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Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview and Cultural Formation (#1 in Cultural Liturgies Series)

Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview and Cultural Formation (#1 in Cultural Liturgies Series)

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Philosopher James K. A. Smith reshapes the very project of Christian education in Desiring the Kingdom. This text is the first of three volumes that will ultimately provide a comprehensive theology of culture. The entire set will address crucial concerns in ontology, anthropology, epistemology, and political philosophy.

Desiring the Kingdom focuses education around the themes of liturgy, formation, and desire. The author contends - as did Augustine - that human beings are "desiring agents"; in other words, we are what we love. Postmodern culture, far from being "secular," is saturated with liturgy, but in places such as malls, stadiums, and universities. While these structures influence us, they do not point us to the best of ends. Smith aims to move beyond a focus on "worldview" to see Christian education as a counter-formation to these secular liturgies.

His ultimate purpose is to re-vision Christian education as a formative process that redirects our desire toward God's kingdom and its vision of flourishing. In the same way, Smith re-visions Christian worship as a pedagogical practice that trains our love.

Desiring the Kingdom will reach a wide audience; professors and students in courses on theology, culture, philosophy, and worldview will welcome this contribution. Pastors, ministers, worship leaders, and other church leaders will appreciate this book as well.
-Publisher.

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About "Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview and Cultural Formation (#1 in Cultural Liturgies Series)"

Philosopher James K. A. Smith reshapes the very project of Christian education in Desiring the Kingdom. This text is the first of three volumes that will ultimately provide a comprehensive theology of culture. The entire set will address crucial concerns in ontology, anthropology, epistemology, and political philosophy.

Desiring the Kingdom focuses education around the themes of liturgy, formation, and desire. The author contends - as did Augustine - that human beings are "desiring agents"; in other words, we are what we love. Postmodern culture, far from being "secular," is saturated with liturgy, but in places such as malls, stadiums, and universities. While these structures influence us, they do not point us to the best of ends. Smith aims to move beyond a focus on "worldview" to see Christian education as a counter-formation to these secular liturgies.

His ultimate purpose is to re-vision Christian education as a formative process that redirects our desire toward God's kingdom and its vision of flourishing. In the same way, Smith re-visions Christian worship as a pedagogical practice that trains our love.

Desiring the Kingdom will reach a wide audience; professors and students in courses on theology, culture, philosophy, and worldview will welcome this contribution. Pastors, ministers, worship leaders, and other church leaders will appreciate this book as well.
-Publisher.


- Koorong

Malls, stadiums, and universities are actually liturgical structures that influence and shape our thoughts and affections. Humans--as Augustine noted--are "desiring agents," full of longings and passions; in brief, we are what we love. James K. A. Smith focuses on the themes of liturgy and desire in Desiring the Kingdom, the first book in what will be a three-volume set on the theology of culture. He redirects our yearnings to focus on the greatest good: God. Ultimately, Smith seeks to re-vision education through the process and practice of worship. Students of philosophy, theology, worldview, and culture will welcome Desiring the Kingdom, as will those involved in ministry and other interested readers.
- Publisher

A Philosophical Theology of CulturePhilosopher James K. A. Smith reshapes the very project of Christian education in Desiring the Kingdom. The first of three volumes that will ultimately provide a comprehensive theology of culture, Desiring the Kingdom focuses education around the themes of liturgy, formation, and desire. Smith's ultimate purpose is to re-vision Christian education as a formative process that redirects our desire toward God's kingdom and its vision of flourishing. In the same way, he re-visions Christian worship as a pedagogical practice that trains our love."James Smith shows in clear, simple, and passionate prose what worship has to do with formation and what both have to do with education. He argues that the God-directed, embodied love that worship gives us is central to all three areas and that those concerned as Christians with teaching and learning need to pay attention, first and last, to the ordering of love. This is an important book and one whose audience should be much broader than the merely scholarly."--Paul J. Griffiths, Duke Divinity School"In lucid and lively prose, Jamie Smith reaches back past Calvin to Augustine, crafting a new and insightful Reformed vision for higher education that focuses on the fundamental desires of the human heart rather than on worldviews. Smith deftly describes the 'liturgies' of contemporary life that are played out in churches--but also in shopping malls, sports arenas, and the ad industry--and then re-imagines the Christian university as a place where students learn to properly love the world and not just think about it."--Douglas Jacobsen and Rhonda Hustedt Jacobsen, Messiah College; authors of Scholarship and Christian Faith: Enlarging the Conversation"This is a wise, provocative, and inspiring book. It prophetically blurs the boundaries between theory and practice, between theology and other disciplines, between descriptive analysis and constructive imagination. Anyone involved in Christian education should read this book to glimpse a holistic vision of learning and formation. Anyone involved in the worship life of Christian communities should read this book to discover again all that is at stake in the choices we make about our practices."--John D. Witvliet, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship; Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary
- Publisher

Meet the Author

James K A Smith

James K. A. Smith (Ph.D., University of Villanova) is associate professor of philosophy at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Previously he taught at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California. He is editor of In the Twilight of Western Thought in the Collected Works of Herman Dooyeweerd, and he has written numerous articles on philosophy and religion, and has a remarkable grasp of Post-modern hermeneutics and interpretation.

This is reflected in his publications Who's Afraid of Postmodernism?: Taking Derrida, Lyotard, and Foucault to Church (Church and Postmodern Culture Series: Baker Academic, 2006); Jacques Derrida: Live Theory (Continuum, 2005), Introducing Radical Orthodoxy: Mapping a Post-Secular Theology (Baker Academic Press, 2004). Speech and Theology: Language and the Logic of Incarnation (Radical Orthodoxy Series: Routledge, 2002); Letters to a Young Calvinist: An Invitation to the Reformed Tradition (Bakerbooks, 2010) and The Fall of Interpretation: Philosophical Foundations for a Creational Hermeneutic (InterVarsity Press, 2000).

He is preparing four volumes The Violence of Finitude: Derrida and the Logic of Determination; Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Learning and the Formation of Radical Disciples; The Devil Reads Derrida - and Other Essays on the University, the Church, Politics, and the Arts and Thinking in Tongues: Elements of a Pentecostal Worldview (Pentecostal Manifestos Series; Eerdmans, 2008).
Koorong -Editorial Review.

Table Of Contents

  • Preface
    introduction: Beyond "perspectives": Faith And Learning Take Practice
    making The Familiar Strange: A Phenomenology Of Cultural Liturgies
    the End Of Christian Education: From Worldview To Worship (and Back Again)
    picturing Education As Formation In Orwell's road To Wigan Pier
    elements Of A Theology Of Culture: Pedagogy, Liturgy, And The Church
    part I: Desiring, Imaginative Animals: We Are What We Love
    1. Homo Liturgicus: The Human Person As Lover
    from Thinking Things To Liturgical Animals
    from Worldviews To Social Imaginaries
    from Spheres To Aims: Liturgical Institutions
    2: Love Takes Practice: Liturgy, Formation, And Counterformation
    why Victoria's In On The Secret: Picturing Discipleship At The moulin Rouge
    "thick" And "thin" Practices: Ritual Forces Of Cultural Formation
    formation, Mis-formation, And Counter-formation: Liturgies Secular And Christian
    3. Lovers In A Dangerous Time: Cultural Exegesis Of "secular" Liturgies
    "reading" Culture Through The Lens Of Worship
    consuming Transcendence: Worship At The Mall
    marketing (as) Evangelism
    picturing The Liturgy Of Consumerism In the Persuaders
    sacrificial Violence: The "military-entertainment" Complex
    cathedrals Of Learning: Liturgies Of The University
    picturing The University's Liturgies In Wolfe's i Am Charlotte Simmons
    apologetic Excursus: The Persisting Witness Of Idolatry
    picturing Resistance In 1984
    part Ii: Desiring The Kingdom: The Practiced Shape Of The Christian Life
    4. From Worship To Worldview: Christian Worship And The Formation Of Desire
    the Primacy Of Worship To Worldview
    the Sacramental Imagination: Resisting Naturalism And Supernaturalism
    picturing The Sacramental Imagination In Graham Greene And Anne Sexton
    excursus: The Shape Of Christian Worship
    5. Practicing (for) The Kingdom: An Exegesis Of The Social Imaginary Embedded In Christian Worship
    liturgical Time: Rhythms And Cadences Of Hope
    call To Worship: An Invitation To Be Human
    god's Greeting: Hospitality, Community, And Graced Dependence
    baptism: Initiation Into A Royal Priesthood/constitution Of A New People
    song: Hymning The Language Of The Kingdom
    confession: Brokenness, Grace, Hope
    law: Order, Norms, And Freedom For The Good
    the Creed: Situating Belief
    prayer: Vocalizing Desire
    scripture And Sermon: Re-narrating The World
    eucharist: Supper With The King
    offering: Kingdom Economics
    sending: The Great Commission As Cultural Mandate
    worship, Discipleship And Discipline: Practices Beyond Sunday
    6. A Christian University Is For Lovers: The Education Of Desire
    a New Monasticism For The University: Why Christian Colleges Should Corrupt The Youth
    christian Education Takes Practice: Three Monastic Opportunities
    excursus: Christian Worship As Faculty Development: From Christian Scholars To "ecclesial" Scholars
    indexes
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