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On the Lived Theology Reading List: The Voice of Conscience

The Voice of Conscience: The Church in the Mind of Martin Luther King, Jr., by Lewis BaldwinThe Church in the Mind of Martin Luther King, Jr.

In The Voice of Conscience, Lewis V. Baldwin  points out that although Martin Luther King, Jr. is celebrated widely as the quintessential model of Christian activism in his time, his understanding of and vision for the church has been surprisingly neglected. By taking the reader on a tour through King’s theological life, Baldwin contends that King was fundamentally a man of the church.

Beginning with King’s roots in Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, Baldwin traces the evolution of King’s attitude toward the church through his college, seminary, graduate school, and civil rights years. Baldwin persuasively claims that King challenged the church over the need for a higher spiritual and ethical ideal, and emphasizes King’s concept of the church as “the voice of conscience,” showing how King’s moral leadership and eventual martyrdom did much to reestablish the credibility of the church at a time when some theologians were declaring the death of God.

Baldwin concludes by critiquing the contemporary church on the basis of King’s prophetic model, and insisting that this model, not the entrepreneurial spirituality of the contemporary megachurches, embodies the best potential for much-needed church renewal.

Reviews and endorsements of the publication include:

“I have read many volumes on Martin Luther King, Jr. over the past decade. Voice of Conscience eclipses them all. Impeccably researched and masterfully written, it propels Lewis V. Baldwin to the rank of top King scholar in the world. King lives in this lively and instructive book.” —Rufus Burrow, Jr., author of Martin Luther King Jr. for Armchair Theologians

“Dr. Baldwin’s work places Martin Luther King, Jr. at the forefront of ecclesiastical life and thought. That in no way detracts from his standing as a champion of freedom. Dr. Baldwin is uniquely qualified to see the two as belonging together.” —Rev. Will Campbell, Civil Rights activist and author of Robert G. Clark’s Journey to the House

“A uniquely complete and brilliantly documented contribution to our understanding of the actual roots of the theology of Martin Luther King, Jr., both directly stated and implied. Baldwin writes from the position of one who shares King’s angle of spiritual vision from deep inside the Black Church of the deep South, frankly facing its faults, and lovingly affirming and adding to its immense contributions. This work is without parallel, for thoroughness and authenticity in its field.” —Rev. Dr. Henry H. Mitchell, author of Black Church Beginnings, 1650-1990

For more information on the publication, click here.

Fellow travelers are scholars, activists, and practitioners that embody the ideals and commitments of the Project on Lived Theology. We admire their work and are grateful to be walking alongside them in the development and dissemination of Lived Theology.

For more of “On the Lived Theology Reading List,” click here. To engage in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter, @LivedTheology, please use #LivedTheologyReads. For more recommended resources from our fellow travelers, click here, #PLTfellowtravelers. To sign up for the Lived Theology monthly newsletter, click here.

Can I Get a Witness? The Podcast: Update

If you are trying to listen to our wonderful new podcast, you have likely discovered that the program disappeared from iTunes. This is a technical issue we are addressing and will be resolved soon. Thanks for your patience, and in the meantime you can still access the podcast on our site and on many other podcast platforms:

Can I Get a Witness? The Podcast

For more news from PLT, click here. Engage in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter, @LivedTheology. To sign up for the Lived Theology monthly newsletter, click here.

On the Lived Theology Reading List: The Wretched of the Earth

The Wretched of the Earth, by Frantz FanonAn Analysis of the Psychology of the Colonized

The Wretched of the Earth was originally written by Frantz Fanon in 1961, and explored the psychology of colonized people and their path to liberation. Bearing singular insight into the rage and frustration of colonized peoples, and the role of violence in effecting historical change, the book incisively attacks the twin perils of post-independence colonial politics: the disenfranchisement of the masses by the elites on the one hand, and intertribal and interfaith animosities on the other.

Fanon’s analysis has been a veritable handbook of social reorganization for leaders of emerging nations. A distinguished psychiatrist from Martinique who took part in the Algerian Nationalist Movement, Frantz Fanon was one of the most important theorists of revolutionary struggle, colonialism, and racial difference in history. The Wretched of the Earth has had a major impact on civil rights, anti-colonialism, and black consciousness movements around the world, and this bold new translation by Richard Philcox reaffirms it as a landmark.

Reviews and endorsements of the publication include:

“The writing of Malcolm X or Eldridge Cleaver or Amiri Baraka or the Black Panther leaders reveals how profoundly they have been moved by the thoughts of Frantz Fanon.” —The Boston Globe

“Have the courage to read this book.” —Jean-Paul Sartre

“This century’s most compelling theorist of racism and colonialism.” —Angela Davis

“This is not so much a book as a rock thrown through the window of the West. It is the Communist Manifesto or the Mein Kampf of the anti-colonial revolution, and as such it is highly important for any Western reader who wants to understand the emotional force behind that revolution.” —Time

For more information on the publication, click here.

Fellow travelers are scholars, activists, and practitioners that embody the ideals and commitments of the Project on Lived Theology. We admire their work and are grateful to be walking alongside them in the development and dissemination of Lived Theology.

For more of “On the Lived Theology Reading List,” click here. To engage in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter, @LivedTheology, please use #LivedTheologyReads. For more recommended resources from our fellow travelers, click here, #PLTfellowtravelers. To sign up for the Lived Theology monthly newsletter, click here.

On the Lived Theology Reading List: A Christian and a Democrat

A Christian and a Democrat: A Religious Biography of Franklin D. Roosevelt, by John F. Woolverton and James D. BrattA Religious Biography of Franklin D. Roosevelt

A work begun by religious historian John Woolverton (1926-2014) and recently completed by James Bratt, A Christian and a Democrat is an engaging analysis of the surprisingly spiritual life of one of the most consequential presidents in US history, Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

When asked at a press conference about the roots of his political philosophy, FDR responded simply, “I am a Christian and a Democrat.” This is the story of how the first informed the second—how his upbringing in the Episcopal Church and matriculation at the Groton School under legendary educator and minister Endicott Peabody molded Roosevelt into a leader whose politics were fundamentally shaped by the Social Gospel.

A Christian and a Democrat chronicles FDR’s response to the toxic demagoguery of his day, and will reassure readers today that a constructive way forward is possible for Christians, for Americans, and for the world.

Reviews and endorsements of the publication include:

“This timely, inspiring portrait of the role of Christianity in the life and presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt helps us better understand one of the influential leaders of the twentieth century. Woolverton has made a great contribution here that should lead us to reevaluate our view of the role of faith in the progressive movement, the Democratic Party, and American politics generally, while also stoking our imagination for how Christian principles might guide us today.”—Michael Wear, author of Reclaiming Hope: Lessons Learned in the Obama White House about the Future of Faith in America

“Rare is the opportunity to read a biography by someone who ran in the same circles as the author but who was not an acquaintance. Through a collective biography of FDR’s many influences and their religious backgrounds, we learn that Franklin Roosevelt had the Social Gospel imprinted on his character. His boarding school teachers, as well as those of his wife Eleanor and his Secretary of Labor, Frances Perkins, raised him with a strong sense of responsibility toward the less fortunate. This Social-Gospel-sense of “Christian charity” drove both his concern for the poor and his rejection of authoritarian methods of establishing justice. Woolverton and Bratt depict a man whose ‘simple faith’ drove his decisions in both domestic and foreign policy. It was this faith, they suggest, that helped save the prospects for democracy in the United States.”—Janine Giordano Drake, University of Providence

“With James D. Bratt’s deft revision, this study of Franklin Roosevelt’s religious life by respected Episcopal historian John Woolverton arrives at just the right time. Woolverton’s warm but frank spiritual biography describes a president who practiced a Christianity based on hope, charity, and faith and grounded in a deep sense of mutual responsibility. This book is a reminder that American Christianity might have followed an alternative trajectory into the twenty-first century.”—Alison Collis Greene, Emory University

For more information on the publication, click here.

Fellow travelers are scholars, activists, and practitioners that embody the ideals and commitments of the Project on Lived Theology. We admire their work and are grateful to be walking alongside them in the development and dissemination of Lived Theology.

For more of “On the Lived Theology Reading List,” click here. To engage in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter, @LivedTheology, please use #LivedTheologyReads. For more recommended resources from our fellow travelers, click here, #PLTfellowtravelers. To sign up for the Lived Theology monthly newsletter, click here.

On the Lived Theology Reading List: The Life of Saint Teresa of Avila

The Life of Saint Teresa of Avila: A Biography, by Carlos EireA Biography

The original book entitled The Life of Saint Teresa of Avila is an autobiography of sorts, a confession written for inquisitors by a nun whose raptures and mystical claims had aroused suspicion. In it, St. Teresa details one of the most remarkable accounts ever written of the human encounter with the divine.

In The Life of Saint Teresa of Avila: A Biography, Carlos Eire tells the story of this incomparable spiritual masterpiece, examining its composition and reception in the sixteenth century, the various ways its mystical teachings have been interpreted and reinterpreted across time, and its enduring influence in our own secular age. The book has had a profound impact on Christian spirituality for five centuries, and has also been read as a feminist manifesto, a literary work, and even as a secular text. But as Eire demonstrates, Teresa’s confession is at its core a cry from the heart to God and an audacious portrayal of mystical theology as a search for love.

Reviews and endorsements of the publication include:

“Carlos Eire analyzes Teresa of Avila’s Life and chronicles its reception from the late sixteenth century to the present with profound erudition, insight, and conviction. His carefully documented survey of trends in editing, translation, and artistic production makes a significant contribution to the history of the book and readership, as well as women’s writing, spirituality, and the Catholic intellectual tradition.”—Jodi Bilinkoff, author of The Avila of Saint Teresa: Religious Reform in a Sixteenth-Century City

“Carlos Eire leads readers expertly and learnedly through the composition of the Life and its fortunes over the centuries. Not only does he slice, dice, and classify with the skill of a medieval theologian, he does so with the wit of a philosophe and with an unusually sensitive understanding of the mystical Teresa. I loved this book even more than I expected I would.”—Craig Harline, author of A World Ablaze: The Rise of Martin Luther and the Birth of the Reformation

“Eire has an uncanny ability to write scholarly work in an engaging and accessible style. He knows how to get to the heart of the matter. This is the story of a mystic and her book but also a story of how reactions to extreme religious experiences have changed—and been deployed—over centuries.”—Alison Weber, author of Teresa of Avila and the Rhetoric of Femininity

For more information on the publication, click here.

Carlos Eire is a professor of history and religious studies at Yale University in 1996. He specializes in the social, intellectual, religious and cultural history of late medieval and early modern Europe.

For more of “On the Lived Theology Reading List,” click here. To engage in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter, @LivedTheology, please use #LivedTheologyReads. For more recommended resources from our fellow travelers, click here, #PLTfellowtravelers. To sign up for the Lived Theology monthly newsletter, click here.

Julian Bond Transcribe-a-Thon

By Eduardo Montes-Bradley – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

The University of Virginia is embarking on a project to make social justice and civil rights icon Julian Bond’s collection of documents accessible to the world through a crowdsourced transcription effort. #TranscribeBond is the first stage in the ultimate production of an online, digital edition.

The Albert & Shirley Small Special Collections Library, Center for Digital Editing, UVA Scholars Lab, and Virginia Humanities are collaborating on this transcribe-a-thon. A reception introducing the scope and goals of the digital project will be held at the Carter G. Woodson Institute on August 14 in room 110 of Minor Hall. On the following day (August 15) from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., registered participants will head to one of five locations on Grounds and in Charlottesville to transcribe a wide and varied sample of his papers, starting with his speeches.

Join us to contribute to this historic project by transcribing a wide and varied sample of Bond’s papers!

RSVP here

Locations:

  • The Woodson Institute, 110 Minor Hall, UVA
  • The Scholars’ Lab, Alderman Library, UVA
  • The Virginia Center for the Book at the Jefferson School, 233 4th St. NW, Charlottesville, Va.
  • Shenandoah Joe, 945 Preston Ave., Charlottesville, Va.
  • McCue Center, Virginia Athletics, 290 Massie Rd, Charlottesville, Virginia 22903

In addition to the transcribe-a-thon, UVA’s Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library will hold an exhibit of original materials related to Julian Bond. The exhibit will be held on Thursday, Aug. 15 from 12:00 pm to 2:00 p.m. in the Byrd-Morris Room of the Special Collections Library.

For more news from PLT, click here. Engage in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter, @LivedTheology. To sign up for the Lived Theology monthly newsletter, click here.

Summer Internship in Lived Theology Celebrates 10 Years!

Summer 2019 interns begin work in Charlottesville and New York City

The tenth year of the Summer Internship in Lived Theology has begun. This internship sends UVA students into immersive service experiences with the unique opportunity to think and write theologically. Kate Parker (Col ‘20) will be working in Charlottesville at The Haven, a multi-resource day shelter where she will volunteer with daily operations and create a series of free, movement-based, community workshops. Nan Marsh (Col ’21) will be coordinating programming in New York City at Arts and Minds, a nonprofit which provides museum experiences for individuals living with dementia and their caregivers. Zoe Larmey (Col ‘21) will also be in New York City where she will be working at City Seminary, a seminary that seeks to develop leaders in ministry through experiential learning and applied theology. There Zoe will work with the gallery team to produce, install, and design programs around an exhibition titled “Planting for Peace.”

Kate, Nan, and Zoe mark the tenth consecutive class of the Summer Internship in Lived Theology. During the previous nine summers, students have worked domestically in Washington, DC; Richmond, Virginia; Durham, North Carolina; Oakland, San Francisco, and Charlottesville; and internationally in the countries of England, South Africa, Burkina Faso, Nicaragua, and Kenya. We have coordinated with dozens of community organizations and involved more than a half dozen UVA faculty in mentorship roles. Internship alumni have gone on to graduate studies, seminary, Teach for America, and to professions in areas of ministry, nonprofit work, nursing, community organizing, global health, finance, media, and social justice.

For updates about the PLT Summer Internship, click here. We also post updates online using #PLTinterns. To get these updates please like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter at @LivedTheology. To sign up for the Lived Theology monthly newsletter, click here.

 

Disrupt the Narrative

Centering African American Perspectives on Religious Freedom

On Friday, June 7, the Religious Freedom Center presents a public conversation exploring the ethics and complex politics of race and religious freedom by centering the issues, narratives, and experiences of African Americans in the United States. Disrupt the Narrative: Centering African American Perspectives on Religious Freedom is part of the Religious Freedom Center’s continuing exploration of the intersection of race and religion in the United States.

During this program, participants will hear from scholars, practitioners and community leaders who are making invaluable contributions to this critical discussion. This program is also designed to encourage participants to think through practical ways to take action around religious freedom issues in their community. Participants will engage in small group discussions, a community talkback session and explore opportunities to think through next steps together.

Speakers include Teresa Smallwood, J.D., Ph.D., director of the Public Theology and Racial Justice Collaborative at Vanderbilt University; Iva Carruthers, Ph.D., general secretary for the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference; Mandisa Thomas, president of Black Nonbelievers; Rahmah Abdulaleem, executive director of KARAMAH: Women Muslim Lawyers for Human Rights and more. The keynote speaker is Dr. Tisa Joy Wenger, author of “Religious Freedom: The Contested History of an American Ideal.”

Friday, June 7, 2019
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Knight Conference Center at the Newseum
555 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.   Washington, D.C. 20001

Registration is required and open now through May 31, 2019 for the June 7 symposium. This program is free and open to the public. Seats are limited.

This program is possible due to the generous support of The Henry Luce Foundation.

On the Lived Theology Reading List: Stay in the City

Stay in the City: How Christian Faith Is Flourishing in an Urban World, by Mark Gornik and Maria Liu WongHow Christian Faith Is Flourishing in an Urban World

In Stay in the City Gornik and Liu Wong look at what is happening in the urban church—and what Christians everywhere can learn from it. We live in an urban age. To a degree unprecedented in human history, most of the world’s people live in cities. Once viewed suspiciously for their worldly temptations and vices, cities are increasingly becoming centers of vibrant Christian faith. It is thus vital, say Mark Gornik and Maria Liu Wong, for Christians to think constructively about how to live out their faith in an urban setting.

Writing from their experience living and working in New York City, Gornik and Liu Wong invite readers everywhere to join together in creating a more flourishing—and faith-filled—urban world.

Reviews and endorsements of the publication include:

“If you need encouragement about the vibrant future of the church or if you are looking for a place to start in reflecting on Christian faithfulness in the city, this little book is a great resource. In an accessible and engaging way, the authors communicate the energy, passion, and creativity that is alive in urban congregations. Highly recommended!”— Christine D. Pohl, Asbury Theological Seminary

“I love the holistic vision of Stay in the City. Mark Gornik and Maria Liu Wong challenge us to see the amazing ways God’s at work in the city through every language, culture, and people. This is a great practical resource for individuals and groups to follow Jesus through our day jobs, our friendships, our art, our children, and even our churches.”— Kathy Tuan-MacLean, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship

“Cities are now hip and cool, drawing a new and sometimes controversial wave of urbanites. Stay in the City tells the stories of those who are not new converts to urban life but have stayed and have learned that staying is part of their own thriving as they contribute to the flourishing of the city. I will recommend this volume widely.”— Jude Tiersma Watson, Fuller Theological Seminary

For more information on the publication, click here.

Mark Gornik is the director of City Seminary of New York. He has spent the last 25 years of his life as a pastor, community developer and researcher in African churches in New York City and beyond.

Fellow travelers are scholars, activists, and practitioners that embody the ideals and commitments of the Project on Lived Theology. We admire their work and are grateful to be walking alongside them in the development and dissemination of Lived Theology.

For more of “On the Lived Theology Reading List,” click here. To engage in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter, @LivedTheology, please use #LivedTheologyReads. For more recommended resources from our fellow travelers, click here, #PLTfellowtravelers. To sign up for the Lived Theology monthly newsletter, click here.

David Dark Publishes Timely Book

The Possibility of America: How the Gospel Can Mend our God-Blessed, God-Forsaken Land

David Dark’s book expands on the analysis of his 2005 book The Gospel according to America. With a brilliant mix of theological, cultural, and political analysis, he assesses the current American landscape. He highlights the problems of the Trump era and the expanding political divide that has gripped American churches. Through the use of creative resources, Dark’s book is a light that shines through the darkness of our times.

David Dark is also an author on our newest book, Can I Get a Witness? Thirteen Peacemakers, Community Builders, and Agitators for Faith and Justice. In the book, he writes on the life and theology of Daniel Berrigan. His chapter is titled: “I See What I See: Daniel Berrigan’s Witness to Christ, Gospel, and Sanity Itself.” He is also featured in our podcast, which is an audio companion to the book.

Praise for The Possibility of America:

“If I prayed, I would pray for all the David Darks—all the smart, funny, thoughtful, quirky, tough-minded, well-read, culturally-engaged Christians in America—to arise and speak up. Because I know that the crabbed, mean, unthinking forms of political Christianity that I see portrayed in the media are not the whole story.”
—Kurt Andersen, author of Fantasyland

“A teacher in prisons, a believer in music, an entangler of religion and politics, a student of mundane poetry, a proponent of a new seriousness, a garroter of despair, a champion of the Beloved Community—In The Possibility of America, David Dark samples Thomas Pynchon, R.E.M., radical Baptist preacher Will Campbell, and many others, to speak truth and hope to our contemporary barnyard.”
—John T. Edge, author of The Potlikker Papers

“This revised edition of The Gospel according to America makes this prescient tome that much more salient. Dark regards America—real and imagined, secular and abidingly faithful, horrible and glorious—with a holistic gaze that holds these truths and contradictions together and examines the culture that comes from it in order to better understand just how we got here.”
—Jessica Hopper, author of Night Moves and The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic 

The Possibility of America is sharp and merciful in that it doesn’t shy away from the type of rigorous honesty and nuanced care that I have come to love and learn from every time David Dark shares his work. It is an honor to watch his conflicts and curiosities bear themselves out on the page.”
—Hanif Aburraquib, author of Go Ahead in the Rain and They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us

“This is a book built on the understanding that there is a civic imagination that imagines us into a better way of being human together. Taking Twitter, literature, poetry, music lyrics, film, television, cartoons and conversations as sacred texts, David Dark looks at the things that are held up by language: power, fear, and hatred. Dark’s work holds the hope that love is a muscle we can exercise in public—and he holds us to account for how we practice.”
—Pádraig Ó Tuama, poet and theologian

For more information on the book, click here.

David Dark is the critically acclaimed author of The Sacredness of Questioning Everything, Everyday Apocalypse, and The Gospel According to America. He teaches at the Tennessee Prison for Women and Belmont University. He has had articles published in Pitchfork, Killing the Buddha, Books and Culture, and Christian Century, among others. A frequent speaker, Dark has also appeared on C-SPAN’s Book-TV and in the award-winning documentaries, Marketing the Message and American Jesus. He lives with his singer-songwriter wife, Sarah Masen, and their three children in Nashville. You can follow him on Twitter @DavidDark.

Fellow travelers are scholars, activists, and practitioners that embody the ideals and commitments of the Project on Lived Theology. We admire their work and are grateful to be walking alongside them in the development and dissemination of Lived Theology.

For more news from PLT fellow travelers, click here. To engage in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter, @LivedTheology, please use #PLTfellowTravelers. For more recommended resources from our fellow travelers, click here, #PLTfellowtravelers. To sign up for the Lived Theology monthly newsletter, click here.