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The Gospel According to James Baldwin

What America's Great Prophet Can Teach Us about Life, Love, and Identity
Product Description

James Baldwin's fiction, essays, criticism, and dramatic writing offer searing critiques of religion, culture, and discrimination that are still timely, but in his writings, and in the witness of his life, Baldwin holds out the possibility of hope and espouses the primacy of love despite the difficulties of a present moment. In the life and work of Baldwin, equity, justice, and reconciliation--while difficult to attain--remain dreams worth pursuing.

This requires us to face our past, he reminds us, our actual history, so that we can move forward together, and this is a universal call from a very particular human writer. In Baldwin's call to look at our lives and bear witness to the truth, we encounter our own calls to live more fully, love more honestly, have faith in things truly worth pursuing. Like St. Irenaeus (Against Heresies 4.20.7) of old, Baldwin argues that the glory of God is the human being fully alive. Following Baldwin as a spiritual guide offers us the chance to live into the things to which we're called--to become genuinely human.

During the reading for and writing of this book, Garrett followed in Baldwin's physical footsteps--walking with him from his early years in Harlem to his painful journeys to the American South, from the cafes of St.-Germain in Paris to the mountains of Switzerland, where he did some of his most important thinking and writing. Garrett consulted critical and cultural studies, as well as archival materials from the recently-inaugurated Baldwin Collection at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and the Harry Ransom Humanities Center in Austin, and the Beinecke Library at Yale. Out of this close study of Baldwin's words and his legacy, Garrett invites new readers and longtime lovers of Baldwin into a thoughtful exploration of his continued relevance.

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  • Additional Details
  • Additional Details
    Product Specs
    • SKU: 9781626985391
    • Manufacturer: Orbis Books
    • ISBN 13: 9781626985391
    • Publication Date: 08/30/2023
    • Format: Paperback
    • Author: Greg Garrett
    • Author: Jon M. Sweeney

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