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Author: Dylan Parker

Kutter Callaway and Barry Taylor, The Aesthetics of Atheism: Theology and Imagination in Contemporary Culture, (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2019), pp. xv + 274, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-5064-3988-4 (pbk).

Authors Kutter Callaway and Barry Taylor unapologetically situate their The Aesthetics of Atheism in a post-secular society that finds itself ‘haunted by the perverse core of Christianity’ (p. 6). They contend that what really exists here and now is not so much an atheism/theism divide but a spectrum of belief and unbelief (identified throughout as a/theism) wherein believers struggle with doubt and unbelievers struggle with the need

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In: International Journal of Public Theology
Author: Calida Chu

Jonathan Tran, Asian Americans and the Spirit of Racial Capitalism, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2022), pp. xxvii + 339, $35, ISBN 978-0197617915 (pbk).

Since the rise of anti-Asian racism during the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increasing number of research projects and conferences among Asian Americans to respond to the issue: The Stop AAPI Hate reporting Center, the COVID-19 Asian American oral history project at LaGuardia Community College, and the 2021 Asian American Theology Conference by Princeton Theological Seminary, to name a few. However, Jonathan Tran’s monograph is one

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In: International Journal of Public Theology
Author: Thomas Hampton

Samuel Yonas Deressa and Josh de Keijzer, eds. A Church for the World: The Church’s Role in Fostering Democracy and Sustainable Development, (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books/Fortress Academic, 2020), pp. 284, $ 55.21, ISBN 978-1978710771 (hardcover).

A Church for the World is an impressive volume of essays breaking ground on the topic of sustainable development with tangential discussions of democracy. The ten male authors include perspectives from Africa (Nigeria and Ethiopia), Asia (Philippines, Singapore, and Myanmar), and Europe (the Netherlands). Together they assemble an international perspective on the church’s role in political engagement. Recurring themes are

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In: International Journal of Public Theology

Abstract

This article begins with an interdisciplinary reflection of the city that considers historical and institutional aspects of its formation and dynamics. The elements presented here allow for critical analysis of city planning and political – institutional interventions, which, in addition to reproducing socio-spatial inequalities and segregation, are combined with antidemocratic conceptions that despise universal access to rights, and effective participation and coexistence for the common good. This exploratory article shows the increase of inequality, poverty, and vulnerability in Brazilian territories. Considering the city of Curitiba as an empirical unit, we investigated part of the process of urban planning trends and experiences that can improve deliberative governance and social innovation, which are essential paths for tackling the serious social crisis in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the materialization of the right to the city.

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In: International Journal of Public Theology
Public Theologies in Vibrating Cities – Brazilian Perspectives

Cities vibrate, shine, resonate. They are vibrant, tourist brochures tell us – lively, that is, interesting for those who seek for good food, nightlife, and entertainment. But much more than that, public life is vibrating. What do these vibrations mean? What kind of vibrations are we feeling? Which ones are we systematically closing our senses to? Cities are both precious and precarious. They represent the precious: creativity, mobility, sound, colour, construction, organization, interaction. But they also feature the precarious: poverty, traffic jams, noise, smog, destruction, chaos, exclusion. A diversity of publics, of

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In: International Journal of Public Theology

Abstract

This article aims to show how the concept of the eutopian city can be used as a key for reading Pope Francis’s latest two encyclicals (Laudato Si’, from 2015 and Fratelli Tutti, from 2020). We highlight the ideal of conviviality in the notion of common home, political love, and social friendship, whose paradigm in contemporary urban life would be the experience of neighbourhood. This involves thinking of the city as a space of conviviality and the construction of a common project of society, overcoming the divisions of a closed world in favour of an open world. The papal texts therefore reveal formulation of a political proposal precisely at the time when politics was dying, fostered by new climate conditions and the renewed culture of walls.

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In: International Journal of Public Theology

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This article sheds light on a phenomenon that has been called ex- or post-evangelicalism, noticed first in the USA – especially since Donald Trump’s election in 2016 – and then in Brazil, more notably in connection with the rise of Bolsonarism. Based on a series of interviews, the article examines the reasons why a number of people formerly connected to evangelical churches are ceasing to name their evangelical affiliation, particularly as the connection between important evangelical leaders and the far-right government of Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil has gained prominence in the past few years. On top of such a connection, the article shows that among the motives that drive individuals and communities away from their former evangelical identity are the instances evangelical churches have taken against religious plurality, black and indigenous cultures, and LGBTQIA+ communities.

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In: International Journal of Public Theology

Abstract

The growing political influence of evangélico Christians in traditionally Catholic Brazil has caught the attention of social and political scientists as well as theologians. What are the reasons for two thirds of the mainly Pentecostal and Neo-Pentecostal electorate voting for Jair Messias Bolsonaro, the representative of an extreme right? This article explores traditional positions aligned with Bolsonaro’s morality, but also those that are contrary. The government’s blatant failure to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic has given, and indeed should give, rise to what the author calls an “evangélico sense of shame” as a consequence of the incompatibility of many of that part of the electorate that explicitly identified its faith convictions with Bolsonaro’s stances and actions. At the extreme end of an uncritical adherence is idolatry, visible, in the president being anointed by Edir Macedo, the supreme bishop of the Universal Church of God’s Kingdom. A genuinely theological dialogue and criticism is needed that would evaluate not only cognitive, but also affective and spiritual arguments and aspects.

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In: International Journal of Public Theology
Raimundo C. Barreto

PhD, Princeton Theological Seminary is Associate Professor of World Christianity at Princeton Theological Seminary. He is the general editor of the Fortress Press series World Christianity and Public Religion and one of the conveners of the World Christianity Conference at Princeton. His publications include Evangélicos e Pobreza no Brasil: Encontros e Respostas Éticas (2019) and Decolonial Christianities: Latinx and Latin American Perspectives (2019, co-edited with Roberto Sirvent).

Alex Villas Boas

DTh in Systematic Theology, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro; habilitation in Ethicas and Theological Language, Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo,

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In: International Journal of Public Theology

Abstract

This article aims to analyze the tasks of public theology concerning the religious phenomenon in a context of multiple modernities. The interaction of religion and public space may take the form of a disjunction between public and private that strengthens the rigid discourse of religious identity against a common project of society. In this context, the place of religion in the public life becomes a significant challenge for public theology. Therefore, in dialogue with the theoretical perspectives of Jürgen Habermas, David Tracy, Michel de Certeau, and Pope Francis, this text proposes a movement towards a complex and interdisciplinary approach that values a shared humanity and responsibility with the common home.

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In: International Journal of Public Theology