Diversity: Negotiating difference in Christian communities – Marilyn Naidoo; Stephan de Beer

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This article seeks to present challenges of negotiating difference and diversity in Christian communities in South Africa today. It reflects the intersectional nature of racial, gender, ethnic and economic difference, and ways in which land, capital and other power constructs continue to underpin and deepen exclusion. It then considers the status of diversity in Christian communities highlighting ways in which the fault lines in society are running through Christian communities, and how such communities almost spontaneously engage in ‘othering’more naturally than in ‘embracing’. The article proposes the re-conceptualisation of diversity within the bigger South African project of socio-economic transformation, and that the conversation about difference and diversity in Christian communities should be brought into dialogue with critical diversity theory, which considers diversity in relation to equity, human rights and social justice. Finally, the article provides an overview of the contributions that form part of this collection of articles, tracing how a number of Christian communities seek to negotiate diversity and difference ecclesially and theologically.