On the Lived Theology Reading List: A Course in Desert Spirituality

A Course in Desert Spirituality, by Thomas MertonFifteen Sessions with the Famous Trappist Monk

Thomas Merton had many roles he filled in his lifetime — monk, writer, social activist — but one of his main passions was explorations of interfaith understanding. He explored different religions and their relation to the human experience, as well as examining some of the Catholic traditions he had learned about in his studies. A Course in Desert Spirituality, edited by Jon Sweeney, is a collection of some of Merton’s lectures which showcase his teachings and personal thoughts about the concept of desert spirituality.

Although Merton was a monk, and was later ordained, he believed that there was immense value in learning about other religions and their view of the world. In the same way, he believed that all people would benefit from monastic wisdom and spirituality. This book exemplifies his approach to religion and to life itself.

Reviews and endorsements of the publication include:

“This well-paced discourse on desert spirituality hosts just enough of an overview to be a course and just enough depth to be a dramatically impactful read. The work, followed by options for further reflection and discussion, makes for an inspiring personal or group engagement. Any reader of A Course in Desert Spirituality will undoubtably come away with new insights on both desert spirituality and one’s own spirituality.” —Cassidy Hall, Author of Notes on Silence and director of Day of a Stranger

“As with many of Merton’s writings, there are several ways of reading it. One could take a genetic approach, seeking to uncover vestiges of Merton’s biography. The text could also be read as a short history of monastic practice or a snapshot of the novitiate under Merton’s tutelage in the 1950s before the drastic changes of Vatican II. It could also be read, and this is the way Sweeney intends for us to read it, in a lectio divina fashion—that is, as a spiritual discipline to mature our souls and draw us nearer to God. At its best, this book is a primer on the mystical tradition which offers guidance on whom to read, what to look for, what to watch out for, and how to approach the tradition.”—Reading Religion

“A Course in Desert Spirituality offers keen insight into the wisdom of early Christian mystics like St. Gregory of Nyssa, John Cassian, and Evagrius Ponticus. It makes the Desert Mothers and Fathers come alive. But it also reveals much about the spiritual heart of Thomas Merton himself.”—Carl McColman, author of The Big Book of Christian Mysticism and The Unteachable Lessons

 

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: Religion is Raced

Religion Is Raced: Understanding American Religion in the Twenty-First Century, by Grace Yukich and Penny EdgellUnderstanding American Religion in the Twenty-First Century

When white people of faith act in a specific way, it is often attributed to their religious commitments. But when religious people of color act in specific way, it almost exclusively attributed to their racial positioning. In Religion is Raced, authors Grace Yukich and Penny Edgell argue that all religion must be acknowledged as a raced phenomenon, even though America tends to look at religion only through the lens of white Christians.

This book offers a new model for thinking about religion, one that emphasizes how racial dynamics interact with religious identity, and attempts to bring the discussion of race and religion into the mainstream. It draws from a variety of religious traditions, including Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, Protestantism, and even atheism, in order to better demonstrate the roles that religion and whiteness play in politics and everyday life. Yukich and Edgell argue that when we overlook the role race plays in religious belief and action, it also causes us to overlook the way race might influence religiously motivated political and public action.

Reviews and endorsements of the publication include:

Challenges the unspoken narrative of whiteness that has shaped studies of US religion. Writing from various disciplinary perspectives, the authors collectively chart a more productive way forward, one that begins with very different (and more empirically accurate) assumptions. A state-of-the-art work and a shot across the bow.” Paul Harvey, author of Christianity and Race in the American South: A History

“An important collective endeavor that will leave its mark as an essential resource for understanding contemporary American religion. Yukich and Edgell bring together several of the best scholars in the sociology of religion in order to shed new light on neglected racial (but also religious, ethnic and gendered) aspects of religion as it is lived in the United States today. This is a crucial and overdue corrective and a significant achievement.” Michèle Lamont, Harvard University

“An incredibly rich, important and timely book. Yukich and Edgell, along with their powerhouse group of contributing authors, highlight crucial racial underpinnings and underlying organizing principals of contemporary religion and the consequences for social divisions, politics and identities. This book is a cornerstone, one that will shape scholarly work and public conversations for generations.” Vincent J. Roscigno, Ohio State 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: Jesus Saved an Ex-Con

Jesus Saved an Ex-Con: Political Activism and Redemption after Incarceration, by Edward Orozco FloresPolitical Activism and Redemption after Incarceration

The use of religion to rehabilitate and redeem formerly incarcerated individuals has been around for many years, but it typically places an emphasis on private spirituality, with efforts focused on repentance, conversion, and restorative justice. In Jesus Saved an Ex-Con, author Edward Orozco Flores examines two faith-based organizations that utilize the public arena to expand the social and political rights of former inmates.

Most work on prisoner reentry has focused on how the behavior of those with records may be changed through interventions, rather than considering how those with records may change the society that receives them. Community Renewal Society and LA Voice reject this narrative, and instead focus on expanding the rights of people with records through community organizing campaigns. Flores explores how the formerly incarcerated use redemption scripts to participate in civic engagement, to remove the felony conviction question from employment applications and to restrict the use of criminal background checks in housing and employment. He shows that people with records can redeem themselves, but we must also challenge the way society receives them.

Reviews and endorsements of the publication include:

“In this book, Edward Orozco Flores contributes to the growing debate on criminal justice reform by showing how ex-prisoners now ‘returning citizens’ are giving back to American communities. They give back not only by sharing their personal stories of moral redemption, but also by reclaiming forms of civic life and political empowerment against the grain of elite manipulation. Drawing on scholarly work in the sociology of religion, social movements, and civic life, Flores argues that ‘prophetic redemption’ may not only redeem ex-offenders own stories but also redeem the full promise of American democracy against the imposters that claim to speak in its name.”—Richard L. Wood, author of A Shared Future: Faith-Based Organizing for Racial Equity and Ethical Democracy

“In this powerful work, Flores challenges the top-down bias of criminal justice reform … Flores’s concepts of pastoral and insurgent prophetic redemption will be useful to scholars studying religious social movements, and the book’s broad themes make it valuable for diverse sociological audiences. A welcome addition to criminal justice literature as well as to the literature on the sociology of religion and social movements.”—Choice

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: MOVE

MOVE: An American Religion, by Richard Kent EvansAn American Religion

The debate over what does and doesn’t count as a religion has been ongoing for centuries, and in MOVE, author Richard Kent Evans attempts to answer this question using the fascinating story of a little-known group. It was called MOVE, and while the members of the group considered it a religion, the courts saw it as anything but.

MOVE was started in Philadelphia in the early 1970s by a man named John Africa. It was a small group, and it consisted of mainly African Americans. in 1985, the Philadelphia Police Department attacked a home shared by “MOVE people,” using tear gas, ten thousand rounds of ammunition, and improvised explosives. Most infamously, a police officer riding in a helicopter dropped a bomb containing C-4 explosives onto the roof of the MOVE house, starting a fire. Officials allowed the fire to spread in hopes of chasing the MOVE people out of the house, and police officers fired upon those who tried to escape the flames. Eleven MOVE people died in the attack, including John Africa. Five of those who died were children.

The story of MOVE has been virtually forgotten for years. In this book, Evans dives deep into how we decide what constitutes a genuine religious tradition, and the enormous consequences of that decision.

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: Demystifying Shariah

Demystifying Shariah: What It Is, How It Works, and Why It’s Not Taking Over Our Country, by Sumbul Ali-KaramaliWhat It Is, How It Works, and Why It’s Not Taking Over Our Country

For years, anti-Muslim propagandists have circulated horror stories about shariah, insisting wrongly that it is a draconian and oppressive Islamic law that all Muslims must abide by. Demystifying Shariah, by Sumbul Ali-Karamali, explains the realities of shariah in an accessible, engaging style, while also confronting the misconceptions that remain so prevalent in many American minds today.

Ali-Karamali uses personal anecdotes as well as her degree in Islamic law to explain both the past and the present of shariah—its various meanings, how it developed, and how the shariah-based legal system operated for over a thousand years. She explains how it affects the daily lives of Muslims, and how to understand the modern calls for shariah. This book is an effort to educate people on the truths of shariah, and to help people understand why they should care about it whether they are Muslim or not.

Reviews and endorsements of the publication include:

“Purveyors of Islamophobia today often promote mischaracterizations of shariah in order to demonize Muslims. Ali-Karamali’s book represents a critically important antidote to this willful ignorance. It offers the uninformed reader a helpful background in the basics of shariah relative to Muhammad and the early Islamic community before exploring the many dimensions of shariah today with laudable clarity. With dual qualifications as both a lawyer and a specialist in Islamic law, Ali-Karamali is perfectly positioned to help the public disentangle itself from the thicket of misinformation and disinformation nurtured by the latest advocates of religious intolerance.”—Peter Gottschalk, professor of religion, Wesleyan University, and author of American Heretics

“Sumbul Ali-Karamali is able to speak to both Muslims and others about Islam with clarity and expertise. Shariah has been demonized in the United States for nakedly political purposes in a way that Roman Catholic canon law was in the nineteenth century, and in the way that halakhah or Jewish law has been by modern anti-Semites. Ali-Karamali expertly clears away the ideological cobwebs and lays out the facts about shariah and Muslim practice, and manages to make it all a page-turner.”—Juan Cole, professor of history, University of Michigan, and author of Muhammad

“An engaging, elegant, and accessible book on a subject everyone needs to understand. With clarity, compassion, and even humor, Sumbul Ali-Karamali explains shariah in a relatable narrative format, far from abstract, and guaranteed to resonate with those interested in separating the truth about shariah from all the myths and tall tales circulating in the public discourse.”—Reza Aslan, best-selling author of Zealot

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: Just and Righteous Causes

Just and Righteous Causes: Rabbi Ira Sanders and the Fight for Racial and Social Justice in Arkansas, 1926-1963, by James L. MosesRabbi Ira Sanders and the Fight for Racial and Social Justice in Arkansas, 1926-1963

Rabbi Ira Sanders was a dedicated advocate for social justice long before the term entered everyday usage. He led Little Rock’s Temple B’nai Israel for nearly forty years, and was a trained social worker in addition to being a rabbi. Just and Righteous Causes, by James L. Moses, is a complete biographical study of Sanders, and examines how this bold social-activist rabbi expertly navigated the intersections of race, religion, and gender to advocate for a more just society.

When Sanders arrived in Little Rock from New York in 1926, he began began striving against the Jim Crow system almost immediately. His career as a dynamic religious and community leader spanned the traumas of the Great Depression, World War II and the Holocaust, and the social and racial struggles of the 1950s and 1960s. This book balances scholarly and narrative tones to provide a personal look into the complicated position of the southern rabbi and the Jewish community throughout the political struggles of the twentieth-century South.

In 1957, he appeared in front of the state legislature to urge compliance with Brown v. Board of Education and encourage the desegregation of school districts. This is an excerpt from that speech:

“The state of Arkansas is very dear to me. It has provided me the opportunity to serve many causes in social welfare, touching both colored and white citizens, Jew and Christian alike. And in recognition of these efforts, the University of Arkansas in 1951 conferred upon me its highest honorary degree—Doctor of Humane Letters. I say this with the deepest humility, so that you may know why I doubly love this State and want to keep unsullied its good name. I would be unworthy of the sacred trust did I not raise my voice in protest of all four measures… I believe that the words of Leviticus 25 are the bedrocks upon which American democracy alone can survive. That are these words inscribed on our Liberty Bell: “Ye shall proclaim liberty throughout the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.” Our nation must be based on liberty and justice for all peoples, whose contributions to the cultural pluralism of our land have been great and varied. The dignity of the individual must never be destroyed by granting the state those powers which would deny anyone the liberty and the freedom guaranteed by the Constitution. These four bills on which we are speaking tonight were all concerned with the thought of circumventing the highest legal authority of the land. They will never stand the test of time, for higher than the legal law of the land stands this moral law of God. It operates slowly but surely, and in the end justice will prevail.”

To read the full speech, click here. 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: What Happens When We Practice Religion?

What Happens When We Practice Religion?: Textures of Devotion in Everyday Life, by Robert WuthnowTextures of Devotion in Everyday Life

Throughout the past few decades, the study of religion has shifted away from essentialist arguments that claim to explain what religion is and why it exists. It is commonly viewed as something that people practice, whether in the presence of others or alone. But what is meant by “practice”? What Happens When We Practice Religion?, by Robert Wuthrow, delves into the central concepts, arguments, and tools that can be used to explore and understand religion today.

Recently, scholars have begun to move away from trying to understand the philosophy of religion. Using methods from anthropology, psychology, religious studies, and sociology, they now focus on what people do and say: their daily religious habits, routines, improvisations, and adaptations. In this book, Wuthnow shows how four intersecting areas of inquiry—situations, intentions, feelings, and bodies—shed important light on religious practice in the modern world.

Reviews and endorsements of the publication include:

With his characteristic insight and erudition, Robert Wuthnow has produced another gem of a book. What Happens When We Practice Religion? is a broad-ranging and generous text, distilling several generations’ worth of social scientific work on the paradigms of practice that will engage newcomers and old-timers alike.”—Matthew Engelke, Columbia University

“This highly interdisciplinary book offers an integrated theoretical framework and a set of research tools for probing religious practice more deeply. Robert Wuthnow weaves together a vast amount of literature that clearly and effectively advances his arguments.”—Ann Taves, University of California, Santa Barbara

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: White Too Long

White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity, by Robert P. JonesThe Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity

In White Too Long, author Robert P. Jones demonstrates how deeply racist attitudes have become embedded in the DNA of white Christian identity over time and calls for an honest reckoning with a complicated, painful, and even shameful past. Drawing on lessons gleaned from case studies of communities beginning to face these challenges, he argues that contemporary white Christians must confront these unsettling truths because it is the only way to salvage the integrity of their faith and their own identities.

As the nation grapples with demographic changes and the legacy of racism in America, Christianity’s role as a cornerstone of white supremacy has been largely overlooked. But white Christians of all denominations have not just been complacent or complicit; rather, as the dominant cultural power, they have constructed and sustained a project of protecting white supremacy and opposing black equality that has framed the entire American story. Jones challenges white Christians to acknowledge that public apologies are not enough—accepting responsibility for the past requires work toward repair in the present.

Reviews and endorsements of the publication include:

White Too Long is a powerful and much needed book. It is a direct challenge to white Christians to finally put aside the idolatry of whiteness in order to release the country and themselves into a different possibility.  With clarity of moral vision, historical nuance, and the sensitivity of an artist’s pen, Jones has written a critical book for these troubled times.” —Eddie S. Glaude Jr., James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor of African American Studies, Princeton University; author of Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lesson for Our Own

“In White Too Long, Robert Jones offers both searching personal testimony and a rigorous look at the facts to call white Christians to account for the scandalous ways white supremacists have regularly distorted and manipulated a faith dedicated to love and justice to rationalize racism. Jones is a rare and indispensable voice in our public conversation about religion because he combines painstaking data analysis with a sure moral sense. May this book encourage soul-searching, repentance, and conversion.”—E. J. Dionne Jr., Columnist for The Washington Post; author of Code Red: How Progressives and Moderates Can Unite to Save Our Country

“Robert P. Jones’s searing White Too Long brilliantly argues that his fellow white Christians must dissent from their received faith and embrace a theology of racial justice. White Too Long is a prophetic call of redemption for folk who have too often idolized whiteness and worshipped America instead of the God of Martin, Fannie Lou and Jesse.”—Michael Eric Dyson, University Professor of Sociology, Georgetown University; author of Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America

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: Begin Again

Being Again: James Baldwin's America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own, by Eddie S. Glaude JrJames Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own

According to Eddie S. Glaude Jr., we live at a time in which those who attempt to achieve a new, better America have been challenged by the election of Trump, a president whose victory represents yet another failure of America to face the lies it tells itself about race. His administration has embraced and advanced the the insidious belief that white people matter more than others, giving rise to horrific events like those that took place at Charlottesville.

Glaude also contends, however, that we have been here before, and James Baldwin was around to see it. Following the abrupt end of the Civil Rights Movement and the murders of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, Jr., Baldwin transformed into a more overtly political writer, a change that came at great professional and personal cost. He wrote about the “after times,” and emerged with a sense of renewed purpose about the necessity of pushing forward in the face of disillusionment and despair. Begin Again is Glaude’s endeavor, following Baldwin, to bear witness to the difficult truth of race in America today. It is at once a searing exploration that lays bare the tangled web of race, trauma, and memory, and a powerful interrogation of what we all must ask of ourselves in order to call forth a new America.

Reviews and endorsements of the publication include:

“In the midst of an ugly Trump regime and a beautiful Baldwin revival, Eddie Glaude has plunged to the profound depths and sublime heights of Baldwin’s prophetic challenge to our present-day crisis.”—Cornel West

Begin Again is an unparalleled masterpiece of social criticism. Glaude thinks alongside America’s finest essayist, matching the master’s firepower, brilliance, courage, and sensitivity at every turn. He pushes, prods and disrobes history, forcing us to face uncomfortable truths and insisting upon our better inheritances. Glaude’s stunningly crafted prose—incisive, vulnerable, and beautiful—is as breathtaking as his brilliance. This book is precisely the witness we need for our treacherous times.”—Imani Perry, author of Breathe and Looking for Lorraine

“In this searing, provocative, and ultimately hopeful book, Eddie Glaude, Jr., takes us on a fascinating journey through the mind and heart of James Baldwin. But a parallel odyssey through Glaude’s own formidable mind and generous heart unfolds as well—an odyssey that tells us much about the way we live now and how we might come to live if we could, to borrow a phrase of Lincoln’s, think anew and act anew. One need not agree with everything in these pages to learn much from them, and for Americans seeking to understand our past, our present, and the possible futures before us, Begin Again challenges, illuminates, and points us toward, if not a more perfect union, at least a more just one.”—Jon Meacham, author of The Soul of America and Destiny and Power

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.

“God and Guns in America” Published

New Book Shows How We Can Impose Firearms Restrictions for a Safer Society While Respecting the Rights of Responsible Gun Owners

Michael W. Austin is professor of philosophy at Eastern Kentucky University, senior fellow at The Dietrich Bonhoeffer Institute, and a national advocate for gun violence prevention alongside many of today’s most prominent interfaith leaders through Everytown for Gun Safety. He’s published books on sports and philosophy, ethics and the family, and the virtue of humility. His latest book is God and Guns in America (Eerdmans, 2020). He’s on Twitter @michaelwaustin, and you can find more information about him and his work at http://www.michaelwaustin.com.

God and Guns in America (Eerdmans, 2020)

What if Christians did more than offer thoughts and prayers in response to gun violence? Ethicist Michael Austin argues—from a Christian but nonpacifist perspective—that we can impose firearms restrictions to make our society safer and less fearful while still respecting the rights of responsible gun owners. God and Guns in America is a thoughtful, measured, and articulate treatment of a polarizing topic that is too often treated with more heat than light.

Austin uses reason as his tool to help us find our way through the murky, confusing, sometimes jumbled thread of Bible quotes—too commonly cherry-picked and exploited by both sides of this controversy—while he debunks the circuitous arguments that often follow. Austin examines the historical, emotional, theological, and social dimensions of gun ownership, deadly force, self-defense, and the claim by some of a Christian duty to use guns to protect ourselves and others. In every instance, the author presents various and opposing viewpoints, but he never shies away from giving the reader his own sound analyses and succinct conclusions. Of particular interest is his analysis of the relationship between character and some aspects of contemporary gun culture in America.

Reviews and endorsements: 

“Austin’s sound arguments, welcoming tone, and emphasis on building peace alongside protections of individual rights have potential to sway Christians on both sides of the discourse around faith and firearms.” Publisher’s Weekly

“Michael Austin exposes the economic forces that have driven America’s gun culture since the end of the Civil War and challenges Christians to be peacebuilders in a violent world, offering a way forward in making it harder for us to harm one another with guns.” Rev. Deanna Hollis, Minister of Gun Violence Prevention, Presbyterian Church (USA)

“With insight, brilliance, and conviction, Austin shows us how to match what the Bible, the evidence, and Christian discernment say about God and guns in America with corresponding actions we can undertake to reduce the dangers and suffering that so often attend to them.” Rob Schenck, from the foreword

“This is an important book – comprehensive yet concise, well researched yet accessible, with a balanced treatment of the theological, ethical, and legal issues related to guns. Highly recommended!” David Gushee, Mercer University

God and Guns in America is required reading for any follower of Jesus interested in the gun debate. The book takes the Bible and the gospel seriously, and also has a good grasp of the legal issues and historical background around the Second Amendment, as well as the public policy issues involved with meaningful control of gun violence. Austin advocates a third way between pacifism and just war notions of the use of violence, which he calls ‘peacebuidling.’ Most readers will likely find something they disagree with, but this is a fine work of theological integration around one of our culture’s most vexing issues. It is a substantive contribution and a helpful way forward.” Scott Rae, Biola University