Smith, using his unique insights, argues that Christian education is a formative process centered on liturgy, spiritual formation, and desire. As such, it constitutes a "counter-formation" to secular liturgies such as malls, stadiums and other secular "liturgical structures". By forming Christians in this way, Smith believes we can reorient our desires toward the flourishing of God's kingdom and employ worship as the pedagogical tool to root our liturgy and spiritual formation in love. Volume one in the Cultural Liturgies series, Desiring the Kingdom promises to present a new and challenging pedagogical paradigm for teachers and pastors alike.
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.
James K. A. Smith (PhD, Villanova University) is the Gary & Henrietta Byker Chair in Applied Reformed Theology & Worldview at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In addition, he is editor of Comment magazine and a senior fellow of the Colossian Forum. He has penned the critically acclaimed Who's Afraid of Postmodernism? and Introducing Radical Orthodoxy, and his edited books include After Modernity? and Hermeneutics at the Crossroads. Smith is the editor of the well-received Church and Postmodern Culture series (www.churchandpomo.org).
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