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Principalities in Particular: A Practical Theology of the Powers That Be

Author: 
Bill Wylie Kellermann (Author)
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Description

If the 1960s were a watershed in American politics, they were no less formative a period in political theology, as figures like Jacques Ellul, Karl Barth, Walter Wink, Daniel and Philip Berrigan, and William Stringfellow shed new light on the biblical language of “the powers.” In these essays, activist pastor Bill Wylie-Kellermann critically appreciates the legacy of these figures and gives an urgent specificity to the theology of the powers, relating biblical concepts to contemporary struggles for civil rights, clean air, fair housing, safe affordable water, public education, and civic responsibility after the 2016 election, highlighting throughout the vital importance of a community of struggle connected through time and across space. The book’s uniqueness lies in its practicality, as biblical and theological analyses arise from, and are addressed to, particular historical moments and given ecclesial and movement struggles. Appendixes present resources for teaching and training people in movement organizing and for thinking through the presence of the powers in our life and ministry. 

ISBN: 
9781506431680
Price: 
$29.00
ISBN: 
9781506438245
Release date: 
October 15, 2017
Pages: 
352
Width: 
6
Height: 
9

Contents

A Theological Introduction

1. A Story of This Theological Conversation

2. A Personal and Activist Appreciation: The Life and Legacy of Walter Wink

3. Death Shall Have No Dominion: Daniel Berrigan of the Resurrection

4. From the Beginning: Two Creation Liturgies

Particular Powers

5. Barbed Wire and Beyond: The Freedom to Unmake Nuclear Weapons

6. Discerning the Angel of Detroit: The Spirits and the Powers at Work in One City

7. Fallen: The Law and the State

8. The Machinery of War: Technology and the Powers That Indwell

9. Confronting the Drug Powers: Freeing the Captives

10. Family: Icon and Principality

11. Spiritual Warfare and Economic Justice

12. The Powers in Healing and Hospital Ministry

13. Readers before Profits: The Detroit Newspaper Strike

14. Labor Unions and Principalities

15. Exorcising an American Demon: White Supremacy

16. The Fall in Play: Sports as Principality

17. Global Economy: False Gods and the Power of Love

18. Unholy Alliance: John Wesley and the Global Principality of Slavery

19. Be Not Awed: The War in Iraq

20. Katrina and the Wrath to Come

21. Surveillance and Impeachment

22. Death Has Its Day: The BP Oil Spill

23. Lest Death Prevail: Harry Potter and the Principalities

24. Coming to a City Near You: Emergency Management

25. The Dismantling of Public Education: Separate and Unequal

26. Her Name Was Charity: The Detroit Water Struggle

27. Church and the Powers (Church as a Power)

28. Trump Powers: Presidency and Principalities 

Endorsements

This long-awaited collection shows why Bill Wylie- Kellermann has for decades been our most determined and faithful bearer of a North American tradition that engages with and critically reflects upon the powers.

"This long-awaited collection shows why Bill Wylie- Kellermann has for decades been our most determined and faithful bearer of a North American tradition that engages with and critically reflects upon the powers. These essays introduce this tradition’s progenitors, exegete its biblical grounding, and map how it has been variously embodied over the last half century, from William Stringfellow to Charity Hicks. Wylie-Kellermann is our best guide to this stream of theological and political literacy, which in turn best helps us navigate both the Word and our world, never moreso than now."

Ched Myers | Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries

An engaging, exhorting, and encouraging tool for resisting the spiritual forces of racism, fascism, capitalism, and war that beset us today.

"Against the backdrop of the author’s beloved Detroit, familiar patterns change and reappear kaleidoscopically through the lens of spiritual warfare. Principalities in Particular is indeed a practical theology. It is also a tribute to those who have most incisively named the Powers, Stringfellow, Wink, and Berrigan, and an engaging, exhorting, and encouraging tool for resisting the spiritual forces of racism, fascism, capitalism, and war that beset us today."

Laurel Dykstra | Anglican priest and coordinator of the Salal and Cedar Watershed Discipleship Community, Vancouver, BC

The result is not only informative, but transformative as well.

"Bill Stringfellow rightly said that the drama of history unfolds between God, humanity, and the powers and principalities. We still need ministry resources that deepen our biblical, theological, and spiritual understanding of the powers. Bill Wylie-Kellermann unmasks and engages the powers through historical moments, mentors, biblical analysis, and his own call as pastor, teacher, and activist. The result is not only informative, but transformative as well."  

Yvonne V. Delk | Founding Director, Center for African American Theological Studies, Chicago

Every page of this book is an invitation to obedient imagination that leads beyond despair, fatigue, and cynicism. 

"From the right, we now face conspiratorial theories of a “deep state” that aims to undermine our social status quo. In contrast, this astonishing book is unmistakable evidence of a “deep church,” in which the author is a passionate participant along with Karl Barth, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Jacques Ellul, William Stringfellow, Walter Wink, and Daniel Berrigan, to name only its more prominent members in whose orbit the author lives. Wylie-Kellermann, as a man of that “deep church,” speaks in innocent seriousness concerning the radical claims of the gospel; he shows, moreover, how those claims impinge on public policy and summon to a life of glad serious obedience. This is an urgently required book just now because the contemporary church is so absorbed in accommodation to culture and worried about survival that it too often has only feeble words and acts in the world. Wylie-Kellermann shows that there is decisive news to be performed around our most vexing concrete public issues. Every page of this book is an invitation to obedient imagination that leads beyond despair, fatigue, and cynicism."

Walter Brueggemann | Columbia Theological Seminary