The book ‘Doing Christian Ethics from the Margin’ is a book for people who are mostly excluded from Eurocentric and academic ethical considerations. As per the Bible, the gospel was meant for the people that were marginalized in Judea hence it targets students that occupy the same position in today’s culture. The marginalized are the ones to interpret and understand the gospel’s message. The book helps individuals know who and where they are and what occupies their faith. It’s helpful to readers as it focuses on complex ethical theories narrowing and explaining them for a better understanding. Doing Christian ethics from the margin is urgently needed now as the world gets more complex and wealth and poverty separate people even more (6).
De La Torres points on Christianity, faithfulness, ethics, wealth, poverty, and power come up as important parts of life in this changed world that is very much politically charged. Faithfulness in the Christian life stands as the place of solace for those that are marginalized and through faithfulness, there is bound to be liberation (47). Just as Jesus did liberate, sticking to faith, prayer and a strong Christian life are what is needed to ensure that oppressors and the oppressed are both liberated from the world’s menace. Christian ethics are needed to destroy mechanisms that make life inhuman and that bring death to humanity. The margin between the wealthy and the poor has increased significantly (74) creating a power structure that leaves the poor vulnerable to oppression and dehumanization. The African American citizens, migrants, and American Indians are a suffering group that has been segregated and unfairly treated due to their minority status. Christian ethics that focus or concentrate on these marginalized lot is capable of bringing sanity to the world. Finding the root cause and applying strong Christian ethics can change every human’s perception of social class and economic statuses bringing people together and destroying the mechanisms that bring about suffering and death.
It is important to do Christian ethics from the margin as this is where the gospel is easily interpreted. Form the margin, one is in a better position to observe and analyze the ungodly oppression from the dominant culture that is of the economically high and mighty. This dominant group has for long dehumanized people from the margin by creating their own ethics that justify their atrocities. The power they yield is used to determine what is ethical and what is not. The ethics they come up with are important too as it helps them maintain the power. Moreover, they view the ethics that they create as Christian-like, which is another way to conceal their ungodly ways of life. Ethics from the margin take oppressive qualities like racism, classism, and sexism as products of power. It is in the margin that Lord Jesus stands, taking care of the oppressed. It is at the margins that an individual has a better view of power and its oppression. From the margins, the question of power and how to crucify it arises (187).
This book has changed my perspective on ethics and decision making. Sometimes people make decisions based on what they deem right and ethical hence affecting others negatively. Oppressors have a strong will to stay powerful hence their ethics are coined in such a way that it makes them feel good about themselves. Every decision that people make should have a positive impact on them and the people around. Ethics is not what we perceive as righteous but that which is of Christian value and promotes Godliness.
Doing Christian Ethics from the Margin is an inspiring book that leaves a person motivated, enlightened on Christian ethics, and brings a change of perception on ethics. It’s an amazing experience on the Christian life and how Christian ethics can bring us closer to God and also eradicate the marginalization brought about by power. There exists good Christian ethics that can be applied in a person’s career or job. For instance, power is not a tool to be used against colleagues. Good ethics prompt man to help those in need and not to justify oppression with leadership. Identifying the corruptions of power is important in ensuring that a just, equal, and conducive working environment is created putting an end to discrimination, sexism, and all kinds of favoritism (242). It is wise for people to pull their colleagues up rather than oppressing them so that may feel blessed by God by being ahead financially and career-wise. By staying mick and humble, and co-existing in good morals and ethics, the presence of the Lord is guaranteed and this minimizes the effects of oppression and marginalization.
This book creates an understanding of what it is like to be marginalized and to be in power. It creates awareness of how ethical decisions can promote marginalization/oppression or create something meaningful and Godly that can sustain a Christian based world. From my point of view, ethical decisions made from the margin are considerate of people’s feelings and well-being. By understanding power and its end products, I have better chances of choosing, believing and following ethical decisions that are an opposite of the oppressors. Right from wrong is best viewed from the receiving end of oppression, dehumanization, and marginalization. Thus, it becomes easy to differentiate between oppression and promotion of Christian faithfulness and values. Politeness, hard work, kindness, and being in a position to help others are career ethics that promote selflessness and alleviate marginalization and the suffering it bears in the workplace and the world as a whole.