Reconciliation as Separation: Socio-Location and Validity of Othering in 1 John

Bibliographic information:

Kithinji, Julius. “Reconciliation as Separation: Socio-Location and Validity of Othering in 1 John.” In Forgiveness, Peacemaking and Reconciliation, edited by David K. Ngaruiya and Rodney L. Reed. Cumbria, UK: Langham Global Library, 2020.


Postcolonial theorists have on many occasions presented binarism and othering as organizing principles of the empire. Their covert location of such categories in the Bible has been used to present the Bible as a text of the empire, much to its detriment. The Epistle of 1 John presents a protracted argument/response between the Johannine community (insiders) and the secessionist (others). The secessionists are assailed in this epistle and presented in the worst light. In fact, they are seen as the antichrist. This categorization would seem to render the epistle as applying imperial tactics to silence and criminalize its others. It would seem to negate the doctrine of reconciliation and love for the enemy that is the central ethic of the Christian gospel. Owing to this, the task of this chapter is mainly to distance the epistle from its postcolonial perception and consequent categorization as imperial literature that propagates othering, binarism, and marginalization of different identities. The importance of such an exercise is to diversify the understanding of peace and reconciliation by reinforcing the supremacy of the entire Bible over and against generalized human unity and reconciliations.


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