Monday, 24 June 2013

Breaking Calabashes - becoming an intercultural community

In this simple, easy to read book Rosemary Dewerse succeeds in taking us into critical inter-cultural space with profound care but unavoidable clarity.

Drawing on a true story of Hinemoa and Tutanekai, legendary across Maori communities in Aotearoa New Zealand, Rosemary frames the book around exploring four particular “calabashes” that many of our church communities have become locked into – definite ideas on what is acceptable and who is acceptable.

We are taken on this challenging journey through the framework of Rosemary’s experience, scholarship, substantial personal and familial inter-cultural experience, careful listening and honouring of the stories, insights, experiences and questions of a diverse group of people from a variety of cultural/language backgrounds and settings.

Breaking Calabashes

“In this book Rosemary Dewerse dares us to see through our self-deception and glimpse the truly revolutionary premise of the Gospel – a genuinely intercultural community in Christ, where ‘there is neither Jew nor Greek, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Chris Jesus.’

Scholarly and personal, visionary and practical – this is good reading! I warmly welcome this timely book and encourage Christians everywhere to read it, together if possible, and to practice the principles of intercultural living and the discipleship it uncovers.”

Rev. Prof Andrew Dutney, President of the Uniting Church in Australia

“This is a beautifully theologically nuanced guide book in which Rosemary describes not only how to recognise and confront any humanly constructed device intended to exclude, diminish, caricature, or stereotype any of God’s perfectly created human beings, but more importantly teaches practical and achievable ways of ensuring that all are ultimately invited and fully enabled to be authentically and justly ‘members of the household of God.’”

Jenny Te Paa-Daniels, Maori Research Fellow, National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, Otago University, Aotearoa New Zealand

“This is a readable, focussed, practical and compelling book that is timely for the Uniting Church and Australian society. The author’s scholarship is plain while her ability to dig deep with simplicity, relevance and genuine respect are what makes this book important for all who want to become genuinely intercultural in their life and faith.”

Tony Floyd, National Director, Multicultural and Cross-Cultural Ministry, National Assembly of the Uniting Church in Australia

See the full review and pre-purchase ‘Breaking Calabashes’ at A study guide for leaders will also be made available through the website after its release.

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