Willie James Jennings
In a modern world characterized by a precarious job market, class inequality, and a global migrant crisis, Natalia Marandiuc asks the question: How does home affect one’s identity? In this wide-ranging contribution to Christian theological anthropology, Marandiuc argues that love attachments function as sources of subjectivity and enablers of human freedom. Human loves and the love of God are co-creators of the self and they situate human subjectivity in a relational home. Paradoxically, the depth of human belonging, dependence, is thus directly proportional to the strength of human agency, independence.
Building upon Søren Kierkegaard, research in the neuroscience of attachment theory, and contemporary constructions of the self, The Goodness of Home makes original contributions to several central issues in contemporary Christian theological anthropology. Love is understood as central to the building of subjectivity, which is seen as an intersection of desire and need. For Marandiuc, the self is a complex process of becoming rather than a static entity with essentialist features. She looks at human difference in terms of the formation of particular subjectivities through particular loves. Ultimately, she depicts human love as interwoven with the infinite streams of divine love, forming a sacramental site for God’s presence, and playing a constitutive role in the making of the self.
Reviews and Endorsements
“‘The Goodness of Home is a timely text that speaks precisely to our age of migration and mobility. It is also a powerhouse constructive theology that will be read for generations. Combining neuroscience, psychology, theology, and philosophy, Marandiuc argues that close relationships form the space of belonging in which the self emerges, flourishes, and can be repaired. With a brilliant account of the interplay between divine and human love, Marandiuc contends that the universal call to neighbor love both enables and requires honoring the specific intimacies of ‘home.'”–Shannon Craigo-Snell, author of The Empty Church: Theater, Theology, and Bodily Hope
“In this compelling book, Natalia Marandiuc has demonstrated just how essential homes are, not only to our well-being, but to the character of our very selves. To build good homes-homes that are cradles of our being rather than hells of our lives-we need the kind of clarity that she offers about the fundamental goodness of home.” –Miroslav Volf, author of Flourishing: Why We Need Religion in a Globalized World