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God in Public: Four Ways American Christianity and Public Life Relate [Paperback]

By Mark G. Toulouse (Author)
Our Price $ 25.50  
Retail Value $ 30.00  
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Item Number 154437  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   224
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9" Width: 6.1" Height: 0.8"
Weight:   0.98 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 17, 2006
Publisher   Westminster John Knox Press
ISBN  0664229131  
EAN  9780664229139  


Availability  58 units.
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Item Description...
Overview
In this important study, Mark Toulouse maps the ambiguous landscape between American Christianity and American public life. Built on an extensive study of religious periodical literature since the mid-1950s and on an analysis of landmark events in American history, Toulouse develops an insightful typology for understanding how Americans have related their Christian faith to public life. For Toulouse, the relationship between American Christianity and American public life exists in four styles of interaction: iconic faith, priestly faith, the public Christian, and the public church-with each model appearing in various forms across the terrain of American history. Carefully examined and accessibly written, this study is sure to generate discussion and bring clarity to the many ambiguities and diversities that continue to mark American Christianity.

Publishers Description

In this important study, Mark Toulouse maps the ambiguous landscape between American Christianity and American public life. Built on an extensive study of religious periodical literature since the mid-1950s and on an analysis of landmark events in American history, Toulouse develops an insightful typology for understanding how Americans have related their Christian faith to public life. For Toulouse, the relationship between American Christianity and American public life exists in four styles of interaction--iconic faith, priestly faith, the public Christian, and the public church--with each model appearing in various forms across the terrain of American history. Carefully examined and accessibly written, this study is sure to generate discussion and bring clarity to the many ambiguities and diversities that continue to mark American Christianity.

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More About Mark G. Toulouse

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! MARK G. TOULOUSE is principal and professor of the History of Christianity at Emmanuel College of Victoria University in the University of Toronto. His two most recent books are "God in Public: Four Ways American Christianity and Public Life Relate," named one of the top ten books published in 2006 by the Academy of Parish Clergy, and "Renewing Christian Unity: A Concise History of the Christian Church" (Disciples of Christ).
JEFFREY WILLIAMS is associate dean for Academic Affairs and assistant professor of American Religious History at Brite Divinity School. He is the author of "Religion and Violence in Early American Methodism: Taking the Kingdom by Force."
DYAN M. DIETZ is a PhD student in Biblical Interpretation at Brite Divinity School. She received a masters in divinity at Brite and is a pastor in the North Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church. She is currently serving an appointment as associate pastor at Lake Cities United Methodist Church in Lake Dallas, Texas.




Mark G. Toulouse was born in 1952.

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > History > Americas > United States > General   [16214  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > History > Americas > United States   [399  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General   [31520  similar products]
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5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Philosophy   [1924  similar products]
7Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > Church & State   [1182  similar products]



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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Christians in Public  Mar 12, 2007
Mark Toulouse's God in Public, which carries the recommendation of Martin Marty in a foreword, is a groundbreaking study of the role religion plays in public life. It focuses on the past half century of American history, a period in which America went from a more or less religiously homogeneous nation, at least on the surface, to one that is increasingly diverse.

Beginning with an important overview of the Constitutional issues involved in any conversation about religion and public life, the focus of the book is on four styles of public interaction: Iconic Faith, Priestly Faith, the Public Christian, and the Public Church.
Iconic and Priestly Faith are expressions of a civil religion that often confuse and fuse religious and public ideologies and symbols. Whether serving religious or state interests, both styles undermine the integrity of the state and of the various religious entities within the nation. In addition, both styles leave little room for a full expression of America's religious diversity - consider the claims that we are either a Christian nation or a Judeo-Christian nation. If true, where does that leave the significant minority of Americans who either do not profess any faith or profess a faith tradition outside the Jewish and the Christian traditions?

If these two styles are unacceptable and unless we assume that religion is completely private, then the question remains - how might a Christian interact within the public square? The two possible options outlined in this book are the Public Christian and the Public Church.

The first style, the Public Christian, has a long pedigree. It has roots in Augustine's "two cities" and Luther's "two kingdoms." Both perspectives view church and public life as separate entities, one spiritual and the other earthly, that are ultimately unrelated. Christians may engage in public life as individuals, but the church is called to focus on spiritual matters. Social transformation is not within the purview of the church, though, though the Christian's interaction is formed by his or her faith professions.

The second style is one that Toulouse himself finds more promising than the Public Christian. The Public Church model finds roots in Calvin's belief that all human life stands under the Kingdom of God and Ritschl's "Ethical Imperative." It undergirded the Social Gospel and Civil Rights Movements. It is the style of a Walter Rauschenbusch and a Martin Luther King, both of whom called on the church to prophetically engage the public square.

The danger for the advocates of the Public Church perspective is the temptation to fall into the trap of the "Priestly Faith." The postmodern context, however, provides the kind of buffer needed so that the advocates of social change understand that we live in a pluralistic environment. There are, therefore, limits to the church's voice. It speaks not as part of the establishment, but as a prophetic challenge to the establishment. Recognition that this is one voice among several encourages humility.

This is a must read book. It helps the reader understand the issues facing Americans today and it gives a needed set of guidelines for fruitful engagement by the church in American public life.

Rev. Dr. Robert Cornwall
Pastor, First Christian Church of Lompoc, CA
http://pastorbobcornwall.blogspot.com
 

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