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A House for Hope: The Promise of Progressive Religion for the Twenty-First Centuryby John A. Buehrens
Synopses & Reviews
Hope is rising. The political tide in the United States has turned, and people across the country who have been working for years for social change and justice finally feel as though they aren't struggling alone.Yet for those who ground their social activism in progressive religious belief, it is all too easy to feel spiritually divided and isolated, daunted by the apparent dominance of religious fundamentalists in the media andpolitics. The impact of liberal religion is richer and more far-reaching than many know--a force for good that has inspired and supported two centuries of American social progress, from the abolition ofslavery and the securing of women's rights to the present-day struggles for marriage equality, ecological responsibility, and global peace. In order to sustain our spirits and advance positive social change, progressivepeople need to claim the transforming power of our theological heritage.
Authored by two leading progressive theologians, A House for Hope affirms that the shared hopes of religiousprogressives from many traditions can create a movement far stronger than fundamentalism: a liberal religious renaissance. Yet for it to flourish, progressive people must rediscover the spiritual sustenance available inthe theological house our liberal forebears built, and embrace what our tradition truly holds sacred, as well as understanding what it rejects.
In lively and engaging language, A House forHope suggests that liberal religious commitment is based on expansive love for life rather than adherence to narrow dogma. With chapters that reveal the political and personal relevance of the enduring questionsat the heart of this theology, A House for Hope shows how religious liberals have countered fundamentalists for generations, and provides progressives with not only a theological but also a spiritualfoundation for the challenges of the twenty-first century.
From the Hardcover edition.
For over a generation now, conservative religion has seemed to be dominant in America. But there are signs of a liberal religious renaissance. For it to flourish, laypeople need a sense of their theological heritage. A House for Hope lays out, in lively and engaging language, the theological house that religious liberalism has inherited—and suggests how this heritage will need to be spiritually and theologically transformed.
With chapters that suggest liberal religious commitment is based on common hopes rather than adherence to religious creeds, ask why human beings gather in communities with spiritual goals in the first place, discuss the importance of social and cultural context, and seek a Spirit that moves within us and among us, A House for Hope will provide religious liberals not only a theological but also a spiritual foundation for the years ahead.
About the Author
John Buehrens was president of the Unitarian Universalist Association from 1993 to 2001. He is now minister of the First Parish in Needham, Massachusetts, and special assistant to the secretary general of the World Conference of Religions for Peace. He is author of Understanding the Bible, coauthor, with Forrest Church, of A Chosen Faith, and coauthor, with Rebecca Ann Parker, of A House for Hope.The Rev. Dr. Rebecca Ann Parker has been President of Starr King School for the Ministry since 1990 and Professor of Theology since 2001, the first woman to serve as the permanent head of an accredited theological school. An ordained United Methodist minister, Parker has dual fellowship with the United Methodist Church and the Unitarian Universalist Association. She is coauthor, with Rita Nakashima Brock, of Proverbs of Ashes: Violence, Redemptive Suffering and the Search for What Saves Us and Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love for This World for Crucifixion and Empire. She is also coauthor, with John Buehrens, of A House for Hope: The Promise of Progressive Religion for the Twenty-first Century and coauthor, with Robert Hardies, of Blessing the World: What Can Save Us Now.
Table of Contents
Introduction / John Buehrens and Rebecca Parker — Part I: The garden — This holy ground / Rebecca Parker — Last things first / John Buehrens — Part II: The sheltering walls — Life together / Rebecca Parker — Restoring heartwood / John Buehrens — Part III: The roof — Deliver us from evil / Rebecca Parker — Taking refuge / John Buehrens — Part IV: The foundations — The rocks will cry out / Rebecca Parker — The changing of the foundations / John Buehrens — Part V: The welcoming rooms — A home for love / Rebecca Parker — The welcome table / John Buehrens — A sanctuary for the spirit / John Buehrens and Rebecca Parker — Part VI: The threshold — No caravan of despair / Rebecca Parker — A call to partnership / John Buehrens.
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