Good Fences

The Boundaries of Hospitality

Caroline Westerhoff

Sep/2004, 192 Pages, PAPERBACK, 5.5 x 8.5

ISBN-13: 9780819221407



Hospitality and inclusion are important to the Church. Monastic communities are held up as a model, opening their doors to those who need a place to rest. But they also place boundaries on that hospitality, asking guests to observe house rules, and maintaining a cloistered area where guests are not permitted. "Good fences make good neighbors," wrote Robert Frost.

Drawing on her training as a biologist and church consultant, Caroline Westerhoff explores the theological questions raised by boundaries. Filled with stories of actual families and communities, this book is excellent reading for church leaders and for individuals who want to be inclusive and yet maintain boundaries in their lives. John Westerhoff’s study questions make this a helpful resource for parish study groups.

Caroline Westerhoff, formerly Canon for Congregational Life and Ministry and a consultant for the Alban Institute, is a writer and retreat leader. Her other works include Good Fences, Calling, and Transforming the Ordinary. She lives in Georgia.

"In a narrative liberally laced with anecdotal stories, Westerhoff establishes . . . the obvious but too frequently neglected "boundaries"-the boundedness-of our lives. . . . [This book] is a worthy partner in the ongoing conversation we Christians must continually engage on the paradox of hospitality at the heart of our faith, as we seek to lose ourselves for the sake of the gospel." -- Anglican Theological Review
"A well-written book, with much to say about boundaries and spiritual deepening." -The Rev. Roy M. Oswald, Congregations


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