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A House for Hope: The Promise of Progressive Religion for the Twenty-first Century Paperback – May 3, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
“To some observers, religion and conservatism have become inextricably fused. But to [Buehrens and Parker], something new is emerging—a liberal religious renaissance.”—Steven Levingston, The Washington Post
“For nearly three decades, journalists and pundits have focused on the views and beliefs of the Religious Right and basically ignored members of America’s mainline and liberal Protestant establishment. . . . [Buehrens and Parker] have set out to reintroduce people to the riches and bounties of progressive religion.”—Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality & Practice
“Buehrens and Parker begin with the life of service and work for justice and deepen it to show the implicit beliefs that it assumes and that are implicit in it. They show that progressive Protestants can be proud and articulate about their beliefs.”—John B. Cobb Jr., coauthor of For the Common Good
Top Customer Reviews
This book sets out a vision of liberal Christianity and liberal theistic religion. It seeks to inform liberal and progressive people of theistic faith of some of the main tenets of their faith, some of its main precedents and historical importance of that faith, and of what it might offer the world. The book is of greatest relevance to liberal Christians, and to Unitarian Universalists of a theistic bent.
Among the issues addressed are what liberal religion considers to be paradise, sin, and salvation. The argument is that the liberal religious path seeks to find or build paradise in the here and now, in this life, rather than to seek it heaven. Sin in found in how we treat others, not in some historical heritage. Salvation is found through our own actions, not someone else's sacrifice, in seeking right relations with others and in welcoming diverse others. The liberal religious community, like other religious communities, can offer support for its members. In our current context, perhaps the community can offer support for those who want to move beyond the narrow individualism and self-centeredness often fostered by modern Western society. The book develops all these themes in much more detail, with citations and quotations to various literature and history, including traditional religious literature. The book also has some specific suggestions for ministers and others who might want to build liberal religious communities.
Parts of the book are likely to be less relevant to religious humanists, as the book is oriented towards those who believe in God as a real presence, albeit a God who is changing and apparent in the world.Read more ›
In spite of the above -- and in spite of the occasional reference to Jesus -- I don't think this book could fairly be considered a work of Christian theology. It is, however, theistic in tone -- albeit not theistic in a supernatural sense -- but not at the expense of being anti-Humanistic. Still, it would take a very openminded Humanist to find this book congenial. Then again, it would take a very openminded Christian as well.
By not pointing A House for Hope specifically at UUs, Parker & Buehrens are sidestepping the question of whether such a theology (and in spite of differences they do present mostly a united theological position) could address a real constituency within the UUA or if their intention is to shape one. I think the answer is both. With a Humanistic wing that itself has a classic (rationalistic) as well as an innovative (nature-centered) side; a Christian wing that has both a neo-Protestant and a post-modern component; self-identified Jews, Buddhists, and Pagans; the theology of A House for Hope seeks to address a theistic center which may or may not be the future of the denomination.
I have no reservations recommending this book with the above caveats for those who reject a theistic premise altogether, or one which is clearly rooted in Unitarian (and to a lesser extent Universalist) theologies of the past.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The new vision on liberal religion is a great contribution for the theological transformation
we need for the Remonstrant tradition in the Netherlands, with its foundation in... Read more
Unitarian Universalists have allowed ourselves to think that we have no theology, and bring nothing to the table in terms of a religious heritage. Read morePublished on March 2, 2014 by Nancy Reid-McKee
I found this book useful for writing a sermon about covenant. I enjoyed the metaphorsof different parts of the house to discuss theology. Read morePublished on August 12, 2013 by Claire E
We are using this book as our study for a Constructive Theology class at my church. I find the metaphor very helpful. Read morePublished on July 22, 2013 by Marian Straight
If you like reading positive sermons, this book is for you. My concern is that it glosses over the difficulties of progressive religion. Read morePublished on January 13, 2013 by P. Marino
If you have read anything by John Buehrens you won't be disappointed, he is a knowledgeable writer and easy to read.Published on December 9, 2012 by MNred