A Companion to Public Theology


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Winner of the 2017 Choice Outstanding Academic Title Award

Public theology has emerged in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries as theologians have increasingly entered the public square to engage complex issues. This Companion to Public Theology brings a much-needed resource to this relatively new field. The essays contained here bring a robust and relevant faith perspective to a wide range of issues as well as foundational biblical and theological perspectives which equip theologians to enter into public dialogue. Public theology has never been more needed in public discourse, whether local or global. In conversation across disciplines its contribution to the construction of just policies is apparent in this volume, as scholars examine the areas of political, social and economic spheres as well as issues of ethics and civil societies, and draw on contexts from six continents.

Contributors are: Chris Baker, Andrew Bradstock, Luke Bretherton, Lisa Sowle Cahill, Letitia M. Campbell, Cláudio Carvalhaes, Katie Day, Frits de Lange, Jolyon Mitchell, Elaine Graham, Paul Hanson, Nico Koopman, Sebastian Kim, Esther McIntosh, Clive Pearson, Scott Paeth, Larry L. Rasmussen, Hilary Russell, Nicholas Sagovsky, Dirk J. Smit, William Storrar, David Tombs, Rudolf von Sinner, Jenny Anne Wright, and Yvonne Zimmerman.

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Sebastian Kim, PhD (Theology, University of Cambridge), holds the Chair in Theology and Public Life in the School of Humanities, Religion and Philosophy at York St John University. He is a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society and the Editor of International Journal of Public Theology.

Katie Day, PhD (Sociology, Temple University) holds the Charles A. Schieren Chair of Church and Society at the United Lutheran Seminary at Philadelphia. Her research and publications draw on social research and explore the intersection of race, class and violence and their implications for public theology.
"Wie der Überblick zeigt, bietet das Companion einen breiten Zugang zum Forschungsfeld Öffentliche Theologie. Für die wertvolle Zusammenstellung gebührt den Herausgebern Dank. Torben Stamer, Bamberg, in: Zeitschrift für Evangelisch Ethik, Volume 62.3 (2018).

"With this companion, Kim and Day make an excellent contribution to the growing field of public theology. (...) The editors' introduction alone makes this book well worth purchasing. It is perhaps the clearest and most concise introduction to public theology available today. (...) The range of the volume is wide, and the topics it discusses are varied yet intricately connected by themes of discourse, social justice, and working for the common good. For those engaged in politics and social justice, A Companion to Public Theology is a much-needed resource."
- J. L. Best, Choice Volume 55, Issue 2 (2017)

"This volume is a truly fine book. It is practical and academic, public (witness) and private (worship), innovative and historical, contextual and globalized, readable and demanding.(...) it is my hope that anyone interested in public theology would find this volume helpful for their
deeper and broader understanding of how public theology was historically developed and how it contextually plays a crucial role in our academic discourses, debates and dialogues for the mission of the church and society."
- David Thang Moe, Asbury Theological Seminary, in: International Journal of Public Theology Volume 11 (2017).


William Storrar
List of Contributors

Katie Day and Sebastian Kim

PART 1 - Foundations of Public Theology

Chapter 1: The Bible and Public Theology
Paul Hanson
Chapter 2: Public Theology in the History of Christianity
Sebastian Kim
Chapter 3: Does it Matter? On Whether there is Method in the Madness
Dirk J. Smit

PART 2 - Public Theology and the Political Sphere

Chapter 4: State, Democracy & Community Organizing
Luke Bretherton
Chapter 5: Public Theology and Reconciliation
David Tombs
Chapter 6: Public Theology in the Context of Nationalist Ideologies: A South African Example
Nico Koopman
Chapter 7: Politics, Church and the Common Good
Andrew Bradstock and Hilary Russell

Part 3 - Public Theology, Economics and Social Justice
Chapter 8: Public Theology in the Context of Globalization
Scott R. Paeth
Chapter 9: Social Cohesion and the Common Good: Drawing on Social Science in Understanding the Middle East
Katie Day
Chapter 10: Public Theology as a Theology of Citizenship
Rudolf von Sinner
Chapter 11: Public Theology, the Public Sphere and the Struggle for Social Justice
Nicholas Sagovsky
Chapter 12: Forced Labor and the Movement to End Human Trafficking
Letitia M. Campbell and Yvonne C. Zimmerman
Chapter 13: ‘I Met God, She’s Black’: Racial, Gender and Sexual Equalities in Public Theology
Esther McIntosh
Chapter 14: Public Theology and Health Care
Frits de Lange

Part 4 - Public Theology, Ethics and Civil Societies
Chapter 15: Whence Climate Injustice
Larry Rasmussen
Chapter 16: Public Theology and Bioethics
Lisa Sowle Cahill
Chapter 17: Urban Ecology and Faith Communities
Christopher Baker and Elaine Graham
Chapter 18: The Quest for a Coalitional Praxis: Examining the Attraction of a Public Theology from the Perspective of Minorities
Clive Pearson
Chapter 19: Mediating Public Theology
Jolyon Mitchell and Jenny Wright
Chapter 20: Worship, Liturgy and Public Witness
Cláudio Carvalhaes

All interested in the intersection of religion and civil society; academic institutions, departments, libraries of theology and religion; clergy; educated laypersons engaged in public issues wanting global perspectives.
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