Describes a social and political spirituality defined by actions that save families, civilization, and the planet.

Product Code: 8855
ISBN: 9781640653825
Format: Paperback / softback
Publisher: Church Publishing
Pages: 248
Published Date: 02/01/2021
Availability:In stock
Price: $19.95

These actions, based on values articulated in religious congregations, result in tangible outcomes in the real world: people live instead of die, democracy is strengthened, nature is restored, and the human spirit flourishes.

The author shows how an action-spirituality is different from me- and escapist-spiritualities. Spiritual meaning is found by working in solidarity with people around the world to love our neighbors, as well as those who aren’t our neighbors, as ourselves.

As congregations are struggling to adjust to contemporary realities, Hoehn brings the passion and knowledge of a pastor, academic, author, activist, and grassroots organizer down to earth in real time.

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Part I / Fire Spirituality
1. The Fire We Carry, Carries Us
Embers, Flames, Extinguishers
Grassroots on Fire
The Fire Kisses My Soul
O Beautiful for Spacious Skies
Nature Doesn’t Give a Damn
“I Am Somebody, Black and Proud”
Embodied Spirituality
The Seven Ms of Spirituality
“the meaning of life”: More Than 42
Those Who Give Light

2. The Kindling and the Sparks
Gobbling Nothingness
Horatio Alger Had Lucky Bootstraps
Moral Grounding
Enlarging Goodness Is a Spiritual Calling
They Called Me Theirs, but I Hold Them
Hinges of History
We Are Called to Act
The Silent Seduction of Social Media

Part II / Citizen Spirituality
3. We Are the End Game
Power Is an Essential Part of Spirituality
We Advocated Changes
Power as the Ability to Act
A Mayor’s Thoughts on Power, by Jim Rurak
Politics Is the Oxygen of Community Life
The Declaration of Independence Was Also a Declaration of Dependence
People Avoid Politics
Our Soul Brought Us Here
Nine Kitchen Matches

4. By the People
Politics Is a Multiplier
Kathy and Jim Win for People with Disabilities
Neighborhood Organizing, by Patricia E. Myers
Faith-Based Community Organizing
The Spirit of Goddess Was with Us
A Suicide Note from Democracy
Part III / Family as Social Spirituality

5. We Are Crowdsourced
Life Is a Spiritual Mystery
Spiritual Mystery in Social Encounters
Alone with God
No Hermits Here
We Gift One Another
The Blessed Remains of the Dead
We Are Your Symphony
E-Mail Sonnet for My Mother
A Reply from My Mother

6. Our Souls Overlap
From Me to We
“And on That Night, Only People Were Precious”
In the Plaza
We Are All Family
Family Values
Heart Friends Help Us Grow
Spiritual Identity Communities
Si Son de Otro Linage
I Still Don’t Know His Name
The More “Other,” the More We Can Learn
Shall We Gather in the Kitchen?
We Walk with the Wind
The Sun Rises Like Fire

Part IV / Congregations as Social Spirituality

7. Spirituality with Benefits
Doubt, Damage, and Decline
They Sang “Jesus Loves Me” Then Slit the Throat of a Water Buffalo
Admit the Harm We Have Done
Seventy Percent Is Good Enough
Why Do People Attend?
Supportive Communities
Servants under the Radar
One Pale Blue Drop, Falling

8. Congregations Curate, Celebrate, and Communicate the Human Drama
Memory and Meaning
Moral Socialization
Ethical Guidelines
A Place to Celebrate Life with Others
Congregations and Politics
Hell Yes, at Dinnertime
The Firebird

9. Spiritual Disciplines
The Children Were Kinetic Art
The Discipline of Stopping and Noting
The Discipline of Changing Interpretation
Moral and spiritual interpretation
Political interpretation
The Discipline of Altering Emotions
The Discipline of Changing How We Act
Nurturing and caring
Charitable politics
The Secret
Spiritual Disciplines of Public Life


"A smart, thoughtful, inclusive case for reevaluating spiritual priorities." - Kirkus Reviews

“Richard A. Hoehn inspires us to ground our spiritual convictions in ‘citizen-action’ to improve our human condition. He gently shows us why the two must go hand in hand to uplift all of humankind given our incontrovertible interdependence. Dr. Hoehn’s pressing message for all with shared spiritual and humanitarian beliefs is to take heed that the time for action is now!” - Shohreh Kermani-Peterson, former Bread for the World Institute colleague

“This book is informative, inspirational, and persuasive. All who read it will discover that spirituality pertains to the vast variety of personal, social, political, and religious activities aimed at improving the conditions of life for people everywhere. This book is so well written that readers will find it difficult to put it down.” - Peter J. Paris, professor emeritus, Princeton Theological Seminary

"Richard Hoehn shares the rich wisdom he has garnered through a lifetime of service and advocacy . . . a marvelous resource for adult education in congregations, devotional reading for pastors and laypeople, common readings for those engaged in community service, practical education for seminarians, and inspirational reading for all Christians . . . - Rev. Dr. James B. Martin-Schramm, professor of religion, Luther College

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