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A Just Church: 21st century Liberation Theology in Action Paperback – 24 Feb 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Continuum (24 Feb. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1441199926
  • ISBN-13: 978-1441199928
  • Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 1.3 x 21.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 288,059 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

This excellent book marks a detailed renewal in the field of liberation theology... The reign of God finds excellent celebration and probable advance in Howson's chronicles. Attractively delivered and fully justifiable of the subtitle's boast: 21st Century Liberation Theology in Action! Immensely readable, comprehensive, clear and compelling.' --thegoodbookstall.org.uk

'This excellent book marks a detailed renewal in the field of liberation theology... The reign of God finds excellent celebration and probable advance in Howson's chronicles. Attractively delivered and fully justifiable of the subtitle's boast: 21st Century Liberation Theology in Action! Immensely readable, comprehensive, clear and compelling.' --thegoodbookstall.org.uk, 27th April 2011

About the Author

Chris Howson grew up on a council estate near Staines. He became a social worker after serving as President of the Students Union in Bradford, where he now has responsibility for founding fresh expressions of Church for young people in and around the centre of the city. He ran a hostel for those coming out of prison whilst setting up and living in a Radical Routes Housing Co-op in the riot-afflicted area of Manningham Lane. After training for the Anglican ministry at Cranmer Hall, Durham, he worked as a curate on the Holme Wood Estate before being priested by the Bishop of Cuba and Uruguay.


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4.3 out of 5 stars
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This book marks a revival in the field of liberation theology. It demonstrates how the church, especially the emerging church, can learn from a 'theology of the poor'. It deals in practical ways how Christians can respond to issues of conflict, climate change and the increasing global poverty gap.

It looks at how churches can respond to their own contexts, and examines how in the Northern English city of Bradford, one church has dealt with urban regeneration, far right demonstrations, sanctuary seekers, guerrilla gardening and a host of other issues. It links local and global contexts and throws a challenge to all people of faith to work with their neighbours to build fairer and more just communities.

Many of those connected with this church have been arrested over the last 5 years, especially campaigning against the war in Iraq/Afghanistan and Britains nuclear weapons industry. It is at times funny (the pillow fight with zombies at Aldermaston Nuclear Base!) devastating (the deportation of asylum families) and uplifting (with many inspiring stories and projects such as the Street Angels project to reduce violence in city centres)

I hope it helps to restore the significance of liberation theology, and rebuilds confidence to tackle the big issues of our day.
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Format: Paperback
I read a blog recently that simply stated `people don't forget stories, they forget facts`. It seems that in writing A Just Church, Chris Howson had this in mind.

A Just Church is an immensely readable story of the life of a small church community seeking to live out what they believe.

The book begins by outlining the theology on which the church operates, highlighting the Activist Christ in the Gospels and touching on the core elements of liberation theology. Following this brief introduction the reader is taken on a journey through campaigns, events and activities and the joys and frustrations of the people involved.

What is great about this book is that it enthuses rather than intimidates. I was expecting to feel a little inadequate reading about all the great things this small church has achieved in the last 5 years. This community has done great things but often through small gestures - much like Jesus describing how the Kingdom of God is - the smallest mustard seed growing into something much bigger.

Chris also provides at the end of each chapter some practical ideas for trying something similar yourself using an easy to remember model of EARS - Education, Action, Reflection and Sustaining.

Barbara Glasson in her afterword describes this book as joyful - it really is that, I found myself grinning as I read it on the train! It is also a clarion call to the church to recognise that a core part of its role is to stand up for the poor and challenge injustice wherever we find it.

At the launch of this book at the Waterstones store in Bradford, the manager said two things about the book which really ring true.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The e-book turned out to be more of the author's experiences in his home area, Bradford, and his experiences with 'liberation' organisations and protest groups, which were described in detail. I would have preferred a more generalised overview of how Liberation Theology could be applied. Nevertheless, the book's title definitely describes its content, something that does not always happen. I was pleased that I did not purchase the paperback.
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A challenging book, presenting a theology of liberation and justice through real examples from the church on the ground. You may not agree with it all but you will be stimulated to think about the issues.
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So often we receive great theory from some people - but can't 'picture' how it works in reality
or we see great work - but wonder what the philosophy is behind it.
In this book, Howson neatly splits the book into two halves : theory first (with some illustrations)
then practical outworkings of how it has worked.
Beginning with some tenets of Liberation theology, particularly contextualisation, Howson shows how a christian community can respond and indeed shape the communities and structures around it by employing both simple actions and risky projects. Supporting the weak and voiceless, seeking partners, courageous challenging of the 'powers' all proceed from a clearer understanding of Jesus of Nazareth heavily influenced by Ched Myer's work, particularly Binding the Strong Man : a socio-political interpratation of Mark's gospel.
The refreshing icing throughout the book is Howson's clear honesty about the difficulty of the road travelled and his thankfulness at the consistent reliance on 'God incidences'which enabled Justchurch to emerge and achieve so much.
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