Englewood Review of Books – Ten Social Critics that Christians Should Be Reading

Englewood Review of Books

The work of social critics is vital for the health and flourishing of the church, because they remind us of the brokenness of the world and challenge us to imagine new and more healthy ways of sharing life together.

Here are ten social critics whose work has been particularly helpful for me in trying to discern how to live faithfully in the twenty-first century. With each critic, I’ve included an excerpt that will serve as an introduction to that writer’s work.

Here is the list, with a few details about each author:

Wendell Berry

A Kentucky farmer and writer, Berry’s work challenges us to live peacefully within the created created and to find ways to vitalize our local communities.

Jacques Ellul

Ellul (1915-1994) was a French lawyer and scholar, renowned for his criticisms of technological society.  He also wrote a number of insightful theological works.

Ta-Nehisi Coates

Coates is a national correspondent for The Atlantic, whose 2015 book Between The World and Me won the National Book Award, among many others.

Neil Postman (1931-2003)

Postman is best known for his critiques of the American obsession with amusement. He also wrote a substantial amount of work critiquing technology.

Jane Jacobs (1916-2006)

Jacobs, best known for her work on reimagining cities that inspire the New Urbanism movement, also wrote extensively on economics.

Bell Hooks

Hooks’s writing has focused on the intersectionality of race, capitalism, and gender, and what she describes as their ability to produce and perpetuate systems of oppression and class domination. (via Wikipedia)

Ivan Illich (1926-2002)

Illich was a Catholic priest, who brilliantly critiqued many aspects of Western culture, including medicine and education.

Rebecca Solnit

Solnit is a contributing editor at Harper’s magazine, who writes on themes including the environment, place and art.

Cornel West

West is a professor at Union Theological Seminary, who has written extensively on race and culture.

Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980)

McLuhan was a Canadian philosopher of communication theory and a public intellectual. His work is viewed as one of the cornerstones of the study of media theory.

For more details, read the original article, HERE.


Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

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