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Urban Christianity and Global Order: Theological Resources for an Urban Future [Paperback]

By Andrew Davey (Author)
Our Price $ 14.41  
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Item Number 119554  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   165
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.48" Width: 6.38" Height: 0.52"
Weight:   0.6 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jul 1, 2003
Publisher   Hendrickson Publishers
ISBN  1565637151  
EAN  9781565637153  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
This is the first book to bring together current urban theory and theology in a form that may be used as a text book for Urban Theology courses, as well as being accessible to the general reader. Urban Christianity and Global Order offers a new understanding of urban experience in the Bible, and its relevance for Christian engagement in the urban context of the twenty-first century. It explores how globalization is affecting communities worldwide, and seeks for a new pattern of local and global Christian mission.

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More About Andrew Davey

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Andrew Davey has been a parish priest in inner London and is currently Assistant Secretary (Community and Urban Affairs) for the Church of England's Board of Social Responsibility.

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1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Humanities > Religious Studies > Christianity   [2832  similar products]
2Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Social Sciences > Sociology   [1895  similar products]
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Desperate yet hopeful  Jan 3, 2007
An excellent analysis moving our attention away from the merely parochial concerns to more global ones. Sound theology accompanies thoughtful illustration and evidence of thinking outside the box.
What grabbed my attention was Davey's use of practioners in the field such as the UN-Habitat work and Leonie Sandercock as paradigms for engaging the rapid , multidimensional and multicultural growth of cities. It challenges people of faith to discern what is vital and essential in their faith experience in order to contribute meaningfully and constructively to the new communities being formed. At the same time Davey's book is a challenge to be open and engaging of the greater possibilities of the presence of God in a whole new cast of characters and beliefs. The final challenge which the book articulates is the intense schema presented by the current built environment in older cities and the devastating ecological and socio-economic character of the slums around the world which now claim over a billion residents.
While it is a book that places urban life in historical and theological context, Davey clearly articulates a future that will demand greater moral imagination and prophetic will if we are to respect the dignity of every human being and care for all of God's creation. I found it to be a pragmatic assessment that actually is quite hopeful.
Profound -- Yet A Missed Opportunity.  Jul 1, 2006
This was not an easy book. It is densely written, and would require, ideally, a prior background in liberation theology. However, it is to the credit of author Andrew Davey that he declares his basic approaches, and seeks to provide a few basic definitions.

During the past thirty years, there has been a massive migration to the cities. As an example, a mere 20% of the population of England is now defined as being "nonurban". With the special problems which cities present, this makes it vital to develop a theology for the city.

Davey considers that globalisation has brought about two great distortions in our world. Firstly, there has been increasing "division of rich and poor". Secondly, "valorization" has been seriously skewed. (He defines valorization as "a socially embedded dynamic that sets criteria for valuing, for pricing economic activities, outcomes, or sites"). Most importantly, there has been the false "devalorization of people, places, and activities".

The Church, in its response, requires "a utopian vision" -- for the reason that this is able "to challenge the present". This should take place in the context of Christian communities. These are, on the one hand, communities of "justice, stewardship, and inclusion". On the other hand, they have "key tasks [of] evangelism", including "resistance . . . denunciation . . . critique . . . advocacy . . . and reconstruction". And always, they should have a preference for the "lower circuits" of the new global order.

The book had, I believe, two significant weaknesses. Firstly, it is Davey's view that the early Christians "claimed" aspects of the Biblical narrative as they had "glimpsed [it] in their community life". Therefore "God's new order is apparent to those who would perceive". That is, our starting point would appear to be self-evident perception. Many would find such epistemology unsatisfactory. Secondy, while he shared ways in which the Church had engaged in "actions" in the past, his "resources" for an urban future seemed to be of uncertain promise, and he seemed too often to defer to the need for "negotiation".

Davey is an erudite man, and his thought is wide and encompassing -- yet I felt that these shortcomings tended to reduce the value of the book. It could have been a strong talking point -- at least considerably stronger than it is in its present form.

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