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A Spiritual City provides a broad examination of the meaning and importance of cities from a Christian perspective. * Contains thought-provoking theological and spiritual reflections on city-making by a leading scholar * Unites contemporary thinking about urban space and built environments with the latest in urban theology * Addresses the long-standing anti-urban bias of Christianity and its emphasis on inwardness and pilgrimage * Presents an important religious perspective on the potential of cities to create a strong human community and sense of sacred space
"Come to me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."Mathew 11:28 (AKJV)
In the early 1990s, a grassroots coalition of churches in Baltimore, Maryland helped launch what would become a national movement. Joining forces with labor and low-wage worker organizations, they passed the first municipal living wage ordinance. Since then, over 144 municipalities and counties as well as numerous universities and local businesses in the United States have enacted such ordinances.
Although religious persons and organizations have been important both in the origins of the living wage movement and in its continuing success, they are often ignored or under analyzed. Drawing on participant observation in multiple cities, All You That Labor analyzes and evaluates the contributions of religious activists to the movement. The book explores the ways religious organizations do this work in concert with low-wage workers, the challenges religious activists face, and how people of faith might better nurture moral agency in relation to the political economy. Ultimately, C. Melissa Snarr provides clarity on how to continue to cultivate, renew, and expand religious resources dedicated to the moral agency of low-wage workers and their allies.
"Toward Benevolent Neutrality" (5th edition, 1996), a longstanding favorite for professors of church-and-state relationships in the U.S., has been revised and updated by one original author, Robert B. Flowers, and two new ones, Melissa Rogers and Steven K. Green. "Religious Freedom and the Supreme Court" contains a new introduction clearly explaining specific ways the Court delineates the idea of religious freedom on a case-by-case basis. As clearly written as its predecessor, and as appropriate for the classroom, this new book contains explanations of more recent cases, decided by a contemporary Supreme Court. It is clear, relevant, and an essential text for the twenty-first century.
Addressing a topic of growing and vital concern, this book asks us to reconsider how we think about the natural world and our place in it. Steven Bouma-Prediger brings ecotheology into conversation with the emerging field of environmental virtue ethics, exploring the character traits and virtues required for Christians to be responsible keepers of the earth and to flourish in the challenging decades to come. He shows how virtue ethics can enrich Christian environmentalism, helping readers think and act in ways that rightly value creation.
In What the World Should Be , Malcolm Magee demonstrates that Woodrow Wilson was immersed in a Presbyterian tradition that shaped his presidency. He argues that Wilson's religious convictions shaped his concepts of effective leadership, the way he reasoned, and his use of language. In particular, Wilson's religious beliefs accustomed him to the theological principle of antinomy: that two principles could both be right even when, considered only in the light of logic, they appear mutually contradictory. These convictions ultimately made Wilson believe he was providentially chosen to bring divinely ordered freedom to the nations and peoples of the earth.
ARE YOU WONDERING HOW TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN TODAY'S CULTURE THAT WILL BENEFIT FUTURE GENERATIONS? Former Governor Mike Huckabee shares how to live a life that will continue to be felt by those who carry your legacy forward. Whether in politics, family, education, or business, what matters most is leaving a legacy for future generations. Rare, Medium or Done Well emphasizes the importance of understanding where we've been, where we are now, and how both determine where we're going. Mike asserts, "A person who has no standard to live by other than the culture of the moment is a person whose principles might as well come from the latest public opinion polls."
In this highly provocative investigation, C. John Sommerville examines common linguistic uses of the terms "religion," "religious," "spiritual," and "secular" in order to discern understandings of these words in contemporary American culture. For example, he finds that, in English, "religion" is our word for a certain kind of response to a certain kind of power (the power and the response both being beyond anything else in our experience). Sommerville then uses these definitions to examine the ways that institutions in the fields of education, science, law, politics and religion are affected--often in unexpected ways--by a shared set of assumptions about what these words mean.
In the wake of the success of God's Politics, comes an anniversary edition of Walter Rauschenbusch's Christianity and the Social Crisis, a book which outsold every other religious volume for three years and which has become a classic and mainstay for any Christian seriously interested in social justice. PBS has named Rauschenbusch one of the most influential American religious leaders in the last 100 years, and Christianity Today named this book one of the top books of the century that have shaped contemporary religious thought. So it seems fitting on the 100th anniversary of the publication of Christianity and the Social Crisis that Rauschenbush's great-grandson should bring this classic back into print, adding a response to each chapter by a well-known contemporary author such as Jim Wallis, Tony Camplo, Cornel West, Richard Rorty, Stanley Hauerwas, and others. Between 1886 and 1897, he was pastor of the Second German Baptist Church in the ?Hell's Kitchen? area of New York City, an area of extreme poverty. As he witnessed massive economic insecurity, he began to believe that Christianity must address the physical as well as the spiritual needs of humankind. Rauschenbusch saw it as his duty as a minister and student of Christ to act with love by trying to improve social conditions.
Poverty is one of the great challenges of the 21st century. But
poverty is not new. And neither is God's deep concern for the
poor--it is a theme deeply woven throughout the Bible. Yet sadly,
churches and individual Christians have too often been blind to
this emphasis, or they have been paralyzed into inaction by
feelings of helplessness.
Hailed by Albert Camus as 'the only great spirit of our times', Simone Weil was one of great essayists and activists of the twentieth century. Her writings on the nature of religious faith and spirituality have inspired many subsequent thinkers. Wrestling with the moral dilemmas entailed by commitment to the Catholic Church, Letter to a Priest is a brilliant meditation on the perennial battle between faith and doubt and resonates today as much as when it was first written. This edition also includes one of her most inspiring and celebrated essays, 'Human Personality', where Weil offers a moving and unorthodox account of the preciousness of human beings. With a new foreword by Raimond Gaita.
A shocking snapshot of the most current impulses in American religion. Rodney Stark reports the surprising findings of the 2007 Baylor Surveys of Religion, a follow up to the 2005 survey revealing most Americans believe in God or a higher power. This new volume highlights even more hot-button issues of religious life in our country. A must-read for anyone interested in Americans' religious beliefs and practices.
View the Table of Contents
"Draws upon previously neglected primary sources to offer a
ground-breaking analysis of the intertwined political, racial, and
religious dynamics at work in the institutional merging of three
American Methodist denominations in 1939. Davis boldly examines the
conflicted ethics behind a dominant American religious culture's
justification and preservation of racial segregation in the
reformulation of its post-slavery institutional presence in
American society. His work provides a much-needed, critical
discussion of the racial issues that pervaded American religion and
culture in the early twentieth century.a
aA discerning, sober, and troubling probing of the preoccupation
within the Methodist Church with Christian nationalism,
civilization as defined by white Anglo-Saxon manhood, and race,
race consciousness and athe problem of the Negroa that was
foundational to and constitutive of a reunited Methodism. A must
read for students of early 20th century America.a
In the early part of the twentieth century, Methodists were seen by many Americans as the most powerful Christian group in the country. Ulysses S. Grant is rumored to have said that during his presidency there were three major political parties in the U.S., if you counted the Methodists.
The Methodist Unification focuses on the efforts among the Southern and Northern Methodist churches to create a unified national Methodist church, and how their plan for unification came to institutionalizeracism and segregation in unprecedented ways. How did these Methodists conceive of what they had just formed as auniteda when members in the church body were racially divided?
Moving the history of racial segregation among Christians beyond a simplistic narrative of racism, Morris L. Davis shows that Methodists in the early twentieth century -- including high-profile African American clergy -- were very much against racial equality, believing that mixing the races would lead to interracial marriages and threaten the social order of American society.
The Methodist Unification illuminates the religious culture of Methodism, Methodists' self-identification as the primary carriers of "American Christian Civilization," and their influence on the crystallization of whiteness during the Jim Crow Era as a legal category and cultural symbol.
The urban landscape is changing and, as a result, urban ministries are at a crossroads. If the Church is to be an effective agent of compassion and justice, Robert Lupton notes, we must change our mission strategies. In this compelling book, Lupton asks the tough questions about service providing and community building to help ministries enhance their effectiveness. What are the dilemmas that caring people encounter to faithfully carry out the teachings of Scripture and become personally involved with "the least of these?" What are some possible alternatives to the ways we have traditionally attempted to care for the poor? How do people, programs, and neighborhoods move towards reciprocal, interdependent relationships? To effect these types of changes will require new skill sets and resources, but the possibilities for good are great.
A Future that's Bigger than the Past sets out a vision for renewing the local church that is energising, realistic and practical for small and large congregations alike. In response to prevailing narratives of decline, it reimagines how the church can live its vocation of receiving God's abundance and sharing it far and wide. It recognises the surprising, exuberant and plentiful things that the Holy Spirit is doing in the world and calls the church to celebrate creation, enjoy culture and share in its flourishing. With a rich theological foundation and borne out of the practical experience of growing local church communities, this ground-breaking book will help churches discover fresh ways to bless the communities they serve.
"Wolkomir's research brings to life the stories of men who feel a serious conflict between their sexual desires and their Christian beliefs. These often forgotten stories add a new dimension to the antagonistic discourse surrounding sexuality and religion."-Chris M. Ponticelli, associate professor of sociology, University of South Florida "Often bitter enemies in public, in Wolkomir's lucid prose gay and ex-gay Christian men come together to reveal the intriguing overlaps and divergences in their experiences of life, love, faith, and struggle. A well-written and engaging text that offers food for thought to both specialists in the field and curious general readers."-Melissa M. Wilcox, author of Coming Out in Christianity: Religion, Identity, and Community Homosexuality has become increasingly accepted in mainstream America over the past two decades. Yet despite indications of progress that can be found everywhere from academia to popular culture, gay men and women remain the target of much discrimination and stigma, particularly within conservative Christianity. In Be Not Deceived, Michelle Wolkomir explores the difficult dilemma that gay Christians face in their attempts to reconcile their religious and sexual identities. She introduces the ideologies and practices of two alternative and competing ministries that offer solutions for Christians who experience homosexual desire. One organization-the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches-believes that God made people gay to suit divine purposes. Changing one's sexuality is therefore impossible and a defiance of God. In contrast, Exodus International preaches that homosexuality is a sin and a symptom of disordered psychological development-one that can be cured through redemptive prayer. By comparing participant experiences in these ministries, Wolkomir explores the paths and processes by which members learn to become gay or ex-gay Christians. Through careful analysis of the groups' ideologies, interactions, and symbolic resources, Be Not Deceived goes far beyond the obvious differences between the ministries to uncover their similarities, namely that both continue to define heterosexuality as the normative and dominant lifestyle. Michelle Wolkomir is an assistant professor of sociology at Centenary College in Shreveport, Louisiana.
Writer Patrice Gopo explores our shared desire for belonging and acceptance, helps us grapple with the world’s brokenness and barriers, and offers wisdom for overcoming the differences that divide us.
Which ethnicity best describes you? White? Asian? Black or African American? Native American? Other? When completing an application or survey, we pick a category we align with and tick a box. For many Americans, it is an exercise that requires little thought. But what happens when everyone around you views you as a black American, but your multicultural heritage doesn't match the narrow understanding of that category?
Patrice Gopo spent her formative years in Anchorage, Alaska, growing up as a black American, but her Jamaican parents had little experience in what it means to be black in America. Patrice was often the only child of color in her classrooms, activities, and friendship circles. Feelings of being different are occasional twinges for some, but for Patrice this was the reality of her everyday life. She had to grapple with the mixture of identities that swirled together and formed her-a journey at once both common to people and particular to her background.
In All the Colors We Will See, Patrice explores the idea of what it means to belong. In this poignant, poetic, and often courageous collection of personal essays, Patrice examines the complexities of identity formation in a modern world where cultures intersect and overlap. She seamlessly moves across the borders of space and time to create vivid and memorable portraits of the way movement and migration affected her quest for a sense of belonging. Through this journey of essays, Patrice writes about not only immigration and race relations but also topics such as societal beauty standards, marriage and divorce, and the complexities of living out a faith in God-concluding that the very differences dividing us might actually be what unite us within the vast definition of what it means to be human.
In 2001, a collection of open and affirming churches with predominantly African American membership and a Pentecostal style of worship formed a radically new coalition. The group, known now as the Fellowship of Affirming Ministries or TFAM, has at its core the idea of "radical inclusivity" the powerful assertion that everyone, no matter how seemingly flawed or corrupted, has holiness within. Whether you are LGBT, have HIV/AIDS, have been in prison, abuse drugs or alcohol, are homeless, or are otherwise compromised and marginalized, TFAM tells its people, you are one of God's creations. In Filled with the Spirit, Ellen Lewin gives us a deeply empathetic ethnography of the worship and community central to TFAM, telling the story of how the doctrine of radical inclusivity has expanded beyond those it originally sought to serve to encompass people of all races, genders, sexualities, and religious backgrounds. Lewin examines the seemingly paradoxical relationship between TFAM and traditional black churches, focusing on how congregations and individual members reclaim the worship practices of these churches and simultaneously challenge their authority. The book looks closely at how TFAM worship is legitimated and enhanced by its use of gospel music and considers the images of food and African American culture that are central to liturgical imagery, as well as how understandings of personal authenticity tie into the desire to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Throughout, Lewin takes up what has been mostly missing from our discussions of race, gender, and sexuality--close attention to spirituality and faith.
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