Life at the End of Us Versus Them:
Cross Culture Stories
Our present moment can no longer sustain a stable “us” versus an alien “them,” according to René Girard and Ivan Illich, radical critics of both Christianity and culture. The end of us versus them can deteriorate into the chaos of each against each or it can open outward into freely chosen communion. It is an expectant - and apocalyptic - time. How does one live in this strange, endtime world? As a wanderer in the odd, cross-culture country Girard and Illich have mapped, the author arrives at a surprising new place in relation to those who are his other: women, queer folk, refugees, Muslims, atheists, and Indigenous people. In this collection of essays, he blinks, looks around, and makes some field notes.
Read the Foreword by Brian McLaren.Also see related podcast, video, and discussion guide, available separately.
“I’m in huge AWE at this incredibly powerful material, wonderful storytelling gifts, and the hugely rich sense of a Christian re-telling Rempel offers. . . . [This book] brings together Illich and Girard in what I can only call a Thomas Merton style, with Rempel’s community farm as his Abbey/hermitage. I also love the bravery and straightforwardness of what he has to say about sex.” - James Alison, author of The Joy of Being Wrong and Undergoing God
"A powerful and passionate fresh voice from the Mennonite Tradition. I am reminded most of Belden Lane's The Solace of Fierce Landscapes." - Cynthia Bourgeault, author of The Holy Trinity and the Law of Three and Mystical Hope
“This is an attempt to speak to a new world, a world that many churches appear to have no capacity to recognize. . . . As a believer in militant nonviolence, I will think about Rempel’s conclusions for some time.” - Mark MacDonald, National Indigenous Bishop for the Anglican Church of Canada
“Many are writing today in an attempt to unhook Christianity from the cruel ravages of European colonialism, but few are getting us past the rage of particular injustices. Marcus Peter Rempel serves us well by introducing a vital relationship of thought between René Girard and Ivan Illich that gets to the root of things and offers a pathway of recovery and renewal, and good hope for a kinder future.” - Steve Bell, singer/songwriter
“Rempel’s creative musings on such vital matters as violence within today’s world, sex, economics, religion, and friendship are truly a breath of fresh air. . . . I love the passion, the wit, and the serious thought his work displays! A deeply engaging and delightfully challenging read.” - Harry Huebner, Professor Emeritus of Theology and Philosophy, CMU
“This is an original work, authentic, clear, informed, alive, and sometimes thrilling. Rempel is a writer who cares about what is real and strives to discern what is not.” - Michael Leach, columnist for the National Catholic Reporter
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