Awaiting the King: Reforming Public Theology (Cultural Liturgies)

James K. A. Smith

Awaiting the King: Reforming Public Theology (Cultural Liturgies)
Awaiting the King: Reforming Public Theology (Cultural Liturgies)

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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 practices--not 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 full-orbed 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.

  • Contents
  • Introduction: Liturgical Politics: Reforming Public Theology
  • 1. Rites Talk: The Worship of Democracy
  • 2. Revisiting the Church as Polis: Cultivating an Ecclesial Center of Gravity
  • 3. The Craters of the Gospel: Liberalism's Borrowed Capital
  • 4. The Limits and Possibility of Pluralism: Reforming Reformed Public Theology
  • 5. Redeeming Christendom: Or, What's Wrong with Natural Law
  • 6. Contested Formations: Our "Godfather" Problem
  • Conclusion: The City of God and the City We're In: Augustinian Principles for Public Participation
  • Indexes


Pages: 256
Publisher: Baker Academic
Published: 2017
ISBN-10: 0801035791
ISBN-13: 9780801035791

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