Recommended Reading

Resources from the Center

Recovering Reconciliation as the Mission of God: Ten Theses (pdf)
Emmanuel Katongole & Chris Rice

Reconciliation as the Mission of GodReconciliation as the Mission of God: Christian Witness in a World of Destructive Conflicts (pdf)
This 16-page booklet is the outcome of intense work by 47 Christian leaders from six continents and 21 countries—theologians, missiologists, practitioners, pastors, and scholars from some of the world’s most conflict-ridden places. A concise, powerful theological vision and call for placing biblically-based holistic reconciliation at the heart of Christian mission in the 21st century.

More than EqualsMore Than Equals: Racial Healing for the Sake of the Gospel
Spencer Perkins & Chris Rice
Two friends write from the heart of Mississippi with a vision and call to hope for whites and African-Americans to live together in peace. The book received a 1994 Christianity Today Critics Choice Award.

Grace MattersGrace Matters: A Memoir of Faith, Friendship, and Hope in the Heart of the South
Chris Rice
Grace Matters is the story of a 17-year journey of joys, struggles, and breakthroughs to build a community of justice and reconciliation in an inner-city neighborhood in Jackson, Mississippi. It was named a Publishers Weekly Notable Book of 2002.

Other Recommended Reading

Spirituality, Discipleship, and the Church

Soil and Sacrament: A Spiritual Memoir of Food and Faith
Fred Bahnson
Part spiritual quest, part agricultural travelogue, Soil and Sacrament is a moving and profound exploration of the joy and solace found in returning to the garden. Bahnson also co-authored Making Peace With the Land with Norman Wirzba as part of our Resources for Reconciliation book series.

Without Apology: Sermon for Christ’s Church
Stanley Hauerwas
This book includes 17 sermons from one of the country’s best-known theologians, from “Saints” and “Letting Go,” to “Recognizing Jesus/Seeing Salvation” and “Clothe Your Ministers in Righteousness.” It includes two bonus presentations on “Leadership” and “An Open Letter to Christians Beginning College.” Hauerwas also co-authored Living Gently in a Violent World with Jean Vanier as part of our Resources for Reconciliation book series.

Unexpected Gifts: Discovering the Way of Community
Chris Heuertz and Richard Rohr
In a strikingly confessional tone and vividly illustrated through story, Unexpected Gifts names eleven inevitable challenges that all friendships, relationships, and communities experience if they stay together long enough. Rather than allowing these challenges to become excuses to leave, Heuertz suggests that things like betrayal, transitions, failure, loss of identity, entitlement, and doubt may actually be invitations to stay. And if we stay, these challenges can become unexpected gifts.

Pilgrimage of a Soul: Contemplative Spirituality for the Active Life
Phileena Heuertz
In Pilgrimage of a Soul we see that contemplation is essential—not only to a life of sustained commitment to the justice and righteousness of God, but to the growth in faith and discipleship that the Holy Spirit beckons each of us to. Tracing seven movements from a kind of sleepfulness to a kind of wakefulness, Heuertz shows us that life is a journey that repeats itself as we are led by Christ deeper and deeper into our true selves and a truer knowledge of God.

A Mile in My Shoes: Cultivating Compassion
Trevor Hudson
In the dark period of South Africa's history, the author developed an eight-day experiential program called The Pilgrimage of Pain and Hope. He designed it to enable comfortable, young middle-class South Africans to reflect on the meaning of their faith and discipleship within the harsh and oppressive socio-political realities of their nation. From this experience grew a pattern to help all Christians cultivate the depth of compassion Christ requires.

The Beloved Community: How Faith Shapes Social Justice from the Civil Rights Movement to Today
Charles Marsh
In The Beloved Community, Marsh shows that the same spiritual vision that animated the civil rights movement remains a vital source of moral energy today. The Beloved Community lays out an exuberant new vision for Christianity and reclaims the centrality of faith in the quest for social justice and authentic community.

With Justice for All: A Strategy for Community Development
John M. Perkins
With Justice for All is Perkins’s invitation to live out the gospel in a way that brings good news to the poor and liberty to the oppressed (from Luke 4:18). This invitation is extended to every racial and ethnic group to be reconciled to one another, to work together to make our land all God wants it to be. And it is a blueprint—a practical strategy for the work of biblical justice in our time.

Reluctant Pilgrim: A Moody, Somewhat Self-Indulgent Introvert’s Search for Spiritual Community
Enuma Okoro
Okoro attempts to reconcile her theological understanding of God s call to community with her painful and disappointing experiences of community in churches where she often felt unseen, pigeon-holed or out of place. At turns snarky and luminous, laugh-out loud funny, and vulnerably poignant, Reluctant Pilgrim is the no-holds barred account of a woman who prays to savor God s goodness and never be satisfied; a daring, insightful and deeply moving field guide for the curious, the confused and the convicted.

Small Things With Great Love: Adventures in Loving Your Neighbor
Margot Starbuck and Tony Campolo
In thirty brief chapters, Starbuck invites you to choose the adventure that fits who you are in authentically loving those around you. Yes, she knows: just the thought of adding something more to your life sounds exhausting. But here's the fantastic truth she's discovered in her own journey: "We don't have to add lots more overwhelming activity to what we've already got going. The regular stuff of our lives—the commute to work and the potlucks and home improvement projects and errands and play dates—are the exact places in which we express and experience God's love for a world in need."

Stranger at My Door: A True Story of Finding Jesus in Unexpected Guests
Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove
Jesus is never far away. Just look for an outcast. Immerse yourself in these inspiring, eye-opening accounts of people who arrive with real needs, but ask only for an invitation to come in. You will never view Jesus and the people Hartgrove cares about the same way again.

Theology and Culture

Christianity and Contemporary Politics
Luke Bretherton
Christianity and Contemporary Politics explores the relationship between Christianity and contemporary politics through case studies of faith-based organizations, Christian political activism, and welfare provision in the West. These case studies assess initiatives including community organizing, fair trade, and the sanctuary movement.

Race: A Theological Account
J. Kameron Carter
Carter meditates on the multiple legacies implicated in the production of a racialized world and that still mark how we function in it and think about ourselves. These are the legacies of colonialism and empire, political theories of the state, anthropological theories of the human, and philosophy itself, from the eighteenth-century Enlightenment to the present.

Scripture, Culture, and Agriculture: An Agrarian Reading of the Bible
Ellen F. Davis
This book examines the theology and ethics of land use, especially the practices of modern industrialized agriculture, in light of critical biblical exegesis. Nine interrelated essays explore the biblical writer’s pervasive concern for the care of arable land against the background of the geography, social structures, and religious thought of ancient Israel.

The Cross and the Lynching Tree
James H. Cone
The cross and the lynching tree are the two most emotionally charged symbols in the history of the African-American community. In this powerful work, theologian Cone explores these symbols and their interconnection in the history and souls of black folk.

Living Faith: How Faith Shapes Social Justice
Curtiss Paul DeYoung
In this instructive and inspiring account, Christian ethicist DeYoung profiles three of the most dynamic and influential religious activists of the twentieth century: Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Malcolm X, and Aung San Suu Kyi—each from a different generation, a different faith community, and a different continent. His portraits show how their mystic faith drove them to justice commitments and beyond customary boundaries between people from other traditions, countries, and ways of life.

Places of Redemption: Theology for a Worldly Church
Mary McClintock Fulkerson
The primary aim of this book is to explore the contradiction between widely shared beliefs in the U.S. about racial inclusiveness and equal opportunity for all and the fact that most churches are racially homogeneous and do not include people with disabilities. To address the problem Fulkerson explores the practices of an interracial church (United Methodist) that includes people with disabilities.

The Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race
Willie James Jennings
In one of the first books of its kind, Duke theologian Jennings attempts to put theology in conversation with contemporary discussions of cosmopolitanism and globalization. He contends that the Christian theological imagination was historically woven into the processes of colonial dominance, thus requiring other peoples and ways of life to adapt and even morph into the colonial order of things. Jennings seeks to provide both a historical account of where Christian theology faltered in its imagination of society, as well as a theological account of the way in which Christians can better tell and understand the story of the life of Jesus, who took on a human life of joining, belonging, connecting, and knowing others fully.

The Sacrifice of Africa: A Political Theology for Africa
Emmanuel Katongole
Katongole argues that conversation on Christian social ethics in Africa is long overdue and must shift "exclusive focus on strategies for fixing the structures of democracy and development and get into the business of stories." This book tells stories, stories of political and religious leaders who share qualities: nonconformist stubbornness, touches of madness, and willingness to jettison old formulas.

Food and Faith: A Theology of Eating
Norman Wirzba
This book provides a comprehensive theological framework for assessing eating's significance, employing a Trinitarian theological lens to evaluate food production and consumption practices as they are being worked out in today's industrial food systems. Wirzba combines the tools of ecological, agrarian, cultural, biblical, and theological analyses to draw a picture of eating that cares for creatures and that honors God.