- Series: Cultural Liturgies (Book 1)
- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Baker Academic; unknown edition (August 1, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0801035775
- ISBN-13: 978-0801035777
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 75 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,972 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation (Cultural Liturgies) unknown Edition
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From the Back Cover
A Philosophical Theology of Culture
Philosopher James K. A. Smith reshapes the very project of Christian education in Desiring the Kingdom. The first of three volumes that will ultimately provide a comprehensive theology of culture, Desiring the Kingdom focuses education around the themes of liturgy, formation, and desire. Smith's ultimate purpose is to re-vision Christian education as a formative process that redirects our desire toward God's kingdom and its vision of flourishing. In the same way, he re-visions Christian worship as a pedagogical practice that trains our love.
"James Smith shows in clear, simple, and passionate prose what worship has to do with formation and what both have to do with education. He argues that the God-directed, embodied love that worship gives us is central to all three areas and that those concerned as Christians with teaching and learning need to pay attention, first and last, to the ordering of love. This is an important book and one whose audience should be much broader than the merely scholarly."--Paul J. Griffiths, Duke Divinity School
"In lucid and lively prose, Jamie Smith reaches back past Calvin to Augustine, crafting a new and insightful Reformed vision for higher education that focuses on the fundamental desires of the human heart rather than on worldviews. Smith deftly describes the 'liturgies' of contemporary life that are played out in churches--but also in shopping malls, sports arenas, and the ad industry--and then re-imagines the Christian university as a place where students learn to properly love the world and not just think about it."--Douglas Jacobsen and Rhonda Hustedt Jacobsen, Messiah College; authors of Scholarship and Christian Faith: Enlarging the Conversation
"This is a wise, provocative, and inspiring book. It prophetically blurs the boundaries between theory and practice, between theology and other disciplines, between descriptive analysis and constructive imagination. Anyone involved in Christian education should read this book to glimpse a holistic vision of learning and formation. Anyone involved in the worship life of Christian communities should read this book to discover again all that is at stake in the choices we make about our practices."--John D. Witvliet, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship; Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary
About the Author
James K. A. Smith (PhD, Villanova University) is the Gary & Henrietta Byker Chair in Applied Reformed Theology & Worldview at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In addition, he is editor of Comment magazine and a senior fellow of the Colossian Forum. He has penned the critically acclaimed Who's Afraid of Postmodernism? and Introducing Radical Orthodoxy, and his edited books include After Modernity? and Hermeneutics at the Crossroads. Smith is the editor of the well-received Church and Postmodern Culture series (www.churchandpomo.org).
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While he does make good and valid points (we are what we love, we are worshiping creatures!), I was also concerned about his tone - he does not speak with humility. It seemed to me he spoke with pomp and pious authority, which turned me off since I am much more drawn to writers with humble hearts. He implies that loving one's country and engaging in respectful rituals for one's country is idolatry. I'm no nationalist, but I do love America. I am always willing to welcome refugees and the stranger, since my allegiance to Christ is foremost and supreme. Yet, I love my parents. I love my cat, I love my country. We can love things without them becoming idols. Definitely unimpressed with this guy.
My only critique is that while he is very strong on the formative power of 'secular liturgy' and the formative power of Christian liturgy, he didn't spend much effort (any, really) considering the opposite side of that; how Christian liturgy is itself doctrinally refined and how variations in liturgical practice reflect confessional distinctions. It's a minor gripe, somewhat outside of the scope of the book, so no reduction for that. Just a great read!