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Document Details :
Title: Migrants, Minorities, and 'the Gift'
Author(s): CHEETHAM, David
Journal: Studies in Interreligious Dialogue
Volume: 26 Issue: 2 Date: 2016
This paper discusses the predicament of minorities and the dynamics of the relationship between the majority and minorities in Western secular societies. Underlying the discussion is a question about the character of majority-minority engagements: Should this be determined by the language of ‘rights’ and the call for equality, or is there another kind of discourse – ‘the Gift’ – that is necessary to produce the creativity for our complex communities today? Considering the work of a range of thinkers including Paul Ricoeur, Lewis Hyde, Robert Wuthnow and Todd Mei, the paper asks if the Gift (in a social and political context) is something that lies at the heart of necessary reparative discourse? It is argued that when it comes to the deep resolution of problems, it is not ‘codes of practice’ that deliver solutions but the gift culture that exceeds and transcends them. That is, the Gift bestows a spiritual dimension (interpreted in its broadest sense) to human life and to relations between self and other, majority and minority.