Over the course of last year, I set aside a number of books that I wanted to read because I knew that they would make significant contributions to public conversations, but I knew that they would require some time and effort to read carefully and well.
I’m hoping to read a number of these 10 books over the coming year…
By ERB Editor, C. Christopher Smith
(In alphabetical order by author’s last name…)
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Paperback: Pickwick Press
In a world marked by the effects of colonial displacements, slavery’s auction block, and the modern observatory stance, can Christian theology adequately imagine racial reconciliation? What factors have created our society’s racialized optic–a view by which nonwhite bodies are objectified, marginalized, and destroyed–and how might such a gaze be resisted? Is there hope for a church and academy marked by difference rather than assimilation? This book pursues these questions by surveying the works of Willie James Jennings and J. Kameron Carter, who investigate the genesis of the racial imagination to suggest a new path forward for Christian theology. Jennings and Carter both mount critiques of popular contemporary ways of theologically imagining Christian identity as a return to an ethic of virtue. Through fresh reads of both the “tradition” and liberation theology, these scholars point to the particular Jewish flesh of Jesus Christ as the ground for a new body politic.
Paperback: IVP Academic
The church is political. Theologians have been debating this claim for years. Liberationists, Anabaptists, Augustinians, neo-Calvinists, Radical Orthodox and others continue to discuss the matter. What do we mean by politics and the political? What are the limits of the church’s political reach? What is the nature of the church as an institution? How do we establish these claims theologically? Jonathan Leeman sets out to address these questions in this significant work. Drawing on covenant theology and the “new institutionalism” in political science, Leeman critiques political liberalism and explores how the biblical canon informs an account of the local church as an embassy of Christ’s kingdom. Political Church heralds a new era in political theology.
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