Writings on Reconciliation and Resistance

Overview

If prophets are called to unveil and expose the illegitimacy of those principalities masquerading as "the right" and purportedly using their powers for "the good" the Will D. Campbell is one of the foremost prophets in American religious history. Like Clarence Jordan and Dorothy Day, Campbell incarnates the radical iconoclastic vocation of standing in contraposition to society, naming and smashing the racial, economic, and political idols that seduce and delude.

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Overview

If prophets are called to unveil and expose the illegitimacy of those principalities masquerading as "the right" and purportedly using their powers for "the good" the Will D. Campbell is one of the foremost prophets in American religious history. Like Clarence Jordan and Dorothy Day, Campbell incarnates the radical iconoclastic vocation of standing in contraposition to society, naming and smashing the racial, economic, and political idols that seduce and delude.

In this anthology Campbell diagnoses a problem afflicting much of the church today. Zealous to make a difference in the world by acquiring the power of legislation and enforcement, Christians employ society's political science rather than the scandalous political of Jesus. Although well-intentioned, Christians are, Campbell laments, mistakenly "up to our steeples in politics." Campbell's prescription is for disciples simply incarnate the reconciliation that Christ has achieved. Rather than crafting savvy strategies and public policies, "Do nothing," Campbell counsels. "Be reconciled!"

Yet his encouragement to "do nothing" is no endorsement of passivity or apolitical withdrawal. Rather, Campbell calls for disciples to give their lives in irrepressible resistance against all principalities and powers that would impede or deny our reconciliation in Christ-an unrelenting prophetic challenge leveled especially at institutional churches, as well as Christian college and universities.

In Sermons, difficult-to-access journal articles, and archival manuscripts, Campbell then develops what reconciliation looks like. Being the church, for example, means identifying with, and advocating for, society's "least one" -includingviolent offenders, disenfranchised minorities, and even militant bigots. In fact, in Campbell's ordo the scorned sectarian and disinherited denizen is often closer to the peculiar Christian genius than are society's well-healed powerbrokers.

Disciples seeking to discern their calling can hardly do better than taking direction from this "bootleg," pulpitless preacher.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781606081280
  • Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/28/2010
  • Pages: 252
  • Sales rank: 1,013,824
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Will D. Campbell was a Baptist preacher in Taylor, Louisiana, for two years before taking the position of Director of Religious Life at the University of Mississippi from 1954 to 1956. Forced to leave the university because of his ardent Civil Rights participation, Campbell served on the National Council of Churches in New York as a race relations consultant. Campbell worked closely with the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., John Lewis, and Andrew Young towards bettering race relations. Campbell's Brother to a Dragonfly earned him the Lillian Smith Prize, the Christopher Award, and a National Book Award nomination. The Glad River won a first-place award from the Friends of American Writers in 1982. His works have also won a Lyndhurst Prize and an Alex Haley Award.

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Table of Contents

Introduction Richard C Goode vii

Introit xi

Reconciliation

A With the Thomas Colemans

1 Excerpt from Brother to a Dragonfly 5

2 "Law and Love in Lowndes County" 11

B With All the Imprisoned

3 Good News to the Prisoners 19

4 Exchange of Letters with Chaplain Amos L Wilson, Tennessee State Prison 26

C With the "Rednecks"

5 Homily to a Liturgical Conference 33

6 Excerpt from "Our Grade Is" 37

7 "The World of the Redneck" 41

8 Letter to McGeorge Bundy 51

9 Letter to Walker Percy 57

D The Incarnation of the Church

10 Excerpt from "Symposium on Transcending Ideological Conformity" 61

11 "Last Act of a Tragedy: Where to Sit in Scottsboro" 64

12 Interview with The Wittenburg Door 71

13 "Where's the Church?" 75

14 Speech to the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary 78

15 Foreword to Randoloph Loney's A Dream of the Tattered Man 84

Resistance

A To the Steeples

16 "Heresy in Our Time" 91

17 "The Power of the Church in Integration" 95

18 "The Basic Problem Involved in Removing Racial and Cultural Disintegration" 99

19 "Witnessing When the Cultural Landmarks Are Down" 101

20 "Footwashing or the New Hermeneutic?" 104

21 "Which Is the Real Evil: Snake-handling or the Established Church?" 116

22 "Values and Hazards of Theological Preaching" 118

23 "An Open Letter to Dr. Billy Graham" 124

24 "Can There Be a Crusade for Christ?" 128

25 Excerpts from Forty Acres and a Goat 1134

26 "Personal Struggle for Soul Freedom" 142

27 "There Is Hope" 152

28 Excerpt from The Convention 160

29 Sermon at Riverside Church, NYC 165

B To the Political Principalities and Powers

30 "White Liberals Are All Right in Their Place" 177

31"Up to Our Steeples in Politics" 182

32 Introduction to Up to Our Steeples in Politics 197

33 "On Mass Mobilizations" 202

C To the Academy

34 Excerpt from "Our Grade Is 'F'" 207

35 "What Do We Do about What Has Been Done?" 216

36 "The Computer Talks Back" 226

Index 233

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