Here are some excellent new theology books * that will be released in August 2021:
* broadly interpreted, including ethics, church history, biblical studies, and other areas that intersect with theology
See a book here that you’d like to review for us?
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This book develops an understanding of prayer from a liberation-theological perspective. “Praying with” offers a distinctive way of praying that can help orient our prayers around the “where” we pray and “with whom” we pray as the locus of the body’s and heart’s theological praxis. The book helps create language to pray with people and in situations we are not used to praying with; it insists on praying amidst racism, poverty, violence, and suffering; it calls us to pray at night and at the end of the world when we are overcome by fear, hurt, climate disaster, or economic impoverishment; it ventures into interfaith prayer settings; and it claims a sense of “self” that is not discrete, encapsulated in its own thinking or feeling-rather, it understands the notion of the self as entangled with the whole earth and each sentient and nonsentient being. Thus, to “pray with” in this book is to take the location of one’s prayer more seriously and, individually and collectively, to gain an awareness of our grounding and positionality, therefore creating a theological structure that assumes both the listening of our own heart and the voices of everything around us.
Susan J. Dunlap offers the theological fruits of time spent working as a chaplain with people without homes. After depicting the local history of her small southern city, she describes the prayer service she co-leads in a homeless shelter. Clients offer words of faith and encouragement that take the form of prayer, sayings, testimony, song, and short sermons. Dunlap describes both these forms of expression and their theological content. She asserts that these forms and beliefs are a means of survival and resistance in a hostile world. The ways they serve these purposes are further demonstrated in life stories told as testimonies, incorporating scripture, sayings, oral tradition, and popular culture. Dunlap concludes that white supremacy and neoliberalism have produced the problem of homelessness in America and are forms of idolatry. The faith and practices shared at the shelter are spiritual and theological resources for people in the grip of and seeking freedom from this idolatry. Claiming that only God can free us from bondage to idolatry and that to draw close to the poor is to draw close to God, Dunlap calls for proximity to people living without homes who are practicing their faith amid poverty.
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