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The Cathedral of the World: A Universalist Theologyby Forrest Church
Synopses & Reviews
In the spring of 2008, Forrest Church wrote what he believed would be his final work, Love & Death. But when an experimental cancer treatment gave him a temporary new lease on life, Church saw he had a chance to tie up the one loose end in his remarkable oeuvre: his vocation as a liberal theologian.
The Cathedral of the World offers the culmination of a lifetime of thought and lived theology from one who has been called the leading universalist philosopher of his generation. Here Church draws from the entire span of his life's work to hammer out a clear statement of his universalist theology, gathering his thoughts on religion, faith, and God in a single volume and definitively framing his theological teachings.
After opening with a liberal interpretation of the divine, Church compellingly argues that our country was founded on universalist principles, laying out a firm grounding for his theology. Providing a taste of universalism in action, Church's faith next becomes the inspiration and support for a lifetime of community activism and social justice. Bringing the arc to an end is a systematic unpacking of Church's theology--the universalist good news that beats near the heart of almost every faith tradition.
In a society in which religion has been hijacked by the religious right and ridiculed by the secular left, Forrest Church gives new voice to the power of liberal religion, openhearted and open-minded, humble and awestruck. In answer to the divisive global trend toward competing fundamentalisms and the dangerous spread of neighborly hate, Church invites all seekers to enter the Cathedral of the World, where there are many windows but only one light.
Described by Cornel West as “a towering public intellectual and the leading universalist philosopher of his generation,” Forrest Church was one of the preeminent liberal theologians of our time. His final gift, The Cathedral of the World, draws from the entire span of Church’s life’s work to leave behind a clear statement of his universalist theology and liberal faith. Giving new voice to the power of liberal religion, Church invites all seekers to enter the Cathedral of the World, home to many windows but only one Light.
About the Author
Invocation: The Cathedral of the World
Book I: God and other Famous Liberals
1. The Greatest Liberal of Them All
2. Mother God
Book II: The American Creed
3. The Role of Religion in American Democracy
4. The American Creed
5. What Would Jefferson Do?
6. America’s Promise
7. From Nationalism to Patriotism
Book III: A Liberal Pulpit
8. The Presidential Pulpit and Religious Politics
9. The Commonwealth of God
10. Fear and Terror
11. Shall We Overcome?
12. World Peace 2000
13. Choose Life
14. Evil and Sin
15. Religion and the Body Politic
Book IV: Universalism for the Twenty-first Century
16. The Search for Meaning
17. The Church of the Future in Light of the Past
18. Universalism for the Twenty-first Century
19. Emerson’s Shadow
20. There Is No Hell
21. The Seven Deadly Virtues
22. Home After Dark
23. At Home in the Universe
Book V: Love After Death
24. Love and Death
25. Love’s Tribunal
Benediction: Where Did We Come From? Where Are We Going?
Table of Contents
“Church is a towering public intellectual and the leading universalist philosopher of his generation. This last testament to his prophetic thought and witness is a gift of faith, hope, and love to us all!” —Cornel West, author of Race Matters
“An essential read for anyone interested in liberal religion.” —Publishers Weekly
“A complete expression of [Church’s] liberal theology.”
—William Grimes, New York Times
“The Cathedral of the World sums up in a dramatic and powerful way the work of one of America’s most gifted clergymen. Forrest Church has lived his theology as well as proclaimed it. Ours is a better world because he did.”
—Bishop John Shelby Spong, author of Jesus for the Non-Religious
“Church challenges us to see the light shining through the many windows of the cathedral of the world and to be receptive to the mysteries which abound in our lives . . . [A] fine compilation.”
—Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
“[Church] reminds us in so many words how lucky he and we are to be in the hands of a lovingly liberal God . . . This [book] feels like a swinging wide open of the doors of a dusty house and a letting in of sunshine and fresh air.”
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Religion » Christianity » Unitarians
Religion » Western Religions » Theology