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Reading from the underside of selfhood: Bonhoeffer and spiritual formation is a relatively well written Christian based book. It is full of spiritual content. Ideally, Christians around the world should read it. The book explores Bonhoeffer take on selfhood and spiritual formation. Bonhoeffer tries to make the reader be a staunch Christian. He more or less offers insights into how people should react when faced with challenges or evil situations. However, these teachings more or less may help one resist to evil.

The chapter that brings to light the central theme is one on the conversation between feminist psychologist and Bonhoeffer. It is at this point that the ways to tackle misfortunes are explored. The spiritual formation of survivors of abuse and other injustices is depicted in the book. Here, Bonhoeffer offers his two senses and offers contributions on a truly liberated Christian. The issue of women in abuse and their reaction take the centre stage.

The book explores some theology teachings on selfhood. Bonhoeffer himself as a critical thinker brings to light his aspect of this. As written in the book, when the individual has torn himself from the community with God, and thus with other people, he has left alone; and that is wrong. This thus implies that the individual is in solitude. In this, we find that Bonhoeffer gives a warm and sensitive account of human beings.

In terms of women in abuse, the book gives an insight into how to retaliate. The message given therein is that one should let the enemy rule. The oppressed person should take a back stand and just watch. Let the enemy act, and one should not question. The author highlights it from a feminist point of view as such situations occur mostly with women.

The victims of abuse live in the world whereby their own subjectivity is highly affected. They are to be considered and used as things. It is worth noting that intense pain causes the rupture of oneself. It leads to more chaos as witnessed by most survivors of abuse. To them, the abuser’s words and actions often cloud their memories. Unfortunately, this is the message behind Bonhoeffer insistence on a person “who is totally claimed by the absolute demand” of others.

The book also gives a reader a point to consider on mutual feelings. Those mutual feelings take on how the abuser and the abused should relate to each other. According to Bonhoeffer, the abused person should resign himself to his fate. For me, this sounds remarkably unrealistic. This is in the sense that the victim’s the whole universe would be rotating under the guidelines of the abuser.

Self awareness being a highly critical aspect of one’s life would be at stake. The oppressed person would not be at a point to air his/her feelings and even perceptions on life. A bold and dynamic aspect of the Christian teaching is one of the self awareness. Self awareness is viewed as a valuable space of trust that allows to grow and develop fully. Also, at times of prayer, a Christian experiences the holy ground as a noble place to embrace God’s unconditional love.

There are three extracts from this book that signify the issue of holiness. To begin with, there is the concept of friendship. According to Bonhoeffer, it was transforming, especially, when it comes to revelations of self disclosure. This offers the novelty and non condemnation of others. The second expression is seen through the use of imagery. Bonhoeffer describes the believer’s interaction with Jesus Christ through the gospel as imagery. Constantly, he described the disciples as living within the gaze of Christ. Through the gospel, Bonhoeffer lets victim survivors to experience liberation. The third aspect as Bonhoeffer insist is consisted in that that Christ is the servant. He, thus, can provide resources to help break gender dynamics in abusive situations. He insists that Christ is the one for us.

The book is widely regressive in terms of one’s ego. It is a perception of the abused taking the abuse literally with no response that is regressive. This claim by the author may broadly hinder ones moral attitude to life. The oppressed person ends up always living under the shadow of the oppressor. He or she is at the mercies of the abuser. This poses a serious danger as the victim may end up with considerable physical and psychological trauma.

On the other hand, Bonhoeffer teachings may lead to a submissive generation. Those teachings are based on the idea that the abuser is in control. It leads to the abuser being the final say in whatever situation. To a large extent, this immensely may lead to abuse of human rights.

The other controversial aspect is the practical application of his teachings to human relations. This is especially if you take into account the nature of people’s today lifestyle. The nature of humanity and all its legal aspects present a hard situation to violate ones rights. The current generation of citizens is fully aware of their rights and will never allow any violation. Legal experts offer awareness on ones right too. This further complicates the violation of them through any form of abuse.

Despite the above negativity on the author, some of the teachings appear particularly relevant in today’s lifestyle. Case in point is the interaction among Christians through gospel. the belief that one’s awareness is enhanced through learning of the gospel, the unwavering belief of the existence of God as the Supreme Being, and the fact that God is the one above us. In other situations, taking a laid back approach to problems may significantly help solve it. Letting the abuser feel he has all the power may substantially reduce the impact of the confrontation.

All in all, this book presents considerable insight into a particularly touchy subject. The author not only presents it in articulate word, but his use of metaphors helps a lot also. Teachers of theology may find it useful in instilling certain virtues.

Code: Sample20

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