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God Knows There's Need

Christian Responses to Poverty

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Hardback
£16.99
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ISBN-13: 9780195383621
Published: 04/06/2009
Product description
In this insightful volume, Susan R. Holman blends personal memoir and deep research into ancient writings to illuminate the age-old issues of need, poverty, and social justice in the history of the Christian tradition. Tying these historical texts to modern responses to need, Holman begins with her own encounters with need and describes her discovery of the existence of never-before-translated early Christian texts on responses to poverty, hunger, and disease. Holman explores, for instance, the stories of fourth- and fifth-century bishops responding to social crises of famine, homelessness, and disease, showing how these early Christian writers can be allies for those of us who want to influence our contemporary dialogue about relief and social justice. Throughout this deeply personal and richly scholarly work, Holman looks in particular at three broad, recurring ideas--sensing need, sharing the world, and embodying sacred kingdom--that allow her to bridge the ancient and the modern, and help readers understand more fully these age-old issues.
Product Reviews


"Very few books manage to combine sensitive and accurate historical scholarship with deep personal engagement and indeed exposure; this is one of them. Susan Holman courageously bridges the gap between the scholarly study of early Christianity and the challenges of Christian discipleship today with a real depth of insight and no trace of romanticism about the past. A unique achievement."--Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury


"Susan R. Holman reaches into the shadows of Christian patristic history to ask questions of breathtaking immediacy. Her spirited interrogation of poverty forms a compelling personal quest laced with wry intelligence. Meticulously researched portraits bring key patristic figures and their struggles vividly before us. Her determination to seek not a solution, but a relation, to poverty shines through on every page. Her book is a rare find, the fat of guilt and good intentions burned away in the transparency of a passionate and demanding inquiry." --Patricia Hampl, author of TheFlorist's Daughter


"Masterfully interweaving stories and discussions of poverty and social justice from the late antique, medieval, and modern world, Holman exposes the reality of poverty and the moral demands it places on us. With deep knowledge of the fathers, methodological sophistication, and genuine sensitivity towards the poor, she challenges us 'to cross the gap between past and present, ' to bring the insights and lessons of the past forward and incorporate them into our own efforts to fashion a more just world. Her book is a fascinating, enjoyable, and relevant read." --James E. Goehring, Professor of Classics, Philosophy, and Religion, University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, VA


"Susan Holman writes like a poet keenly engaged with historical texts and contexts and alive to the problems we face today in engaging with the world's needy people. Passionately engaging the problem of society's response to the needy, she weaves a subtle an

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