Academic journal article Currents in Theology and Mission

A Public Faith: How Followers of Christ Should Serve the Common Good

Academic journal article Currents in Theology and Mission

A Public Faith: How Followers of Christ Should Serve the Common Good

Article excerpt

A Public Faith: How Followers of Christ Should Serve the Common Good By Miroslav Volf. Grand Rapids: Brazos Press. 2010. ISBN: 978-1-5874-3298-9. xvii and 174 pages. Cloth. $21.99.

A Public Faith by Yale professor Miroslav Volf aims to steer between two extremes. On the one side are exclusive religious claims that will not allow for the legitimacy of other viewpoints. This approach leads to religious intolerance and imperialism. On the other side are secular attempts to exclude religion from the public square altogether. This extreme leads to the marginalization of .the religious voice in society. The author argues that people of faith need to move beyond such "malfunctions of faith." Neither "coerciveness" nor "idleness" is adequate as a religious stance in relation to public life. Vail is convinced that religious people .can make a meaningful contribution to public matters on behalf of "human flourishing." He approaches this dilemma as a public intellectual and as a Christian.

Volf's constructive proposal is for an "engaged faith." Such an approach requires balance between claiming one's own religious identity, while at the same time respecting religious difference. Obedience to the commandment to love one's neighbor plays a significant role in his argument. …

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