News

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.

On the Lived Theology Reading List: Crossroads at Clarksdale

Crossroads at Clarksdale: The Black Freedom Struggle in the Mississippi Delta after World War II, by Françoise HamlinThe Black Freedom Struggle in the Mississippi Delta after World War II

In Crossroads at Clarksdale, Françoise Hamlin chronicles the slow struggle for black freedom through the history of Clarksdale, Mississippi by using the stories of the daily lives and familiar places of local residents. Hamlin creates a full picture of the town spanning over a period of fifty years, recognizing the accomplishments of its diverse African American community and strong NAACP branch, and examining the extreme brutality of entrenched power there. But Clarksdale is not a triumphant narrative of dramatic change; instead, it embodies a layered, contentious, untidy, and often disappointingly unresolved part of the civil rights movement.

Following the black freedom struggle in Clarksdale from World War II through the first decade of the twenty-first century allows Hamlin to tell multiple, interwoven stories about the town’s people, their choices, and the extent of political change. She shows how members of civil rights organizations worked to challenge Jim Crow through fights against inequality, police brutality, segregation, and, later, economic injustice. With Clarksdale still at a crossroads today, Hamlin explores how to evaluate success when poverty and inequality persist.

Reviews and endorsements of the publication include:

“A beautifully written book, strong in its ability to capture the different organizing strategies pursued in one community. . . . A major contribution to civil rights historiography.”—Journal of American History

“Adds much to the story of civil rights in Clarksdale and beyond . . . [and] provides an incredibly rich account of race, class, gender, generational, and organizational tensions within the civil rights movement.”—Journal of Southern History

“[This book] is a much-needed additive to the already-extant literature on the Mississippi civil rights movement, not only for its artful prose, but also because it sets a high standard for future researchers, pushing scholars to expand their source base and periodization. Hamlin’s book should be widely read.”—The Historian

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: This I Trust

This I Trust: Basic Words of Christian Belief, by Wolfgang HuberBasic Words of Christian Belief

Today, many people believe that the question of faith is one purely of belief. Wolfgang Huber, however, argues that it is actually one of trust, and our willingness to trust in God and His promises. In This I Trust, Huber engages in meditations on classic words of the Christian tradition, from the Beatitudes and the Lord’s Prayer to the stories of the birth and parables and death of Jesus. Through these works, he searches for for the fiery core and world-defying implications of Christian faith today.

Although he is fully cognizant of  the complexities and ambiguities of contemporary life, he nonetheless asserts, “If we trust in God we can endure the uncertainties, accept the limitations, and receive the fullness of life as a gift.” For those who struggle with the meaning of faith and Christian discipleship in their personal, familial, professional and political lives, Huber offers deep assurance and steep challenge.

For more information on the publication, click here.

Wolfgang Huber is a prominent German theologian and ethicist. Engaged in both church and politics, he has served on numerous boards of ethics and public policy, as a professor of theology in the universities of Marburg and Heidelberg, and as Bishop of Berlin-Brandenburg from 1993 to 2009.

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

Can I Get a Witness? The PodcastThis podcast is an audio companion to the book, Can I Get a Witness? Thirteen Peacemakers, Community Builders, and Agitators for Faith & Justice. In each episode of this podcast, host Shea Tuttle talks with one of our authors about the person they profiled for the book and about their writing process. These twelve podcasts are a great companion to the book, illuminating new insights and untold stories. Journey with the authors as they explain their personal connection with these witnesses and how these stories transformed their lives.

We Who Believe in Freedom: Ella Baker’s Creed

Nichole M. Flores shares her research and reflections on Ella Baker, a civil rights activist and organizer whose work in the civil rights movement focused on empowering the poor and the young.

The podcast is available on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to your podcasts!

On the Lived Theology Reading List: We the Resistance

We the Resistance: Documenting a History of Nonviolent Protest in the United States, edited by Michael G. LongDocumenting a History of Nonviolent Protest in the United States

Have you ever wondered about the history of activism in the United States? Curious about what protests looked like before the modern methods pioneered by the civil rights era? We the Resistance showcases a number of historic activists to give curious citizens and current resisters an insight into the history of American activism. Beginning with the pre-Revolutionary War era and continuing through to the present day, readers will encounter the voices of protestors sharing instructive stories about their methods (from sit-ins to tree sitting) and opponents (from Puritans to Wall Street bankers), as well as inspirational stories about their failures (from slave petitions to the fight for the ERA), and successes (from enfranchisement for women to today’s reform of police practices).

In an effort to combat histories of America that focus on our military past, this book provides an alternate history of the formation of our nation and its character, one in which courageous individuals and movements have wielded the tools of nonviolence to resist unjust, unfair, and immoral policies and practices. Instruction and inspiration run throughout this captivating reader, generously illustrated with historic graphics and photographs of nonviolent protests throughout U.S. history.

Reviews and endorsements of the publication include:

“This book fights fascism. This books offers hope. We The Resistance is essential reading for those who wish to understand how popular movements built around nonviolence have changed the world and why they retain the power to do so again.”—Jonathan Eig, author of Ali: A Life

“This comprehensive documentary history of non-violent resisters and resistance movements is an inspiring antidote to any movement fatigue or pessimism about the value of protest. It tells us we can learn from the past as we confront the present and hope to shape the future. Read, enjoy and take courage knowing you are never alone in trying to create a more just world. Persevere and persist and win, but know that even losing is worth the fight and teaches lessons for later struggles.”Mary Frances Berry, author of History Teaches Us to Resist: How Progressive Movements Have Succeeded in Challenging Times

“We the Resistance illustrates the deeply rooted, dynamic, and multicultural history of nonviolent resistance and progressive activism in North America and the United States. With a truly comprehensive collection of primary sources, it becomes clear that dissent has always been a central feature of American political culture and that periods of quiescence and consensus are aberrant rather than the norm. Indeed, the depth and breadth of resistant and discordant voices in this collection is simply outstanding.”—Leilah Danielson, author of American Gandhi: A.J. Muste and the History of American Radicalism in the Twentieth Century 

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: Hurtin’ Words

Hurtin' Words: Debating Family Problems in the Twentieth-Century South, by Ted OwnbyDebating Family Problems in the Twentieth-Century South

In Hurtin’ Words, Ted Ownby considers how a wide range of writers, thinkers, activists, and others defined family problems in the twentieth-century American South. Rather than attempting to define the experience of an archetypal “southern family,” Ownby looks broadly at contexts such as political and religious debates about divorce and family values, southern rock music, autobiographies, and more to reveal how people in the South used the concept of the family as a proxy for imagining a better future or happier past.

In the civil rights period, many embraced an ideal of Christian brotherhood as a way of transcending divisions. Opponents of civil rights denounced “brotherhoodism” as a movement that undercut parental and religious authority. Others, especially in the African American community, rejected the idea of family crisis altogether, working to redefine family adaptability as a source of strength.

In this engaging work, Ownby shows that it was common for both African Americans and whites to discuss family life in terms of crisis, but they reached very different conclusions about causes and solutions.

Reviews and endorsements of the publication include:

“Coming from one of the most brilliant and thoughtful analysts of the American South, Ted Ownby’s Hurtin’ Words is indispensable for understanding the many ways that southerners defined the problems of family life and why those definitions mattered so much.”—Marjorie J. Spruill, author of Divided We Stand

“An always-interesting and often-fascinating look into the way the family was written and talked about in the twentieth-century South. Ownby offers a remarkably fresh way to think about family and region, race and gender.”—Richard King, University of Nottingham

For more information on the publication, click here.

Ted Ownby is director of the Center of Southern Culture and a professor in history and Southern studies at the University of Mississippi.

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.

Media Spotlight: Can I Get a Witness?

Can I Get a Witness? The PodcastCan I Get a Witness? Thirteen Peacemakers, Community Builders, and Agitators for Faith & Justice is our newest publication. There are many ways you can access the prophetic witness of this book. Discover the compelling stories of thirteen pioneers for social justice who engaged in peaceful protest and gave voice to the marginalized, working courageously out of their religious convictions to transform American culture.

On Friday, March 22, Charles Marsh presented a lecture and discussion on the book as part of the Rebels With a Cause symposium at the Virginia Festival of the Book. Along with Hal Crowther, author of Freedom Fighters and Hell Raisers: A Gallery of Memorable Southerners, they discussed their collections of biographical essays on unexpected and underappreciated leaders in struggles for justice and equality.

BookTV will present coverage of the Rebels With a Cause symposium:

  • Mar 30, 2019 | 1:00pm EDT | C-SPAN 2
  • Mar 31, 2019 | 2:00am EDT | C-SPAN 2

Book Reviews

Lenten Journey

Join us on a journey through Lent with Howard Thurman, Dorothy Day, Mahalia Jackson, Cesar Chavez, and more witnesses to faith and justice. We are reading our new book throughout the Lenten season, and we’d love for you to join the conversation. For each chapter, we’ll post reading guides here on this page as well as on Facebook and Twitter. Those guides will include scripture passages, questions for reflection, and suggestions for other resources, including our companion podcast (links to come). You can also join our Facebook group to participate directly in the conversation.

Podcast

Can I Get a Witness? The Podcast is an audio companion to the book. In each episode of this podcast, we talk with one of our authors about the person they profiled for the book and about their writing process. The podcast is available on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to your podcasts!