Blessing the World
What Can Save Us Now
Rebecca Ann Parker
Edited by Robert Hardies
Building from the premise that moments of despair are opportunities for spiritual and theological breakthrough, this remarkable volume is an intellectually rich and emotionally gripping exploration of Parker’s life-tested and life-affirming theology. Blessing the World is filled with stories of people who have known sorrow and rediscovered joy, people who have faced death and lived to tell about it. This affirming theology exposes the lie that violence is redemptive. Instead, Parker directs us toward the forces that repair broken life. Her systematic yet nuanced path from nihilism toward hope makes Blessing the World an important and timely contribution to post-September 11 theological reflection.
Rebecca Ann Parker has been president of Starr King School for the Ministry since 1990. An ordained United Methodist minister, Parker has a dual fellowship with the United Methodist Church and the Unitarian Universalist Association. She is co-author of Proverbs of Ashes: Violence, Redemptive Suffering, and the Search for What Saves Us with Rita Nakashima Brock (Beacon Press).
Robert Hardies is senior minister at All Souls Church, Unitarian, in Washington, D.C.
Praise for Blessing the World:
“Profound and moving. With a rare
combination of courage, compassion and theological clarity, Parker takes us into
the heart of a broken and despairing world—and then convincingly shows us how we
might bless that world and begin the healing.”
—Marilyn Sewell, senior minister, First Unitarian Church, Portland, Oregon
is rooted in her total honesty about her lived experience. To read her book is
to see our world and the Christian heritage with new eyes. We cannot do that
without pain. Yet her way of challenging our habits of thinking and even of
feeling is so gentle that we are drawn into new perceptions, not driven into
them. Her writing integrates story and doctrine until we can hardly draw a line
—John B. Cobb, Jr., professor emeritus, Claremont School of Theology
the rich natural and historical resources that are ours as we face, with courage
and honesty, the challenge of remaining open to pain and possibility in our
complex, fractured world. A gift to heart and mind, a joyous 'yes' to
—Sharon D. Welch, author, After Empire: The Art and Ethos of Enduring Peace
personal, poetic and powerful, these essays are unforgettably touching and
transforming. Parker challenges some of contemporary America's fondest
self-delusions and theological assumptions, calling us to a post-September 11
faith in which we all try ‘to be what we want to see'—first by seeing that the
grace with which to do so is already here, all around us, even before our own
fallible efforts begin anew. Read and arise refreshed!"
—John A. Buehrens, author, Understanding the Bible: An Introduction for Skeptics, Seekers and Religious Liberals; UUA President, 1993-2001
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Last updated on Wednesday, June 2, 2010.