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New Book on Christian Materialism and the Public Good by Baker & Reader

27/04/2015 11:07

We’re pleased to announce the publication of A Philosophy of Christian Materialism – Entangled Fidelities and the Public Good written by the Foundation’s Director of Research Chris Baker and Associate Research Fellow John Reader, together with US theologian Tom James.

The book takes as its starting point the theologies of Christian thinkers including William Temple, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Niebuhr brothers who were concerned to always root their theology in a dialogue with empirical facts and insights from other disciplines (offering a realist rather than idealist view of God and human experience). The book uses this inclusive and open (but not uncritical) approach to engage with ideas from modern Continental Philosophy and Philosophy of Religion that are pointing in similar directions – i.e. a renewed interest (following the demise of socialism and other forms of political solidarity) in the material practices of religion and the way it embodies powerful alternative ideas to the current neo-liberal view of the world.

The book engages strategically with key ideas associated with the work of Gilles Deleuze, Alain Badiou, Bruno Latour, Catherine Malabou, and Rosi Braidotti, as well as anthropologists such as Tim Ingold and Manuel Vasquez, and sociologists of religion such as Linda Woodhead. Three case studies  – urban community empowerment, education, environmentalism – are emblematic of the ways in which Christian realist theology (what the book defines as relational Christian realism) can combine practically with the insights of modern Continental Philosophy, to create a new political and theological agenda resulting in new solidarities of hope for a complex, pluralised and uncertain age.

A Philosophy of Christian Materialism – Entangled Fidelities and the Public Good is published next month by Ashgate Press.

Pre-order now and receive a 50% discount on the published price – available on request from Chris Baker on chris@williamtemplefoundation.org.uk.


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