Vital Christianity: Spirituality, Justice, and Christian Practice

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9780567025517: Vital Christianity: Spirituality, Justice, and Christian Practice

In theory and in practice, Christians often sever spirituality from social justice. As a counterbalance, this collection of essays explores ways to connect these two spheres of corporate and individual faithfulness. The contributors recognize that even the very definition of these terms can sharply divide one from the other. For instance, some Christians assume that spirituality refers to the "inner life" whereas social justice refers to the "outer life," perhaps further equating the former with passive Christianity and the latter with active Christianity. Similarly, some define spirituality as the maintenance of one's "vertical relationship" with God, contrasting it to the notion of nurturing compassionate "horizontal relationships" with the people one encounters in life. Vital Christianity seeks to challenge these debilitating distinctions by exploring the numerous threads that can and should connect these two components of holistic Christian living. This volume provides both a critique of the persistent division between spirit and body in the contemporary church and constructive, theologically responsible suggestions for overcoming that bifurcation. While a number of fine books rooted in the Roman Catholic tradition have addressed this issue, to our knowledge no companion work exists that is written largely from a Protestant perspective. Employing sensitivity to the sources of the Christian tradition as well as the practice of discipleship in the real world, the contributors to this volume seek solid ground on which to build bridges between spirituality and social justice. Organized to highlight both significant conceptual and theological issues, as well as applications to various dimensions of the Christian life, these essays offer penetrating insights from different vantage points into how contemporary believers can connect spirituality and social justice

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About the Author:

David Weaver-Zercher is Associate Professor of Religious History at Messiah College, Grantham, Pennsylvania. He is the author of The Amish in the American Imagination and the editor of Minding the Church: Scholarship in the Anabaptist Tradition.The Reverend Dr. William Willimon is Bishop of the North Alabama Conference of the United Methodist Church and the author of fifty books, including Worship as Pastoral Care.

Review:

"There is no doubt that the church in the US faces a deep crisis, both internally and in missional dimension. Much of that crisis is the misfortune of separating 'spirituality' from “social witness,” and dividing the church into 'parties.' As a consequence, much spirituality among us is self-indulgent and much social witness becomes strident self-assertion. This book is a serious effort to put back together what noone should have rent asunder. When such a recovery occurs, both spirituality and social witness are drawn more closely to the Gospel and to the Lord who summons the faithful."Walter BrueggemannColumbia Theological Seminary

There is wide recognition today that we need ways of combatting individualism in our conceptions of church, discipleship, spirituality; that we need spiritual formation for creatures who are animated bodies, not embodied souls; that we need to heal the rift between churches pursuing social justice and churches pursuing individual salvation. Readers who have felt any of all of these needs will find rich resources in this book. The essays are of uniformly high quality: engagingly written, richly biblical, and theologically and pastorally astute. Nancey MurphyProfessor of Christian Philosophy, Fuller Seminary, and author of /Bodies and Souls, or Spirited Bodies?/ (Nancy Murphy)

"This volume provides new hope and energy for those who have become weary of the scandalous twentieth century dichotomy of spirituality and social justice. Here there is much food for the single journey of alerting the world to God's reign." —Ronald J.R. Mathies, Executive Director Emeritus, Mennonite Central Committee (Ronald J.R. Mathies)

"Bishop Willimon and Professor Weaver-Zercher here present the real work of true churches—those that do not pit spirit against body, or spirituality against social justice. This remarkable collection of essays shows how, behind the TV cameras and beyond the front pages, Derrida and Zizek are moved by Jesus and Paul, eucharist and sabbath-keeping can form disciples, and vital spirituality is afoot from soup kitchens in Pennsylvania to housing-poor territories of the Mississippi Delta."— Rodney Clapp, author of *Tortured Wonders: Christian Spirituality for People, Not Angels* (Rodney Clapp)

"The book is really a protest, highlighting one aspect of the integrated Christian life: that of justice, a pressingly relevant topic at the present time...This book is a worthy contribution to an on-going debate"ANVIL Vol.25 No.2 2008 (John Cockerton)

"This volume provides new hope and energy for those who have become weary of the scandalous twentieth century dichotomy of spirituality and social justice. Here there is much food for the single journey of alerting the world to God's reign." —Ronald J.R. Mathies, Executive Director Emeritus, Mennonite Central Committee (Sanford Lakoff)

"Bishop Willimon and Professor Weaver-Zercher here present the real work of true churches—those that do not pit spirit against body, or spirituality against social justice. This remarkable collection of essays shows how, behind the TV cameras and beyond the front pages, Derrida and Zizek are moved by Jesus and Paul, eucharist and sabbath-keeping can form disciples, and vital spirituality is afoot from soup kitchens in Pennsylvania to housing-poor territories of the Mississippi Delta."— Rodney Clapp, author of *Tortured Wonders: Christian Spirituality for People, Not Angels* (Sanford Lakoff)

"The book is really a protest, highlighting one aspect of the integrated Christian life: that of justice, a pressingly relevant topic at the present time...This book is a worthy contribution to an on-going debate"ANVIL Vol.25 No.2 2008 (Sanford Lakoff)

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Book Description Bloomsbury T&T Clark. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 256 pages. Dimensions: 8.9in. x 6.0in. x 0.5in.In theory and in practice, Christians often sever spirituality from social justice. As a counterbalance, this collection of essays explores ways to connect these two spheres of corporate and individual faithfulness. The contributors recognize that even the very definition of these terms can sharply divide one from the other. For instance, some Christians assume that spirituality refers to the and quot;inner life and quot; whereas social justice refers to the and quot;outer life, and quot; perhaps further equating the former with passive Christianity and the latter with active Christianity. Similarly, some define spirituality as the maintenance of ones and quot;vertical relationship and quot; with God, contrasting it to the notion of nurturing compassionate and quot;horizontal relationships and quot; with the people one encounters in life. Vital Christianity seeks to challenge these debilitating distinctions by exploring the numerous threads that can and should connect these two components of holistic Christian living. This volume provides both a critique of the persistent division between spirit and body in the contemporary church and constructive, theologically responsible suggestions for overcoming that bifurcation. While a number of fine books rooted in the Roman Catholic tradition have addressed this issue, to our knowledge no companion work exists that is written largely from a Protestant perspective. Employing sensitivity to the sources of the Christian tradition as well as the practice of discipleship in the real world, the contributors to this volume seek solid ground on which to build bridges between spirituality and social justice. Organized to highlight both significant conceptual and theological issues, as well as applications to various dimensions of the Christian life, these essays offer penetrating insights from different vantage points into how contemporary believers can connect spirituality and social justice and gt; This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9780567025517

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