In this culmination of his widely read and highly acclaimed Cultural Liturgies project, James K. A. Smith examines politics through the lens of liturgy. What if, he asks, citizens are not only thinkers or believers but also lovers? Smith explores how our analysis of political institutions would look different if we viewed them as incubators of love-shaping practicesnot merely governing us but forming what we love. How would our political engagement change if we weren't simply looking for permission to express our "views" in the political sphere but actually hoped to shape the ethos of a nation, a state, or a municipality to foster a way of life that bends toward shalom?This book offers a well-rounded public theology as an alternative to contemporary debates about politics. Smith explores the religious nature of politics and the political nature of Christian worship, sketching how the worship of the church propels us to be invested in forging the common good. This book creatively merges theological and philosophical reflection with illustrations from film, novels, and music and includes helpful exposition and contemporary commentary on key figures in political theology.
About the Author
James K. A. Smith (PhD, Villanova University) is professor of philosophy at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he also holds the Gary and Henrietta Byker Chair in Applied Reformed Theology and Worldview. He is the editor of Comment magazine and is a popular speaker. Smith has authored or edited many books, including Imagining the Kingdom, Who's Afraid of Relativism?, and the Christianity Today Book Award winners You Are What You Love, Desiring the Kingdom, and Who's Afraid of Postmodernism?
Table of Contents
ContentsIntroduction: Liturgical Politics: Reforming Public Theology1. Rites Talk: The Worship of Democracy2. Revisiting the Church as Polis: Cultivating an Ecclesial Center of Gravity3. The Craters of the Gospel: Liberalism's Borrowed Capital4. The Limits and Possibility of Pluralism: Reforming Reformed Public Theology5. Redeeming Christendom: Or, What's Wrong with Natural Law?6. Contested Formations: Our "Godfather" ProblemConclusion: The City of God and the City We're In: Augustinian Principles for Public ParticipationIndexes
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
In this final installment of the heralded Cultural Liturgies trilogy, James K.A. Smith invites us to reexamine the way we approach politics – and, even more, the ways politics "disciple" us. Continuing his ongoing engagement with Augustine, Smith argues that we are liturgical creatures, shaped for better and worse by rites both within and outside the church. For those of us who are persuaded of "the good of politics" but recognize all the ways governments and citizens fall short in this time between the times, Awaiting the King is the book we have been waiting for.