Books on Social Theology and Inter-religious Relations


January 30, 2023

261. Books on social theology & inter-religious Relations

Further Reading:

Greg Barrett The Gospel of Father Joe: Revolutions and Revolutions in the Slums of Bangkok, 2008.

Father Joe Maier refused to accept the conditions of abject poverty in Bangkok’s squatter slums. For decades he’s worked with those people through the Human Development Foundation and Mercy Centre, which established thirty-two preschools. He has provided hope and purpose in places that previously had little.

Lawrence Edward Carter A Baptist Preacher’s Buddhist Teacher: How My Interfaith Journey with Daisaku Ikeda Made Me a Better Christian, 2018.

Founder and Dean of the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel, Lawrence Edward Carter, writes this memoir detailing his efforts to create the “beloved community” of which King spoke. In mid-life, he met Japanese Buddhist philosopher Daisaku Ikeda, whose efforts at creating global peace embodied King’s vision.

Elizabeth L. Hinson-Hasty The Problem of Wealth: Response to a Culture of Affluence, 2018.

Hinson-Hasty comes to the question of wealth inequality and environmental exploitation from the perspective of a progressive Catholic. She encourages her readers to support Christian programs of social change that strive to make an ethos of “enough” more prevalent among Christians. Through these efforts, pressure can be taken off the global poor and our planet’s resources.

Armond L. Mauss All Abraham’s Children: Changing Mormon Conceptions of Race and Lineage, 2004.

Armond L. Mauss looks at racial issues in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He concludes that while the record is not perfect, it has not been entirely negative.

David G. Myers A Friendly Letter to Skeptics and Atheists: Musing on Why God Is Good and Faith Isn’t Evil, 2008.

Psychology professor David Myers seeks to find common ground between the Christian faith and science. He makes a well-reasoned argument that the two are not mutually exclusive.

Candida R. Moss and Joel Baden Bible Nation: The United States of Hobby Lobby, 2017.

Investigative journalists Moss and Baden cover the 2014 story of the Green family of Oklahoma City, the billionaire owners of the national craft chain Hobby Lobby, who drew attention for successfully suing the federal government over their objections to the Affordable Care Act. The family cited religious differences for their objections while giving millions of dollars to causes that support Biblically-based initiatives to influence schools and public debate.

Ken Mytsma The Myth of Equality: Uncovering the Roots of Injustice and Privilege, 2017.

Looking at the racially charged headlines of today, Ken Mytsma, founder of the Justice Conference, shares the origins of injustice and how the gospel fits into the solution.

Richard Niebuhr Christ and Culture, 1951.

Twentieth-century Christian theological ethicist Richard Niebuhr challenges the materialist culture of America in this work that is now considered a Christian classic. The book was republished in 2001.

Desmond Tutu God is Not a Christian: And Other Provocations, 2011.

South African cleric Desmond Tutu’s most controversial speeches and writings are presented in this collection. Tutu dedicated his life to righting injustices and speaking the truth to those in power, no matter the consequences.

Miroslav Volf A Public Faith: How the Followers of Christ Should Serve the Common Good, 2011.

Theology professor Miroslav Volf discusses how various religious traditions can work together when each has an equal voice in our increasingly connected world. When each tradition has differing scripture and standards, how can faiths work together for the benefit of society without tearing one another down? He covers political engagement and respect for differences.

For more information on the Further Reading series, see Further Reading: Start Here.

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