On the Lived Theology Reading List: Clarence Jordan

Clarence Jordan: A Radical Pilgrimage in Scorn of the Consequences, by Frederick L. DowningA Radical Pilgrimage in Scorn of the Consequences

Starting in the 1940s, Clarence Jordan tried to put Christianity into practice in the South, which was flouting segregation and inequality. Despite having a PhD, he made an impact not by being a lofty intellectual but by founding Koinonia- an interracial Christian farming community- and serving as a formative influence on Habit for Humanity. As the writer of the Cotton Patch Gospel, Jordan adapted the stories of the New Testament to fit the South and to address racism. In this new biography by Frederick L. Downing, who previously authored religious biographies of Elie Wiesel and Martin Luther King, puts Jordan in historical context and looks at the influences that shaped him. Jordan’s life has rarely been studied and Downing’s work is an important effort to document his prophetic witness.

Reviews and endorsements of the publication include:

“Downing has rendered us a great and judicious service by his compelling research. It is crucial that Jordan in all his daring courage should be remembered. Downing assures us that this singular saint of gospel obedience will not be forgotten.” —Walter Brueggemann, William Marcellus McPheeters Professor Emeritus of Old Testament, Columbia Theological Seminary

For more information on the publication, click here. To read more about Clarence Jordan on our Civil Rights Digital Archive, click here.

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