Aggression = ad gredere

/ 1 July 2008

In the recent book that I edited with Stephen Brookfield we have a chapter entitled “How can white teachers recognize and challenge racism? Acknowledging collusion and learning an aggressive humility.” I lost - but have now just found — a quote I wanted to use there. It’s too late to put the quote in the chapter, but here it is lest I lose it again. It comes from a wonderful small book called The Practice of Communicative Theology, by Matthias Scharer and Bernd Jochen Hilberath. On page 38 of that book they write:

The word "aggression," from the Latin ad gradere ("moving toward") has a positive as well as a negative meaning. It includes not only the life-destroying forces of exclusion but also that force which can find expression in a living, loving relationship. All-encompassing peace and harmony among all creatures without doing away with their differences are ideals corresponding to the transformation of life that God promises for God's future...