cover image Hearing the Call: Liturgy, Justice, Church, and World

Hearing the Call: Liturgy, Justice, Church, and World

Nicholas Wolterstorff, Eerdmans, $30 trade paper (450p) ISBN 978-0-8028-6525-0

This thoughtful, passionate essay collection from seasoned philosopher and theologian Wolterstorff, written over a 50-year period, ranges in topic from worship, liturgy, church architecture, music, lament, and women’s ordination to the spiritual health of institutions including churches, colleges, businesses, and government. An overarching theme runs through: “God loves justice,” not retributive justice, but that which creates a merciful, holy community where human rights are honored and every member flourishes. Several essays address formative experiences with Christians challenging injustice in South Africa, Honduras, and Palestine; Wolterstorff documents his awakening to oppression and his subsequent call to speak up on behalf of those communities. Through a Reformed Tradition lens, Wolterstorff’s intellectually rigorous reflections encompass church fathers, reformers, and liberation theologians. American Christians who promote the “prosperity gospel” and sanction torture elicit his strong condemnation. Opening and closing biographical essays address the author’s lifelong involvement with academia, including his student and professorial years at Calvin College, Yale and Harvard; and the loss of his adult son, which inspired profound reflections on lament. An afterword contains two recent interviews that synthesize themes presented in this masterful work. (Jan.)