Synopses & Reviews
"Woodley, a Keetoowah Cherokee and professor at George Fox Seminary, opens his work of theology with a call for a return to shalom and the Harmony Way. More than an absence of conflict, shalom is a cluster of practices and actions resulting in balance, beauty, and true justice for all people. Woodley posits that Christianity has lost sight of this shalom and he spends a large portion of the book critiquing the failure of Euro-Americans to live up to their purported beliefs. Woodley also highlights positive features of indigenous spiritual teaching, presenting its focus on community, respect for elders, balanced relationship with nature, and high esteem for story. These, along with a greater orientation towards place and away from time, serve as antidote to modernityÃ¢Â€Â˜s ills. Somewhat hazy on how to apply these features, Woodley nevertheless remains hopeful for a Christianity divorced from colonialism and more deeply influenced by Native voices and concerns. The idealizing of pre-colonial Native American life might leave some readers wary of Woodley's claims, but his evident view of the negative realities of contemporary life and the clear alternative he offers could open up Christianity to a more holistic, harmonious, and ultimately just worldview. (July)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.