With so many injustices, small and great, across the world and right at our doorstep, what are people of faith to do? Since the 1930s, organizing movements for social justice in the U.S. have largely been built on assumptions that are of secular origin--such as reliance on self-interest and having a common enemy as a motivator for change. But what if Christians were to shape their organizing around the implications of the truth that God is real and Jesus is risen? Alexia Salvatierra has developed a model of social action that is rooted in the values and convictions born of faith. Together with theologian Peter Heltzel, this model of "faith-rooted organizing" offers a path to meaningful social change that takes seriously the command to love God and to love our neighbor as ourselves.
People too often enter into conflict with an eye on how to resolve, manage, or transform it, thereby losing sight of the people involved and the end desired. Justice and peace too often serve as abstract ideals or distant shores. We have not yet learned enough about how these ends can also be the means of conflict resolution. Drawing on the imaginations of some leading peace and restorative justice practitioners, Justpeace Ethics identifies components of a justpeace imagination--the basis of an alternative ethics, where the end is touched with each step. In this simple companion to justpeace ethics, Jarem Sawatsky helps those struggling with how to respond to conflict and violence in both just and peaceful ways. He offers practical examples of how analysis, intervention, and evaluation can be rooted in a justpeace imagination.
At a time when participation in formal political process and membership of faith groups have both declined dramatically, community organizing has provided a new opportunity for small community groups, marginalized urban communities, and people of faith to engage in effective political action through the developments of inter-faith and cross-cultural coalitions of groups. In spite of its renewed popularity, little critical attention has been paid to community organizing. This book places community organizing within debates about the role of religion in the public sphere and the rise of public theology in recent years. The book explores the history, methodology, and achievements of community organizing, engaging in a series of conversations with key community organizers in the US and Britain. This volume breaks new ground by beginning to articulate a cross-cultural and inter-faith Theology for Community Organizing that arises from fresh readings of Liberation Theology.
In this book, noted theologian and bestselling author Ron Sider argues that the search for peaceful alternatives to violence is not only a practical necessity in the wake of the twentieth century--the most bloody in human history--but also a moral demand of the Christian faith. He presents compelling examples of how nonviolent action has been practiced in history and in current social-political situations to promote peace and oppose injustice, showing that this path is a successful and viable alternative to violence.
Prophetic Activism is the first broad comparative examination of progressive religious activism in the United States. Set up as a counter-narrative to religious conservatism, the book offers readers a deeper understanding of the richness and diversity of contemporary religious activism. Helene Slessarev-Jamir offers five case studies of major progressive religious justice movements that have their roots in liberative interpretations of Scripture: congregational community organizing; worker justice; immigrant rights work; peace-making and reconciliation; and global anti-poverty and debt relief. Drawing on intensive interviews with activists at all levels of this work--from pastors and congregational leaders to local organizers and the executive directors of the national networks--she uncovers the ways in which they construct an ethical framework for their work. In addition to looking at predominantly Christian organizations, the book also highlights the growth of progressive activism among Jews, Muslims, and Buddhists who are engaged in reinterpreting their religious texts to support new forms of activism.
Susan K. Williams Smith is a minister and activist who has been on the front lines of social and racial justice for many years. As she has marched shoulder-to-shoulder to resist systematic oppression, she has heard the same question over and over: "How are we going to get through this?" Rest for the Justice-Seeking Soul was birthed out of those cries. Here is a soul-care manual for social justice-seeking believers who stand in constant vigilance against all forms of racial, class, and gender oppression. In response to the many calls and emails she has received from friends, clergy, and strangers who are in utter despair and even deep depression, she has created ninety daily devotions to provide a daily spoonful of hope and encouragement, a healing balm to "strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees" (Hebrews 12:12). Lift your gaze upward toward a better future by allowing God to restore harmony and focus in your soul and justice in your community. Our God is bigger than whoever is oppressing you. As the old hymn states, "Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal."
This collection of sermons adds compelling clarity to the growing chorus of Christian voices that are passionate about LGBTQ justice and equality--not in spite of their faith but precisely because of it.With a combination of pastoral sensitivity, scholarly insight, and courageous vision, these sermons are a must-read not only for LGBTQ people longing to know they don't have to deny their religious convictions in order to embrace their sexuality and/or gender identity, but also for people of faith who wonder if they have to disregard the Bible in order to fully accept their LGBTQ neighbors, friends, and family members. This volume is an ideal resource for small groups, Sunday school classes, preachers, church leaders, and all people everywhere who are interested in recognizing how the rich resources in the Bible can be cultivated in order to celebrate--rather than condemn--LGBTQ friends and neighbors.
In these challenging times when Christianity is so often misrepresented, misunderstood, and misused for unjust agendas, the sermons in this collection give voice and courage for preachers committed to preach hope, justice, and resistance.