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Re-Defining Community

A Discourse on Community and the Pluralism of Today’s World with Personalist Underpinnings


Edmund Aku

This book provides a new way of understanding community. It draws from previous definitions and interpretations of the concept to come to one that takes into account the growing pluralism in the socio-political strata of the world of today. The author’s extensive analysis of three approaches to community by Ferdinand Toennies, Emile Durkheim and Heinrich Pesch gives the study a solid sociological foundation. His inclusion of authors like Martin Buber, Jacques Maritain, Emmanuel Mounier, John MacMurray, Louis Janssens and Stanley Hauerwas in the study underlines not only the philosophical but also the theological stronghold of the book. The discussion on how the notion of God as Trinity can affect the meaning of community adds to its theological relevance. By introducing personalism and the Trinitarian notion of God into how he thinks community should be understood today, the author challenges his readers, individually and collectively, to review the traditional attitudes to diversity and differences in society. A generally thematic study, the work also reveals the author’s commitment to a historical-critical approach. Taken seriously the vision of community espoused in the book can lead to answering questions on conflicts in the world today.
Contents: Perspectives in Community – Community: A Trinitarian Tradition – The Person as Metaphor and Matrix for Community – The Personalist «Saga»: Where does Hauerwas Stand?