Listening to the marginalised perspective

in every generation, and in all cultures, there have always been those who get pushed to the edge – to the margins of society. Their views are disregarded. Their experiences are ignored. Their voices are not heard.  They are excluded from the conversation. They are marginalised. This tendency to exclude people – to regard them as ‘other’ – is deeply ingrained in culture. Not only does marginalisation cause unimaginable pain, it creates an abyss of misunderstanding, rejection and despair. In this emotionally charged atmosphere, we tend to put all of our energy into building and defending our position. Because we are not looking or listening, we will miss an opportunity to develop our understanding of Christ and His relationship with mankind, simply because we refuse to engage with those whose views and experiences are different from our own. We need to intentionally listen to the marginalised voice.  

‘Theology done from the perspective of marginalised groups creates a richer, more comprehensible, more compassionate Christianity. To ignore the contributions from people with bodies different from our own is equivalent to saying some bodies are not as holy as others – that some members don’t belong in the body of Christ, despite scriptural witness to the contrary.’

Austen Hartke. Author, ‘Transforming: The Bible and the Lives of Transgender Christians

Richard Jackson is the former Executive Director of Family Foundations Trust and is an international coach with CCI Worldwide. He is working out what it might mean to be a contemplative evangelical.  

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