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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

"Parker's thinking 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 between them."
—John B. Cobb, Jr., professor emeritus, Claremont School of Theology

"Parker celebrates 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 life!"
—Sharon D. Welch, author, After Empire: The Art and Ethos of Enduring Peace

"Prophetic, 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

For more information contact skinnerhouseatuuadotorg.

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Wednesday, June 2, 2010.

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