Friday, April 18, 2014

Exposing our homelessness

This month in my new theology reading group we are reading Beyond Homelessness: Christian Faith in a Culture of Displacement by Steven Bouma-Prediger and Brian Walsh.

It is a rather long and wide ranging book but enjoyable and challenging. I am about one third of the way through.
The authors intersperse chapters on home and homelessness from a wide range of perspectives (global, local, social, political, theological, economic, ...) with chapters of meditation that look at particular Biblical passages through the lens of the home and homelessness.

The book begins with the fascinating contrast of Kenny and Kenneth, who co-habit the same neighbourhood in a large North American city. Kenny spends his days pan-handling at a street corner and takes some meals at a homeless shelter. He sleeps in an illegal makeshift "shack" in a park. He struggles with drug addiction and is often in conflict with others. But, Kenny does have a community of sorts. Kenneth drives his luxury car past Kenny each day on the way to his office. He is only in this city a few months of the year, living in an exclusive high security condominium. The rest of the year he is travelling or living in other cities. Kenneth has never met his neighbours. So who is homeless?

Both Kenny and Kenneth live in a very broken world.

The flavour of the book is in this earlier article.

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