Guest / Limited Access /
Reviews

/

Living into Community: Cultivating Practices That Sustain Us
Our Rating
5 Stars - Masterpiece
Book Title
Living into Community: Cultivating Practices That Sustain Us
Author
Publisher
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Release Date
December 20, 2011
Pages
219
Price
$15.00
Buy Living into Community: Cultivating Practices That Sustain Us from Amazon

Toledo, Ohio, is a small city with big-city problems. But cheap housing makes it a perfect place for creative types. One aspiring collective—about a dozen proverbial "starving artists"—recently rehabbed an old house that now hosts a once-a-week meal to which anyone is welcome. About 300 homeless folks, fellow artists, and college students show up.

"They're all seekers," explained a young man involved in this outreach. "Most of them say they're looking for community."

In a culture where so many people feel alienated from family and clan, a place of genuine welcome is attractive. And though the starving artists of Toledo may not realize it, hospitality is a thoroughly Christian practice. Christine D. Pohl, associate provost and professor of Christian social ethics at Asbury Theological Seminary, has reflected deeply on what it means to welcome the stranger not simply as "client" or "guest," but as Christ.

While researching her classic Making Room: Recovering Hospitality as a Christian Tradition, Pohl noted a recurring lament from experienced workers: Practicing long-term hospitality requires the infrastructure of community, but sustaining community is hard—much harder than merely opening it up to strangers. Living into Community: Cultivating Practices That Sustain Us (Eerdmans) is Pohl's attempt to resolve this dilemma.

Why do communities come unglued? Paradoxically, Pohl argues, the very fragmentation of contemporary life that makes us crave community also makes most of us poor candidates for committed membership. "Despite the fact that many of us claim to be dissatisfied with individualism," she writes, "we cherish our capacity to make individual choices and to seek opportunities for personal growth." It might ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

From Issue:
Browse All Book Reviews By:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedThe Gay Catholic Writer Who Changed My Life
The Gay Catholic Writer Who Changed My Life
Eve Tushnet taught me that living without sex doesn’t mean living without love.
TrendingHow Libya's Martyrs Are Witnessing to Egypt
How Libya's Martyrs Are Witnessing to Egypt
Murders spark largest outreach ever amid new freedoms and new threats.
Editor's PickLSD, Revolution, Buddhism, Then Jesus
LSD, Revolution, Buddhism, Then Jesus
The conversion of an original Jesus freak.
Comments
Christianity Today
The Heart of Christian Life: Pillars of Hospitality
hide thisMarch March

In the Magazine

March 2012

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.