Resurrecting the Idea of a Christian Society
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|Author||: R. R. Reno|
|Editor||: Simon and Schuster|
America’s two greatest strengths—her liberal democratic culture and her free-market economy—have made her a global superpower. But left unchecked, these two strengths can become great cultural weaknesses, sowing selfishness, recklessness, and apathy. In Resurrecting the Idea of a Christian Society, theologian R. R. Reno argues that America needs a renewal of Christian ideals—ideals that encourage self-sacrifice, responsibility, and solidarity. Drawing on T.S. Eliot’s 1940 essay “The Idea of a Christian Society,” Reno shows how Christianity encourages “an abiding ambition for higher things” and a “moral vision” that can strengthen communities and transform America into a truly great nation.
|Author||: R. R. Reno|
|Editor||: Simon and Schuster|
After the staggering slaughter of back-to-back world wars, the West embraced the ideal of the “open society.” The promise: By liberating ourselves from the old attachments to nation, clan, and religion that had fueled centuries of violence, we could build a prosperous world without borders, freed from dogmas and managed by experts. But the populism and nationalism that are upending politics in America and Europe are a sign that after three generations, the postwar consensus is breaking down. With compelling insight, R. R. Reno argues that we are witnessing the return of the “strong gods”—the powerful loyalties that bind men to their homeland and to one another. Reacting to the calamitous first half of the twentieth century, our political, cultural, and financial elites promoted open borders, open markets, and open minds. But this never-ending project of openness has hardened into a set of anti-dogmatic dogmas which destroy the social solidarity rooted in family, faith, and nation. While they worry about the return of fascism, our societies are dissolving. But man will not tolerate social dissolution indefinitely. He longs to be part of a “we”—the fruit of shared loves—which gives his life meaning. The strong gods will return, Reno warns, in one form or another. Our task is to attend to those that, appealing to our reason as well as our hearts, inspire the best of our traditions. Otherwise, we shall invite the darker gods whose return our open society was intended to forestall.
|Author||: R. R. Reno|
|Editor||: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing|
In this stirring volume R. R. Reno a thoughtful, literate writer with a zest for physical and theological adventure looks back on his time working in the oil fields of Wyoming, his quests to the heights of Yosemite and the ice cliffs of the French Alps, his daughter s bat mitzvah, and more, rendering seven diverse fragments of life in energetic prose. Fighting the Noonday Devil resounds with Reno s depth of feeling and regard for the tangible things of life. Through these narratives, vignettes, and reflections he shows that it is the real-life manifestations of love and loyalty far beyond intellectual abstractions or theories that train us for true piety. Whether defending Jack Kerouac, describing work on a drilling rig, or narrating his reception into the Roman Catholic Church, Rusty Reno brings a writer s eye and a theologian s heart to the essayist s labors. Many rewards await the reader of this book. Alan Jacobs author of Wayfaring and The Narnian R. R. Reno s essays are intellectually stimulating, and some even possess cinematic possibilities. I find their Augustinian ethos deeply appealing in their consistent combination of wisdom and eloquence. David K. Naugle author of Reordered Love, Reordered Lives: Learning the Deep Meaning of Happiness In this smart and sparkling collection R. R. Reno applies his consummate literary skills to subjects as diverse as acedia, mountain climbing, religious conversion, Jack Kerouac, and interfaith marriage, uniting them under a single glorious banner, that of reclaiming the essential function of culture, the cultivation of the soul. A bravura performance. Philip Zaleski coauthor of Prayer: A History Fighting the Noonday Devil is the work of a pious intellect in all the best senses of the term. . . . Reno reads his life in parables in a way that provokes us to see our own lives anew. In him we find a voice and style in the best tradition of Newman incisive, affecting, wise, inviting. I was captivated by this book. James K. A. Smith author of The Devil Reads Derrida and Other Essays on the University, the Church, Politics, and the Arts
|Author||: David VanDrunen|
|Editor||: Zondervan Academic|
For more than a millennium, beginning in the early Middle Ages, most Western Christians lived in societies that sought to be comprehensively Christian--ecclesiastically, economically, legally, and politically. That is to say, most Western Christians lived in Christendom. But in a gradual process beginning a few hundred years ago, Christendom weakened and finally crumbled. Today, most Christians in the world live in pluralistic political communities. And Christians themselves have very different opinions about what to make of the demise of Christendom and how to understand their status and responsibilities in a post-Christendom world. Politics After Christendom argues that Scripture leaves Christians well-equipped for living in a world such as this. Scripture gives no indication that Christians should strive to establish some version of Christendom. Instead, it prepares them to live in societies that are indifferent or hostile to Christianity, societies in which believers must live faithful lives as sojourners and exiles. Politics After Christendom explains what Scripture teaches about political community and about Christians' responsibilities within their own communities. As it pursues this task, Politics After Christendom makes use of several important theological ideas that Christian thinkers have developed over the centuries. These ideas include Augustine's Two-Cities concept, the Reformation Two-Kingdoms category, natural law, and a theology of the biblical covenants. Politics After Christendom brings these ideas together in a distinctive way to present a model for Christian political engagement. In doing so, it interacts with many important thinkers, including older theologians (e.g., Augustine, Aquinas, and Calvin), recent secular political theorists (e.g., Rawls, Hayek, and Dworkin), contemporary political-theologians (e.g., Hauerwas, O'Donovan, and Wolterstorff), and contemporary Christian cultural commentators (e.g., MacIntyre, Hunter, and Dreher). Part 1 presents a political theology through a careful study of the biblical story, giving special attention to the covenants God has established with his creation and how these covenants inform a proper view of political community. Part 1 argues that civil governments are legitimate but penultimate, and common but not neutral. It concludes that Christians should understand themselves as sojourners and exiles in their political communities. They ought to pursue justice, peace, and excellence in these communities, but remember that these communities are temporary and thus not confuse them with the everlasting kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ. Christians' ultimate citizenship is in this new-creation kingdom. Part 2 reflects on how the political theology developed in Part 1 provides Christians with a framework for thinking about perennial issues of political and legal theory. Part 2 does not set out a detailed public policy or promote a particular political ideology. Rather, it suggests how Christians might think about important social issues in a wise and theologically sound way, so that they might be better equipped to respond well to the specific controversies they face today. These issues include race, religious liberty, family, economics, justice, rights, authority, and civil resistance. After considering these matters, Part 2 concludes by reflecting on the classical liberal and conservative traditions, as well as recent challenges to them by nationalist and progressivist movements.
|Author||: Daniel K. Finn|
|Editor||: Georgetown University Press|
"This volume provides a new account of business ethics from the perspective of Catholic social thought. Focusing on the sense of agency of the business person and the interests of business firms, this volume addresses business from both "the outside" (with questions about economic life in Catholic social thought) and "the inside" (with attention to the internal dynamics of business firms). The result is a creative account of fundamental issues confronting the moral business leader and any firm committed to responsible business practice. This volume is unique in the depth of the questions from Catholic social thought that it brings to bear on business. It begins with interviews of three CEOs to ensure a grounding in experience and a consideration of the intellectual history of business issues in Christianity. Most importantly, it deals with fundamental moral concerns: the character of agency, autonomy, practical wisdom, and the technocratic paradigm, along with other elements of Catholic social thought. The book then applies these concepts to assess management science, the motivations of business leaders, the role of luck in personal success, the traditional moral justifications of business, and more"--
|Author||: Kevin T. Holton|
|Editor||: Hamilton Books|
The assault on traditional marriage that began in the late 1990s seemingly ended with the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision legalizing same-sex marriages in all 50 states. Christians continue to mourn the “loss” of this sacred and covenantal institution to secularists, but in doing so have forgotten their unique place as citizens not of this world but of the Kingdom of God. Christian attempts to “correct” the standing constitutional order and reclaim marriage exclusively for heterosexuals will fail. The way forward is to advocate the replacement of civil marriage laws with civil unions for heterosexuals and homosexuals alike. Both Christians and secularists will find this alternative satisfying, for it allows everyone to receive from the state equal protection of their rights, and it allows the Church and other intermediary communal institutions to define and defend marriage as they have always understood it.
|Author||: Stuart Murray|
|Editor||: Wipf and Stock Publishers|
Western societies are experiencing a series of disorientating culture shifts. Uncertain where we are heading, observers use “post” words to signal that familiar landmarks are disappearing, but we cannot yet discern the shape of what is emerging. One of the most significant shifts, “post-Christendom,” raises many questions about the mission and role of the church in this strange new world. What does it mean to be one of many minorities in a culture that the church no longer dominates? How do followers of Jesus engage in mission from the margins? What do we bring with us as precious resources from the fading Christendom era, and what do we lay down as baggage that will weigh us down on our journey into post-Christendom? Post-Christendom identifies the challenges and opportunities of this unsettling but exciting time. Stuart Murray presents an overview of the formation and development of the Christendom system, examines the legacies this has left, and highlights the questions that the Christian community needs to consider in this period of cultural transition.
|Author||: Miguel A. De La Torre|
|Editor||: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing|
Short. Timely. Poignant. Pointed. Burying White Privilege is all of these and more. This is the book that everybody who cares about contemporary American Christianity will want to read. Many people wonder how white Christians could not only support Donald Trump for president but also rush to defend an accused child molester running for the US Senate. In a 2017 essay that went viral, Miguel A. De La Torre boldly proclaimed the death of Christianity at the hands of white evangelical nationalists. He continues sounding the death knell in this book. De La Torre argues that centuries of oppression and greed have effectively ruined evangelical Christianity in the United States. Believers and clerical leaders have killed it, choosing profits over prophets. The silence concerning—if not the doctrinal justification of—racism, classism, sexism, and homophobia has made white Christianity satanic. Prophetically calling Christian nationalists to repentance, De La Torre rescues the biblical Christ from the distorted Christ of white Christian imagination.
|Author||: George Bragues|
|Editor||: Rowman & Littlefield|
This book sets forth a case for capitalism guided by the skeptical stream of ancient philosophy represented by Cicero. Arguing that philosophy should be probabilistic and practical, this book stresses the primacy of social cooperation and human excellence.
|Author||: Stanley Hauerwas,Robert J. Dean|
|Editor||: Wipf and Stock Publishers|
For over forty years Stanley Hauerwas has been writing theology that matters. In this new collection of essays, lectures, and sermons, Hauerwas continues his life's work of exploring the theological web, discovering and recovering the connections necessary for the church to bear faithful witness to Christ in our complex and changing times. Hauerwas enters into conversation with a diverse array of interlocutors as he brings new insights to bear on matters theological, delves into university matters, demonstrates how lives matter, and continues in his passionate commitment to the matter of preaching. Essays by Robert Dean illumine the connections that have made Hauerwas's theological web-slinging so significant and demonstrate why Hauerwas's sermons have a crucial role to play in the recovery of a gospel-shaped homiletical imagination.
|Author||: Michael J. Naughton|
|Editor||: Emmaus Road Publishing|
If we don’t get Sunday right, we won’t get Monday—or any day of the workweek—right. The divided life is a temptation so built into our society, we may not even recognize it. Yet most of us fall prey to it. We either undervalue work, resenting it as simply a job, or we overvalue it as an identity-defining career. Michael Naughton, drawing on his background in both business and theology, proposes that the key to finding balance is another important human activity: leisure. In light of leisure—not mere amusement, but time for family, silence, prayer, and above all, worship—work becomes a space where men and women can find deep fulfilment. Naughton provides real-world examples of how businesses can promote authentic human flourishment and innovation through practices and policies that support leisure. In Getting Work Right Michael Naughton will change how you work—and rest.
|Author||: Peter J. Schuurman|
|Editor||: McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP|
Evangelicals have been scandalized by their association with Donald Trump, their megachurches summarily dismissed as “religious Walmarts.” In The Subversive Evangelical Peter Schuurman shows how a growing group of “reflexive evangelicals” use irony to critique their own tradition and distinguish themselves from the stereotype of right-wing evangelicalism. Entering the Meeting House – an Ontario-based Anabaptist megachurch – as a participant observer, Schuurman discovers that the marketing is clever and the venue (a rented movie theatre) is attractive to the more than five thousand weekly attendees. But the heart of the church is its charismatic leader, Bruxy Cavey, whose anti-religious teaching and ironic tattoos offer a fresh image for evangelicals. This charisma, Schuurman argues, is not just the power of one individual; it is a dramatic production in which Cavey, his staff, and attendees cooperate, cultivating an identity as an “irreligious” megachurch and providing followers with a more culturally acceptable way to practise their faith in a secular age. Going behind the scenes to small group meetings, church dance parties, and the homes of attendees to investigate what motivates these reflexive evangelicals, Schuurman reveals a playful and provocative counterculture that distances itself from prevailing stereotypes while still embracing a conservative Christian faith.
|Author||: Harold James|
|Editor||: Yale University Press|
A timely call for recovering the true meanings of the nineteenth-century terms that are hobbling current political debates Nationalism, conservatism, liberalism, socialism, and capitalism are among the most fiercely debated ideas in contemporary politics. Since these concepts hark back to the nineteenth century, much of their nuanced meaning has been lost, and the words are most often used as epithets that short-circuit productive discussion. In this insightful book, Harold James uncovers the origins of these concepts and examines how the problematic definition and meaning of each term has become an obstacle to respectful communication. Noting that similar linguistic misunderstandings accompany such newer ideas as geopolitics, neoliberalism, technocracy, and globalism, James argues that a rich historical knowledge of the vocabulary surrounding globalization, politics, and economics--particularly the meaning and the usefulness that drove the original conceptions of the terms--is needed to negotiate the gaps between different understandings and make fruitful political debate once again possible.
|Author||: Douglas Harink|
|Editor||: InterVarsity Press|
Theologian Douglas Harink invites readers to rediscover Romans as a treatise on justice, tracing Paul's thinking on this theme through a sequential reading of the book and finding in each passage facets of the gospel's primary claim—that God accomplishes justice in the death and resurrection of Jesus Messiah.
|Author||: Olivier Roy|
|Editor||: Oxford University Press|
As Europe wrangles over questions of national identity, nativism and immigration, Olivier Roy interrogates the place of Christianity, foundation of Western identity. Do secularism and Islam really pose threats to the continent's 'Christian values'? What will be the fate of Christianity in Europe? Rather than repeating the familiar narrative of decline, Roy challenges the significance of secularized Western nations' reduction of Christianity to a purely cultural force- relegated to issues such as abortion, euthanasia and equal marriage. He illustrates that, globally, quite the opposite has occurred: Christianity is now universalized, and detached from national identity. Not only has it taken hold in the Global South, generally in a more socially conservative form than in the West, but it has also 'returned' to Europe, following immigration from former colonies. Despite attempts within Europe to nationalize or even racialize it, Christianity's future is global, non-European and immigrant-as the continent's Churches well know. This short but bracing book confirms Roy's reputation as one of the most acute observers of our times. It represents a persuasive and novel vision of religion's place in national life today.
|Author||: Christian Smith,Michael Emerson,Sally Gallagher,Paul Kennedy,David Sikkink|
|Editor||: University of Chicago Press|
“An excellent study of evangelicalism” from the award-winning sociologist and author of Souls in Transition and Soul Searching (Library Journal). Evangelicalism is one of the strongest religious traditions in America today; twenty million Americans identify themselves with the evangelical movement. Given the modern pluralistic world we live in, why is evangelicalism so popular? Based on a national telephone survey and more than three hundred personal interviews with evangelicals and other churchgoing Protestants, this study provides a detailed analysis of the commitments, beliefs, concerns, and practices of this thriving group. Examining how evangelicals interact with and attempt to influence secular society, this book argues that traditional, orthodox evangelicalism endures not despite, but precisely because of, the challenges and structures of our modern pluralistic environment. This work also looks beyond evangelicalism to explore more broadly the problems of traditional religious belief and practice in the modern world. With its impressive empirical evidence, innovative theory, and substantive conclusions, American Evangelicalism will provoke lively debate over the state of religious practice in contemporary America. “Based on a three-year study of American evangelicals, Smith takes the pulse of contemporary evangelicalism and offers substantial evidence of a strong heartbeat . . . Evangelicalism is thriving, says Smith, not by being countercultural or by retreating into isolation but by engaging culture at the same time that it constructs, maintains and markets its subcultural identity. Although Smith depends heavily on sociological theory, he makes his case in an accessible and persuasive style that will appeal to a broad audience.” —Publishers Weekly
|Author||: John D. Wilsey|
|Editor||: InterVarsity Press|
The idea of America's special place in history has been a guiding light for centuries. With thoughtful insight, John D. Wilsey traces the concept of exceptionalism, including its theological meaning and implications for civil religion. This careful history considers not only the abuses of the idea but how it can also point to constructive civil engagement and human flourishing.