America is known for, and prides itself on, its individualism. But bubbling beneath the surface of rugged independence is a hunger for community, for connectedness, for solidarity.
While much of the literature on the importance of community -- ranging from Bellah's Habits of the Heart to Wuthnow's Loose Connections to Putnam's Bowling Alone -- affirms the central role of churches in helping bring people together, none of them treats in depth the role of the local churches in revisioning community. To remedy this omission, Re-Imagining Life Together in America offers a bold message of hope that the Christian tradition and American churches provide vital resources for reforming the prevailing individualistic social order into one of unity and solidarity.
Co-authored by Chestnut Hill professors Hal Taussig, a United Methodist, and Catherine Nerney, S.S.J., a Roman Catholic sister, Re-Imagining Life Together in America is grounded in both rigorous scholarship and rich ministerial experience that is both interdenominational and ecumenical.
Well written and highly accessible, this book interweaves a thorough review of developments in Christian community from the first century to the present with powerful new discoveries in scriptural, theological, and historical research that has uncovered deep communal strands in the foundational literature and notions of Christianity. The result is a profound call for the renewal of Christian community and churches as crucial models and inspirations for the new search for wholeness in America.
A timely book for Christian leaders, Roman Catholic and Protestant, and especially educated lay leaders in local settings and pastoral leadership. Ideal forparish and congregational study groups, upper-level undergraduates, seminarians, and graduate students in theology, Scripture, spirituality, sociology, and anthropology.