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Lord, Have Mercy: Praying for Justice With Conviction and Humility

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9780787982690: Lord, Have Mercy: Praying for Justice With Conviction and Humility
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Praise for Lord, Have Mercy
"Once in a while, I find a book about prayer that does something fresh. Claire E. Wolfteich provokes us to rethink the very nature of prayer and how it reshapes us as she discusses six examples of modern Christians confronting the complexities of social engagement and how to make responsible choices in favor of justice and human reconciliation."
--Philip Sheldrake, professor, department of theology and religion, University of Durham; author, Spaces for the Sacred

"Wolfteich provides carefully researched case studies from suburban Miami to the turmoil of apartheid South Africa, analyzing the relation of prayer to various human purposes. She guides the reader through the ambiguities of each case, giving no easy answers, teaching by asking questions. But on another, more personal level, the book is an ongoing conversation with the author. Her voice comes through again and again--quiet, intelligent, unpretentious--exposing her own vulnerabilities. We have here a book that is both instructive and moving--a rare thing."
--Peter L. Berger, director, Institute on Culture, Religion, and World Affairs, Boston University

"For Wolfteich, Christian spirituality is 'prayerful engagement--humble, not presumptuous; prophetic, not passive; yet always contemplative in the best sense.' This is the best guide I know for helping Christians understand how prayer, in its many forms, is indispensable to social action."
--Kathleen A. Cahalan, associate professor, practical theology, Saint John's University School of Theology and Seminary

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From the Inside Flap:

How can we respond to violence in our neighborhoods or in battle zones thousands of miles away, to layoffs in a nearby corporation, or to troubling and conflicted moral questions? We want to engage the world around us faithfully, yet we are often leery about how religion gets woven into social and political life. What does it really mean to use prayer in bringing faith to life—in the workplace, in daily tasks, in the voting booth?

Lord, Have Mercy offers a guide for those who want to move prayer beyond private devotion and engage faithfully with the questions, decisions, policies, and movements that shape our lives in society. This important book is designed to help you think about how you pray about vital—and often confounding—social and political questions. Lord, Have Mercy is filled with stories from around the world that illustrate what prayer might mean and do in difficult situations. Throughout this compelling book, Claire E. Wolfteich explores how communities pray about social issues, especially where questions of justice are at stake and where opinions differ about what constitutes justice or what is an appropriate public faith witness. These stories confront theological and spiritual dilemmas and show how individuals and groups have grappled with them.

Lord, Have Mercy is written for anyone who seeks to thoughtfully connect faith with political, social, and economic issues. It is for those who want to grow in discernment of God's purposes in the world, who want to stand on the side of justice, and who want to pray with conviction and humility.

Lord, Have Mercy is a new volume in the Practices of Faith series.

About the Author:

Claire Wolfteich is associate professor of practical theology and spiritual formation at Boston University. Her publications include Navigating New Terrain: Work and Women’s Spiritual Lives and American Catholics Through the Twentieth Century: Spirituality, Lay Experience, and Public Life. She codirects the Center for Practical Theology at Boston University and works with urban pastors throughout the country through the center’s Sustaining Urban Pastoral Excellence Project, to which she brings experience in leading ecumenical small group formation and spiritual renewal. She directs the Pastoral and Spiritual Formation program and the Spiritual Formation and Church Life Project at the university. She has also served as advisor to the National Conference of Catholic Bishops on issues of women and lay spirituality. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and received her B.A. from Yale University.

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