. But everywhere the politics of fear and exclusion seem to predominate. In a thoughtful, yet critical engagement with the philosophies of Levinas and Derrida, Andrew Shepherd argues that the fundamental human reality need not be an inevitable violence between the self and the other leading to a proliferation of 'gated' communities. Instead, a redeemed relationality expressed in 'communion' and radical hospitality is a normative possibility. This is so, because in the embrace of the radical Other, the Messiah, all social, ethnic, economic, and ideological differences have been absorbed and transcended to make way for the 'community of the Beloved.' This passionate book makes philosophical and theological discourse prophetic. May we all come under its spell!"
--Charles Ringma, Regent College, Vancouver; Asian Theological Seminary, Manila; The University of Queensland, Brisbane
"Philosophies and theologies of hospitality have been growing in popularity lately, but Shepherd's is one of the more substantive contributions. It is extensively exegetical, deeply christological, insightfully pneumatological, fundamentally ecclesiological, and robustly trinitarian, among its other virtues, with the result being a profound theological response to contemporary philosophical debates regarding violence, otherness, and the stranger. Take up and receive The Gift of the Other."
--Amos Yong, Regent University, Virginia
"Andrew Shepherd here extends discussion of the theme of hospitality through engagement with the work of Levinas and Derrida. While showing what may be learned from these two thinkers, Shepherd moves beyond them to develop an account of how the drama of redemptive transformation enacted in Christ gives rise to a new ecclesial personhood that opens us to the other. Shepherd's account is as compelling as it is important in the contemporary global context."
--Professor Murray Rae, University of Otago, New Zealand