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:
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.
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.
Police arrest Cornel West during a civil disobedience protest(Photo, Daily Mail)
If you have not heard yet of Cornel West, I would like to suggest that you should (see HERE his personal web page). The Princeton University Professor, an African Baptist believer, has given recently an interview to Anna Fifield, an US political correspondent for The Financial Times. Here is the beginning of it:
There’s no such thing as a quiet lunch with Cornel West. From the minute he stalks into the Witherspoon Grill in the leafy university town of Princeton, New Jersey, to the moment he sweeps out, he is the centre of attention.
“Sister Anna! I’m so blessed to meet you!” he bellows across the restaurant, embracing me, then putting his hand on his heart and bowing slightly. With his bushy Afro, black three-piece suit and booming Baptist preacher voice, there is no missing the arrival of this celebrity academic and self-appointed keeper of Martin Luther King Jr’s flame. As we sit down in our booth, it seems as if every guest and every waiter stops by to pay homage to West. To each he says, “Do you know Sister Anna?”
West, who will be 59 next month, is one of the US’s most prominent liberal intellectuals but this does not do justice to the breadth of his influence or the boundlessness of his energy. A professor of religion and of African-American studies at Harvard, then at Princeton, he has written more than 20 books and appeared as Councillor West, a version of himself, in two of the Matrix science-fiction films. He has collaborated with Prince and André 3000 of Outkast on spoken word albums, and with the eclectic hip-hop ensemble named in tribute to his teaching The Cornel West Theory. Continue reading “‘I Am A Jazzman in the Life of the Mind’ – An Interview with Cornel West”
WACO, Texas (ABP) – A Baylor University professor is fighting dismissal charges that supporters say are aimed at silencing a dissident voice in America’s Jewish community.
According to published reports, Marc Ellis, university professor of Jewish studies and director of Baylor’s Center for Jewish Studies, said during a Nov. 21 speech to the American Academy of Religion he has become a victim of “selectively enforced” policies regarding practices that are routinely overlooked.