cover image A Public Faith: How Followers of Christ Should Serve the Common Good

A Public Faith: How Followers of Christ Should Serve the Common Good

Miroslav Volf. Brazos, $21.99 (192p) ISBN 978-1-58743-298-9

Religious perspectives properly belong in the public sphere, Volf (Exclusion and Embrace) argues, because religions often foster healthy social environments. While acknowledging that Christianity has been historically complicit in coercive conversion, Volf focuses on internal religious "malfunctions" that have allowed such unfaithfulness. When Christians lose sight of their faith's prophetic edge, substitute idols for God, use faith as a "crutch," or resort to violence, they corrupt their faith, Volf contends. Although writing from an explicitly Christian perspective, Volf cites scholars such as Mohammad al-Ghazali and Moses Maimonides to emphasize that individual and communal flourishing constitutes a defining concern of many religious traditions. Volf also engages antireligious arguments from thinkers such as Marx and Nietzsche. With a goal of generating hope for Christian communities in today's pluralistic world, Volf encourages Christians to share and receive gifts of spiritual wisdom, to speak truth in their distinct religious voice, and to live generously with people of other faiths. This insightful exploration of how Christians may faithfully engage today's political and pluralistic culture provides accessible, wise guidance for people of all faiths. (Aug.)