Archives For Politics

 

This week marks the birthday of Dietrich Bonhoeffer… 

The February 2018 issue of SOJOURNERS asks the pointed question:
Is This a Bonhoeffer Moment?

It is common to wonder what we would have done if we lived in history’s most challenging times. Christians often find moral guidance in the laboratory of history—which is to say that we learn from historical figures and communities who came through periods of ethical challenge better than others. Christians who wish to discern faithfulness to Christ often look back to learn how others were able to determine faithful discipleship when their contemporaries could not. With this in mind, Dietrich Bonhoeffer may help us out today.

[ READ the full article ]

Relevant Words of Bonhoeffer
for the Trump Age

 

 

Judging sheerly by the publishing industry, we can answer SOJOURNERS question in the affirmative…

Here are 10 helpful books on Bonhoeffer
that have been released in the last two years:

 
Continue Reading…

 

A Democratic Experiment

A Review of

Undomesticated Dissent:
Democracy and the Public Virtue of Religious Nonconformity
Curtis Freeman

Hardcover: Baylor UP, 2017
Buy Now [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

 
Reviewed by James Honig
 
 

The dissenting movement 17th and 18th century England has been a lacunae in my knowledge and understanding of church history. While I have read John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress as a young pastor and  Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe as a teen and again in college, I had little awareness of Bunyan’s association with the dissenting movement and of Defoe’s, nothing.  And while I have read isolated poems of William Blake, never the long and difficult Jerusalem.

That gap has at least been closed by Undomesticated Dissent: Democracy and the Public Virtue of Religious Nonconformity. Curtis Will Freeman, on the faculty of Duke Divinity School, places these three towering figures of literary history firmly into the outline of church history. Freeman tells the story of the works in their historical contexts, and especially their context in the history of the Christian Church, with special attention to the church in North America.

Continue Reading…

 

TODAY (Jan. 9) is the birthday of sociologist and public Robert Putnam.

In honor of the occasion, we offer a series of brief video clips that introduce his work…

*** Books by Robert Putnam

 

 

Overview of his book OUR KIDS:

Continue Reading…

 

Pastoral Care and Politics

 
A Review of

Care of Souls, Care of Polis:
Toward a Political Pastoral Theology

Ryan Lamothe

Paperback: Cascade Books, 2017
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
 
Reviewed by James Matichuk
 
 

*** This review originally appeared on the reviewer’s blog,
      and is reprinted here with permission.  Visit his blog for tons of great reviews!

 
Pastoral Care is often thought of on a purely micro level—counseling congregants through a crisis, walking alongside families in grief, or shepherding local congregations. Political theology, on the other hand, describes political, economic, social structures and practices, examining the issues at a more macro level. But what if there is a deep link between the political and the personal? What if the best way to care for souls, is to care for the polis—providing a framework for the flourishing of both individual persons and the common good?

Continue Reading…

 

This new, satirical book composes poems out of phrases that Donald Trump has said:
 

The Beautiful Poetry of Donald Trump (Strictly Unauthorised)
Created by Rob Sears

Hardback: Canongate, 2017
Buy Now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
 
 
Sometimes humor (as in the way that these poems juxtapose Donald Trump’s words) can unmask the sheer absurdity of what is being said.
 

Here are four sample poems from this collection…
(Warning: some of these contain vulgar language)

Good Genes:




 
Continue Reading…

 

Our most anticipated book of this fall is ..

 

Awaiting the King: Reforming Public Theology (Cultural Liturgies, Book 3)
James K.A. Smith

Paperback: Baker Academic, 2017
Pre-Order Now:  [ Amazon ]
 
 

The publisher has just released a series of
five brief videos that give a nice taste of the book.

We highly recommend watching these videos when you get a chance!

 

Video #1 – Awaiting the King:

Continue Reading…

 

Our Absurd and Grotesque
and Beautiful World

A Feature Review of 

A Political Companion
to Flannery O’Connor
Edited by Henry T. Edmondson III

Hardback. UPress of Kentucky, 2017
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

 

Reviewed by Todd Edmondson

 

Upon hearing of Flannery O’Connor’s death in 1964, Thomas Merton famously wrote that when he reflected on her life and work, “I don’t think of Hemingway, or Katherine Ann Porter, or Sartre, but rather of someone like Sophocles.” It is perhaps unsurprising that Merton was compelled to draw connections between the mid-twentieth-century fiction writer from Milledgeville, Georgia and the most-decorated playwright of Greece’s Classical period. Both wrote works that occupied the threshold between violence and the sacred. Both depicted dysfunctional family dynamics and the perennial struggle between parents and children. Both confront and unsettle their audience with the oracular wisdom and obscure utterances of blind prophets, and both, in Merton’s words, show us “man’s fall and dishonor.”

Continue Reading…

 

An Obsession With Gaining
and Keeping Power

A Review of 

The Beginning of Politics:
Power in the Biblical Book of Samuel.
Moshe Halbertal and Stephen Holmes.

Hardback: Princeton UP, 2017.
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

 

Reviewed by James Honig

 

My Sunday School memories of the David stories are full of heroics. David, the cheeky adolescent who slew a giant.  David, the brilliant warrior who pillaged the pagan Philistines. David, the great King who made God’s people into a great power. David the poet who wrote so many of the psalms, giving testimony to his strong and reliable faith.

In seminary, while David was still an icon of godly leadership, his dalliance with Bathsheba was also used as a cautionary tale for would-be pastors “not to get yourselves in trouble.” I still remember the lessons from David’s life and leadership that Eugene Peterson extracted from the pages of First and Second Samuel in Leap Over a Wall. In all of it, David was lifted up as a godly man after whom one could model one’s life.

Continue Reading…

 

Rev. William Barber II has been called by Cornel West,  
“the closest thing this generation will have to a Martin Luther King, Jr.”

 
His most recent book is

The Third Reconstruction: How a Moral Movement Is Overcoming the Politics of Division and Fear
Rev. William Barber II

Paperback: Beacon Press, 2016
Buy Now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

 

Rev. Barber was interviewed this week by Trevor Noah on the Daily Show. Watch the interview… 

Continue Reading…

 

This morning, the NY Times ran a conversation between Francine Prose and Thomas Mallon on books they would recommend for America’s current political moment…
 
Here are the four books that they recommended…
 
 

Francine Prose:

Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right

Jane Mayer

(2016)

Buy Now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

“required reading for anyone who wants to know how our country got into the mess we’re in.”
 
Continue Reading…