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The Awakening of Hope: Why We Practice a Common Faith Paperback – August 25, 2012

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About the Author

Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove is an associate minister at St. Johns Baptist Church. A graduate of Duke Divinity School, Jonathan is engaged in reconciliation efforts in Durham, North Carolina, directs the School for Conversion (, and is a sought-after speaker and author of several books. The Rutba House, where Jonathan lives with his wife, Leah, their son, JaiMichael, daughter, Nora Ann, and other friends, is a new monastic community that prays, eats, and lives together, welcoming neighbors and homeless. Find out more at
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (August 25, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310293383
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310293385
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #824,622 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove is a celebrated spiritual author and sought-after speaker. A native of North Carolina, he is a graduate of Eastern University and Duke Divinity School.

In 2003, Jonathan and his wife Leah founded the Rutba House, a house of hospitality where the formerly homeless are welcomed into a community that eats, prays, and shares life together. Jonathan directs the School for Conversion, an organization that has grown out of the life of Rutba House to pursue beloved community with kids in their neighborhood, through classes in North Carolina prisons, and in community-based education around the country. He is also an Associate Minister at the historically black St. Johns Missionary Baptist Church.

Jonathan is a co-complier of the celebrated Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals, and is the author of several books on Christian spirituality, including The Awakening of Hope, The Wisdom of Stability, and The New Monasticism.

An evangelical Christian who connects with the broad spiritual tradition and its monastic witnesses, Jonathan is a leader in the New Monasticism movement. He speaks often about emerging Christianity to churches and conferences across the denominational spectrum and has given lectures at dozens of universities, including Calvin College, Bethel University, Duke University, Swarthmore College, St. John's University, DePaul University, and Baylor University.

Connect with Jonathan at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Daniel E. Sidey on December 5, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In June of 2012 I was able to meet the author of The Awakening of Hope, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove. I stayed near his home, visited frequently, eat meals with his family and community, played with their children and on numerous occasions talked with him and other members of the Rutba House Community which Wilson-Hartgrove is part of. I was deeply humbled by how down-to-earth they are.

Of particular importance, I met one individual in the community who, while living in the neighborhood, happened to be homeless. He moved into the Rutba community and now is a member. It is examples of love, reconciliation, justice, and hospitality like this that show how deeply true to the spirit of Christ folks on the Rutba Community are. To see it is to have fresh imagination breathed over you by God.

Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove's newest book The Awakening of Hope is a breath of fresh air along these same lines. He works to answer two questions. First, How is Christian hope born, nurtured and shared? Second, what are the practices that "normal" Christians are engaged in that is changing them into "saints"? He answers this in seven chapters each describing a specific practice:

1. Why we eat together
2. Why we fast
3. Why we make promises
4. Why it matters where we live
5. Why we live together
6. Why we would rather die than kill
7. Why we share the good news

Because The Awakening of Hope is a book about practices, that are sorely needed within the western church, Jonathan isn't hesitant to be theological. But don't let this wary you. His theology is lived out and a flower blossoming from his life in community and close quarters with the people of a struggling neighborhood.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Rob Y. on October 10, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Sometimes even those of us who are deeply embedded in the missional community movement can forget why we do what we do. Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove's new book brilliantly describes why we pursue this common life and why it is far more than just a passing fad. - Rob Yackley, lead architect of NieuCommunities and co-author of Thin Places.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gregory Soderberg on January 18, 2013
Format: Paperback
I respect what Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove is doing through Rutba House in Durham, NC, and through the New Monasticism movement. I pray that more church leaders will follow his courageous and provocative example. Most church leaders stay secluded from the communities they live in, but Jonathan is busy getting his hands dirty in the real world. We're both engaged in similar work, in the same part of the country, so I would consider I him an ally and a mentor. I share his vision, in general, though I suspect we would differ in some particulars. For instance, I'm not convinced that Christians should be pacifists, though I did find it interesting that the medieval church had rites of penitence and confession for returning soldiers (pg. 134). On other issues, such as women's ordination and homosexuality, I'm afraid I must remain theologically old-school and "intolerant". But, though I'm not a pacifist, I share Jonathan's critique of the American military-industrial complex. Just because our government decides to go to war, does not make it "just." Just because I believe homosexuality is sinful, does not mean I hate homosexuals. Rather, I believe we should welcome them into the church, as the only place to find true healing and healthy love.

On other issues, such as racial reconciliation and caring for the poor, Jonathan is putting us conservatives to shame. We sit comfortably in our pews, listening to yet another screed on the latest hot topic in the "culture wars," while we neglect the poor down the road and only hang out with others of the same race. The stories that Jonathan tells are inspiring and moving.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Adam Shields VINE VOICE on October 14, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I have read several of Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove’s books previously (God’s Economy and The Wisdom of Stability). So I picked up The Awakening of Hope without looking into what it was about. That was a couple months ago and I had forgotten about it when I ran across it looking for another book.

The Awakening of Hope: Why We Practice A Common Faith is an attempt at basic catechesis (basic Christian instruction). Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove is part of intentional Christian community and has worked with Shane Claiborne, Chris Haw and some of the other ‘New Monastics’.

These Christians are attempting to serve God through a commitment to local community. Most of them are pacifist, Chris Haw became Roman Catholic but retained participation in the work.

These guys are mostly my age, late 30s, early 40s. They have been working for nearly two decades now and have earned the right to speak to the broader church. I think some of the initial exuberance has faded. But it is no less important that the broader church listen to a segment of the church that has accepted a call to service.

What I find helpful about this movement is that while they encourage others to participate with them, most of the movement does not believe that everyone is called to their type of service. And what I think is even a greater sign of health and humility is that as a broader group, there is a real focus on spiritual development and intentional connection to early ‘radical’ movements.

So Wilson-Hartgrove, Haw and Claiborne worked together on a modern prayer book intentionally modeled on the book of common prayer. And in Awakening of Hope, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove is attempting to modernize basic Christian instruction.
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