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All My Bones Shake: Seeking a Progressive Path to the Prophetic Voice Original Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1593762346
ISBN-10: 1593762348
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Geoffrey Jensen is John C. Biggs 30 Cincinnati Chair in Military History at Virginia Military Institute.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Soft Skull Press; Original edition (June 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593762348
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593762346
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #257,115 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Theresa Welsh on May 27, 2009
Format: Paperback
Robert Jensen believes we in the United States are living in a dead culture, slowly decaying because our consumption of the world's resources is unsustainable and our policies are too often unjust. He also believes that capitalism is incompatible with democracy and leads to a system where the rich get richer and basically control the democratic process for their own selfish and greedy aims. Not a pleasant picture of the United States of America.

But Jensen has not just written another book about saving the environment or tempering capitalism with humanism. Jensen attempts to tie his secular views in to a philosophy that is, in his estimation, essentially Christian. Jensen does not come by Christianity in the usual way. He has not taken Jesus as his personal savior and he does not think Jesus rose from the dead. He comes to Christianity, not by way of theology, but by way of a point of view involving social activism. He joined a church because of its activities in support of a more sustainable and tolerant world, because he and the minister were friends who agreed on major social issues. His reasoning was reminiscent, for me, of President Barack Obama's reasons for joining a church, as related in his books. Obama too was attracted by the church's social activism for liberal causes. (Obama, of course, later got a lot of flack because of the radical views of his pastor and ended up resigning from the church).

Jensen takes his alternative views even further than Obama (who seems to have accepted Christian theology) in that he does not actually believe in God. At least not in the way most people do. While I found Jensen's desire to be a Christian a bit odd considering his actual beliefs, I also found his reasoning somewhat logical.
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Format: Paperback
Robert Jensen, one of my intellectual heroes, has done the near impossible: an atheist, has now commandeered Christianity to further promote his humanistic causes: And why not? Using Christian activism in the same way that President Obama reports in his second book that he did in joining Rev Wright's Chicago church (but without the required belief in God, of course), is nothing new. Jensen has hitched his progressive wagon to the humanist aspect of those Christian churches who "put their actions where their preacher's mouths are."

And as usual, Jensen is clear headed, committed and will not duck when the flack starts flying. In his usual inimical "take no prisoners" way, he knows where the dead bodies lie and who the real enemy is (in the subtext of American social order and the greedy vampire casino corporate capitalists). And he is relentless in making a case that even a moribund religion such as Christianity must be awaken to help slay this evil bloodsucking dragon. While this Atheist and Christianity shotgun wedding may seem to make for odd bedfellows, Jensen knows that in the end it is only results that really count. And it is the "activist churches" that can embarrass the more moribund ones (that is all the rest of them), enough to reinvigorate American religion to make it rise up on its hind legs again to meet its own ignored humanistic mandate.

Thus there is not just deadly logic in Jensen's approach, but as usual a calculated design to achieve the humanistic goals he has always been seeking, but now by entirely different means: And here he remains committed to a clean environment; equality for minorities, an end to racist chauvinism, and a death blow to the head of the bloodsucking casino corporate capitalists.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a compelling summary of the present challenges we face, both as individuals and as a society. In spite of Jensen's vision being logically rooted in his experience as an American citizen, I think his critics and rationale can be easily extrtapolated to every established person living in the so called First World countries. Although not cited in the book, I see clear connections with the Latinamerican Catholic "Theology of Liberation".
I enjoyed reading it and have been particullarly moved towards a deeper personal and social/ecological commitment. Highly recommended for anyone with a minimum qualm for the type of world we live in.
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ALL MY BONES SHAKE, Seeking a Progressive Path to the Prophetic Voice by Robert Jensen
I make this disclaimer right up front. I love the writing of Robert Jensen and I only write reviews on books that I have a passion for. Robert Jensen best epitomizes a journalist who understands the power of a civic press that is so essential to democratic governing.

In ALL MY BONES SHAKE, The "doubting Thomas" Robert Jenson is on to something. Jenson senses there is something about the powerful prophetic message and the potential of personal transformation and action in the Christian community.

So out of curiosity, Jenson joined a church for the first time since early adulthood. To me, Robert Jensen, as a writer and speaker is doing his part to bring a much needed maturity to Christianity. Robert Jensen is a severe critic of corporate capitalism and much of his book addresses the abuses of global corporate capitalism. I need not belabor the point but merely to say that Jenson concludes that capitalism is anti-democratic and unsustainable.

What I find most valuable are his thoughts on the prophetic imagination and the need for the coming together of loving communities or small groups of like minded people for self reflection and social action.

In reading Robert Jensen, it is very apparent that he has incredible social insight, compassion and much spiritual discernment for our human society. He is filled with the Holy Spirit although he does not believe in the divinity of Christ. I quote Jensen: "For me, Christianity--or any other religion--can be the basis for courage only if we understand God as being within us all, giving us a source of power with us, rather than outside of us".
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