A Just Church: 21st century Liberation Theology in Action Paperback – 24 Feb 2011
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Chris Howson's book had me hooked from the start. The activist nature of his faith and his ministry are both provocative and challenging. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Rev Sean
I read Chris' book as soon as it came out and had finished the first reading of it 24 hours later. I just couldn't put it down such is the pace of story and depth of... Read morePublished on 19 Nov. 2012 by Keith Hebden