Religion

Way of Abundance: Economic Justice in Scripture and Society

Way of Abundance: Economic Justice in Scripture and Society

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Justice, even divine justice, is concrete. It addresses flesh-and-blood persons and the systems, structures, and conditions under which they live. God's vision of abundant human living is not restricted to the spiritual realm but extends even to our material circumstances. But in today's complex economy, what specific changes to public policies and institutions could lead to a just economy?

In The Way of Abundance, economist and minister Edith Rasell examines Old and New Testament teachings on economic justice in the context of the ancient economic systems and circumstances they addressed. Drawing on the biblical narrative and on research from the social sciences, Rasell examines three eras--the ancient Israelites' settlements in Canaan, the time of the monarchies, and first-century Palestine--and describes the transition from a non-monetized, subsistence-based economy to a commercial one with wage labor, product markets, and a surplus that benefited a tiny elite. But across this vast expanse of time and economic transition, the Bible called for a just economy. And its vision of economic justice can be a vision for justice seekers today. The book concludes with specific public policy proposals and personal practices that would move contemporary society closer to the Bible's economic vision.

What's So Amazing about Polar Bears?: Teaching Kids to Care for Creation

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White Mosque: A Memoir

White Mosque: A Memoir

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Winner of the Bernard J. Brommel Award for Biography & Memoir (Midland Authors Book Award)

Finalist for the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award

A historical tapestry of border-crossing travelers, of students, wanderers, martyrs and invaders, The White Mosque is a memoiristic, prismatic record of a journey through Uzbekistan and of the strange shifts, encounters, and accidents that combine to create an identity

In the late nineteenth century, a group of German-speaking Mennonites traveled from Russia into Central Asia, where their charismatic leader predicted Christ would return.

Over a century later, Sofia Samatar joins a tour following their path, fascinated not by the hardships of their journey, but by its aftermath: the establishment of a small Christian village in the Muslim Khanate of Khiva. Named Ak Metchet, "The White Mosque," after the Mennonites' whitewashed church, the village lasted for fifty years.

In pursuit of this curious history, Samatar discovers a variety of characters whose lives intersect around the ancient Silk Road, from a fifteenth-century astronomer-king, to an intrepid Swiss woman traveler of the 1930s, to the first Uzbek photographer, and explores such topics as Central Asian cinema, Mennonite martyrs, and Samatar's own complex upbringing as the daughter of a Swiss-Mennonite and a Somali-Muslim, raised as a Mennonite of color in America.

A secular pilgrimage to a lost village and a near-forgotten history, The White Mosque traces the porous and ever-expanding borders of identity, asking: How do we enter the stories of others? And how, out of the tissue of life, with its weird incidents, buried archives, and startling connections, does a person construct a self?