Secret Faith in the Public Square
An Argument for the Concealment of Christian IdentityBook - 2009
"A genuinely fresh, freethinking book. Lucidly written and crisply argued, it is a significant contribution to discussions in the field and will be a wonderful counterpoint to the dominant narrative in classes about religion and public life." Charles Mathewes, University of Virginia; editor, Journal of the American Academy of ReligionIn this groundbreaking and provocative book, Jonathan Malesic examines the tradition and practice of keeping faith separate from public life. Going against the general theological trend of advocating an ever more visible presence for Christianity in American public life, he argues that the best way for Christians to be caretakers of their tradition and to love their neighbors selflessly is to conceal their religious identity in the public square. The alternative insisting on Christianity's public visibility in politics, the marketplace, and the workplace risks severely compromising the distinctiveness of Christian identity.Delving deep into the Christian tradition, Malesic explains that keeping Christian identity secret means living fully in the world while maintaining Christian language, prayer, and liturgy in reserve. He shows how major thinkers Cyril of Jerusalem, Soren Kierkegaard, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer sought to protect Christian identity from being compromised by the public sphere. He then shows that Christians' dual responsibilities for the tradition and for the neighbour must be kept secret.
Publisher: Grand Rapids, MI : Brazos, c2009.
Characteristics: p. cm.