On the Lived Theology Reading List: Harold T. Lewis and Yet With a Steady Beat

African Americans in Episcopal ChurchPLT Fellow Traveler Harold T. Lewis chronicles the African American struggle for recognition in the Episcopal Church

Although the Episcopal Church was the first to establish a black congregation, African Americans are still working to achieve a unified body in which their beliefs are recognized not through social prejudices but the lens of the Catholic faith.

From the publisher:

In a nation in which 80 percent of the black Christian population belong to black denominations, it has seemed incongruous to many that the descendants of slaves and the descendants of slaveholders could together find a spiritual home in the Episcopal Church. Moreover, the mode of religious expression of Anglicanism has been seen as incompatible with the black religious ethos. Attempts to explain this phenomenon frequently dismiss black Episcopalians as social climbers, and their authenticity as African Americans, and even as Christians, is called into question. Yet With a Steady Beat, however, argues that blacks have remained in the Episcopal Church because they have recognized it as catholic and therefore inclusive institution. For two hundred years blacks have challenged the church to be true to its catholic claims and have used this principle as a basis for their demands for recognition. This book chronicles the “steady beat” of that challenge.

To read more on this publication, click here.

Harold T. Lewis, former staff officer for Black Ministries at the Episcopal Church Center in New York, is a parish priest in the Diocese of Long Island, Professor of Homiletics at the George Mercer School of Theology, and Adjunct Professor of Preaching at New York Theological Seminary.

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.

On the Lived Theology Reading List: The Third Reconstruction

third reconstructionA call to action to a moral revolution

The Third Reconstruction: Moral Mondays, Fusion Politics, and the Rise of a New Justice Movement is Rev. Dr. William J. Barber’s memoir of the 2013 grassroots movement in North Carolina that protested restrictions on voting and demanded a make-over of the state government. This memoir was written along with PLT Contributor Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove and is set to come out in January 2016.

In his review of The Third Construction, PLT Contributor Peter Hartwig writes:

Barber tells the tales of his father, who moved his family back to North Carolina to fight for desegregation in the school system; of his saintly grandmother, who taught him not to help folk, but to ‘hope’ folk, to bring hope into their lives; of miraculous healings and angelic visitation. But it quickly becomes clear that the preacher has more to share than just memoirs. Through Wilson-Hartgrove’s prose, the Reverend Barber recounts not only his own biography, but also the grand and multi-layered story in which he has spent his life. It is the story of fusion politics, a coalition of unlikely friends all laboring for social justice in North Carolina; the latest chapter in the long story of liberating faith in the South; the birth-story of a grassroots moral revolution that is spreading across the entire nation. It is the story of the Gospel saving the soul of America.

For more information on Rev. Barber’s book, click here. To read Hartwig’s full review, click here.

For more of “On the Lived Theology Reading List,” click here. To engage in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter, @LivedTheology, please use #LivedTheologyReads.

On the Lived Theology Reading List: Becca Stevens and The Way of Tea and Justice

Tea and JusticeBecca Stevens reflects on a journey of triumph for impoverished tea laborers, hope for café workers, and insight into the history of tea

In The Way of Tea and Justice: Rescuing the World’s Favorite Beverage From Its Violent History, Becca Stevens tells the story of beginning a global mission called “Shared Trade.”

From the publisher:

What started as an impossible dream-to build a café that employs women recovering from prostitution and addiction-is helping to fuel an astonishing movement to bring freedom and fair wages to women producers worldwide where tea and trafficking are linked by oppression and the opiate wars. Becca Stevens started the Thistle Stop Café to empower women survivors. But when she discovered a connection between café workers and tea laborers overseas, she embarked on a global mission called “Shared Trade” to increase the value of women survivors and producers across the globe.

To read more about this publication, click here.

Becca Stevens is an Episcopal priest and founder of Magdalene, a residential community of women who have survived institutional and drug abuse. She is a prolific writer, and her most recent work includes Letters from the Farm: A Simple Path for a Deeper Spiritual Life (2015). She was inducted into the Tennessee Women’s Hall of Fame, and she was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of the South.

For more of “On the Lived Theology Reading List,” click here. To engage in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter, @LivedTheology, please use #LivedTheologyReads.

Susan R. Holman wins the 2016 Grawemeyer Award in Religion

Beholden susan holman - global health - Grawemeyer AwardPLT contributor argues that faith-based and human rights organizations should collaborate for the sake of the communities they serve

Susan R. Holman, member of the Project’s Virginia Seminar and senior writer at the Global Health Education and Learning Incubator at Harvard University, won the 2016 Grawemeyer Award in Religion for her new book, Beholden: Religion, Global Health, and Human Rights. She along with winners in four other categories will present free lectures in April  in Louisville where each will also receive a $100,000 prize.

From the Grawemeyer awards site:

Susan Holman explores how healthcare efforts based on a human rights approach can overlook the important role religions play in communities; and how faith-based initiatives are often more focused on the benefactor than on the recipient of care. She highlights how a combined approach, incorporating religious views and traditions with dialogue about economic and social rights, can be useful in combating global health problems.

“This is theology at ground level,” said award director Shannon Craigo-Snell. “Holman investigates specific events, people and situations to glean wisdom regarding both religion and global health. By the final chapter, she evokes an image of global humanity in which we all recognize that we are beholden to one another—both givers and receivers in inescapable interconnection.”

When asked what is key for organizations involved in global health work Holman states:

Supportive collaboration between the various groups, secular and religious, that recognizes shared concerns and ideals is key. When groups working in the same community are at odds, health, both of the community and individuals, is undermined and everyone’s money get wasted. In collaboration, respect for the dignity of the other even if you don’t agree with their belief system(s) is crucial-to quote a common principle: “hear what the poor tell us: ‘nothing for us without us.’

When asked what she is going to do with the $100,000, she said:  “I’m still thinking very carefully about this. It is a phenomenal honor, and unique opportunity for unprecedented time to explore these interests in new directions. I’m especially inspired by Charles Grawemeyer’s vision that the award recognize creativity, and whatever I do will aim to honor that vision.”

Susan R. Holman- Interview with Susan Holman - Grawemeyer AwardSusan R. Holman is senior writer at the Global Health Education and Learning Incubator at Harvard University. As an academic writer and editor her work explores connections between public health, nutrition, human rights, and religious responses to poverty, particularly examples from early Christianity. She holds a Ph.D. in religious studies from Brown University, a Master of Theological Studies degree from Harvard Divinity School, and a Master of Science degree in nutrition from Tufts University School of Nutrition Science and Policy. Her two undergraduate bachelor’s degrees—one in psychology and one in nutrition—are from Valparaiso University in Indiana. Holman was a participant in the first class of the Project on Lived Theology’s Virginia Seminar out of which she produced the book God Knows There’s Need: Christian Responses to Poverty (2009).

For more of featured writings of our PLT Contributors, click here. To engage in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter, @LivedTheology, please use #LivedTheologyWrites.

Call for applications: Summer Internship in Lived Theology 2016

Summer Internship in Lived Theology 2016 #PLTinternsNow accepting applications for summer 2016

The Project on Lived Theology is now accepting applications for the 2016 Summer Internship in Lived Theology, an immersion program designed to compliment the numerous existing urban and rural service immersion programs flourishing nationally and globally by offering a unique opportunity to think and write theologically about service.

The internship is open to U.Va. undergraduate students in any field of study. Selected participants spend the summer interning with the partnering institution of their choice. Each intern works directly with a U.Va. faculty member who acts as a theological mentor, offering guidance in reading, discussing, and writing about selected texts. Each intern also has a site mentor who shapes his/her work experience and may act as a conversation partner in the intern’s academic and theological exploration. Throughout the summer, interns blog for the Project on Lived Theology website; at the end of the internship, interns complete a final project and present their work at a public event.

The deadline for application submission is January 19, 2016.

The 2015 summer interns gave their final presentations earlier this fall. Listen to Caitlin Montgomery on the Virginia Institute of Autism here, Rachel Prestipino on Because Justice Matters here, and Melina Rapazzini on New Hope Covenant Church here.

To download an application, click here. For more information on the internship and to read blog posts and biographies from past interns, click here. To connect to the Facebook event, click here.

For online updates about the PLT Summer Internship, please use #PLTinterns, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter at @LivedTheology.

Check out PLT Fellow Traveler, the Scholar-Priest Initiative!

The Scholar Priest InitiativeAmong the many contributors to our resource collection we are also gathering a number of Fellow Travelers. 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.

One such group of Fellow Travelers has developed the Scholar-Priest Initiative within the Episcopal Church and Anglican Church of Canada. This initiative has the mission of “welcoming theology home.” Through conferences and resources, such as “New Tracts for our Times,” the initiative equips churches, including those beyond their own denominations, to “reintegrate theology back into the life of the parish, to rekindle theological vocation and imagination.”

From www.scholarpriests.org:

The Scholar-Priest Initiative holds two things dear. First, every parish deserves good leadership. Second, theology done for the parish can once again be done in the parish. Our churches often divorce theology and the parish and both suffer as a result. In response, SPI supports, mentors, and helps fund centered, open, and effective scholar-priests and works with bishops and other leaders to connect scholar-priests with parishes that need stable and effective leadership.

For more information about this Recommended Resource, click here or visit  www.scholarpriests.org.

For more resources from our Fellow Travelers, click here. To engage in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter, @LivedTheology, please use #PLTfellowtravelers.