Lived Theology contains the work of an emerging generation of theologians and scholars who pursue research, teaching, and writing as a form of public responsibility motivated by the conviction that theological ideas aspire in their inner logic toward social expression. Written as a two-year collaboration of the Project on Lived Theology at the University of Virginia, this volume offers a series of illustrations and styles that distinguish Lived Theology in the broader conversation with other major approaches to the religious interpretation of embodied life. The book begins with a modest query: How might theological writing, research, and teaching be expanded to engage lived experience with the same care and precision given by scholars to books and articles? Behind this question lies the claim that theological engagements and interpretations of lived experience offer rich and often surprising insights into God’s presence and activity in the world. Answers to, and explorations of, this question form the narrative framework of this groundbreaking volume. Lived theology is shown to be an exceedingly curious enterprise, transgressing disciplinary boundaries as a matter of course, examining circumstance, context, and motivation, and marshalling every available resource for the sake of discerning the theological shape of enacted and embodied faith. Understanding the social consequences of theological ideas is a task with wide ranging significance, inside the academy and in the broader forums of civic discussion.
Contributors consider Lived Theology from a diverse array of experiences and locations, including towns in Mississippi struggling with histories of racist violence and murder; a homeless shelter in Atlanta; churches in the Democratic Republic of Congo; faith based volunteer organizations in Columbus, Ohio; and a college classroom in the Midwest.
This innovative work offers a fresh and exciting model for scholars, teachers, practitioners, and students seeking to reconnect the lived experience of faith communities with academic study and reflection.
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Charles Marsh is the Commonwealth Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia and director of the Project on Lived Theology. His research interests include modern Christian thought, religion and civil rights, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and lived theology. His other publications include Strange Glory: A Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer (2014) and God’s Long Summer: Stories of Faith and Civil Rights (1997), which won the 1998 Grawemeyer Award in Religion. Peter Slade teaches courses in the history of Christianity and Christian thought at Ashland University. His research interests include justice, reconciliation and the practices of congregational singing. His publications include Open Friendship in a Closed Society: Mission Mississippi and a Theology of Friendship (2009). Sarah Azaransky is assistant professor of social ethics at Union Theological Seminary. She serves on the American Academy of Religion’s Afro-American religious history steering committee and on the research grants committee. Her publications include The Dream is Freedom: Pauli Murray and American Democratic Faith (2011) and an edited volume, Religion and Politics in America’s Borderlands (2013).
Lived Theology: New Perspectives on Method, Style, and Pedagogy, edited by Charles Marsh, Peter Slade, & Sarah Azaransky, Oxford University Press, November 2016. ISBN:9780190630720 https://global.oup.com/academic/product/lived-theology-9780190630720?cc=us&lang=en&#