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A House for Hope: The Promise of Progressive Religion for the Twenty-first Century

by John A. Buehrens Rebecca Ann Parker

For over a generation, conservative religion has seemed dominant in America. But there are signs of a strengthening liberal religious movement. For it to flourish, laypeople need a sense of their theological heritage. A House for Hope lays out, in lively and engaging language, the theological house that religious liberalism has inherited--and suggests how this heritage will need to be spiritually and theologically transformed. With chapters that suggest liberal religious commitment is based on common hopes and an expansive love for life, A House for Hope shows how religious liberals have countered fundamentalists for generations, and provides progressives with a theological and spiritual foundation for the years ahead.

Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of This World for Crucifixion and Empire

by Rita Nakashima Brock Rebecca Ann Parker

One of Publishers Weekly's Best Books of 2008. During their first millennium, Christians filled their sanctuaries with images of Christ as a living presence--as a shepherd, teacher, healer, or an enthroned god. He is serene and surrounded by lush scenes, depictions of this world as paradise. Yet once he appeared as crucified, dying was virtually all Jesus seemed able to do, and paradise disappeared from the earth. Saving Paradise turns a fascinating new lens on Christianity, from its first centuries to the present day, asking how its early vision of beauty evolved into a vision of torture, and what changes in society and theology marked that evolution. It also retrieves, for today, a life-affirming Christianity that the world sorely needs.

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