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Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Martin Luther King, Jr. - those giants of contemporary Christian social inspiration are right here reassessed for a brand new context and a brand new iteration. either mixed activism, ministry, and theology. either took on public roles against winning powers in their time. either professed one of those Christian realism and ended as martyrs to their respective factors. the following a few of the leaders in Christian social notion revisit the insights, factors, and methods that Bonhoeffer and King hired for a brand new iteration and its issues: race, reconciliation, nonviolence, political violence, Christian theological identification, and ministry.
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Extra info for Bonhoeffer and King: Their Legacies and Import for Christian Social Thought
Part 1, on gaining “Critical Distance,” equips readers for the interpretive task. Emilie Townes’s essay on appropriation and reciprocity and Stephen Haynes’s essay on the use and misuse of contested legacies draw our attention to methods of appropriation and patterns of thinking that inevitably distort the lives and thought of inspiring figures yet remain a constant temptation for their admirers. We can easily place Bonhoeffer and King beyond criticism, commodify their stories to bolster a contemporary argument or agenda, and depend on their witness instead of our own to speak prophetically and act justly.
For all its promise of providing a different and more useful way forward, postmodern ethics is caught in a paradox that must be acknowledged and challenged as we seek to appropriate with care and reciprocate with respect. ”10 The rhetoric and conceptualization of otherness mean that we must engage those peoples and cultures who have a long history without our societies but have not been considered part of the “mainstream” or are often treated as supplementary on course reading lists. To truly engage otherness is to take seriously that there remains much for each of us to know about the rich diversity in our midst and then see this as opportunity rather than threat.
Ray argues that King responded to structural and social sin through practical ministry that envisioned the beloved community as the “creation of … new publics” whose purpose was to redeem American society. ” Both men thought that the requisite response to social evil was the formation of communities of resistance that embodied Christ. Andre Willis’s essay, “Culture in Bonhoeffer and King: Deweyan Naturalism in Action,” argues that both men cultivated communal space for redemption, understood in a different sense, through their savvy use of culture.