In this volume, internationally acclaimed theologian Graham Ward examines the political side of postmodernism in order to discern the contemporary context of the church and describe the characteristics of a faithful, political discipleship. His study falls neatly into two sections. The first, which is the more theoretical section, considers “the signs of the times.” Ward names this section “The World,” noting that the church must always frame its vision and mission within its worldly context. In the second section, “The Church,” he turns to constructive application, providing an account of the Christian practices of hope that engage the world from within yet always act as messengers of God’s kingdom.
Ward’s study accomplishes two related goals. First, he provides an accessible guide to contemporary postmodernism and its wide-ranging implications. Second, he elaborates a discipleship that informs a faith seeking understanding, which Ward describes as “the substance of the church’s political life.”
Ward is well known for his thoughtful engagement with postmodernism and contemporary critical theology. Here he provides a broader audience with an engaging account of the inherently political nature of postmodernity and thoughts on what it means to live the Christian faith within that setting.
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The quality of [Ward’s] diagnoses, the energy of his writing, and the vigor of his engagement make this a rewarding manifesto for the agenda of political theology and ethics today.
—Samuel Wells, Theology
Extraordinary! Graham Ward’s The Politics of Discipleship is an extraordinary book. Ward does nothing less than help us see how ‘world’ and ‘church’ implicate each other by providing an insightful and learned account of the transformation of democracy, the perversities of globalization, and the ambiguities of secularization. Perhaps even more significant is his theological proposal for the difference the church can make in the world so described. This is an extraordinary book.
—Stanley Hauerwas, Gilbert T. Rowe Professor of Theological Ethics, Duke University
Graham Ward (PhD, University of Cambridge) is a professor of contextual theology and ethics at the University of Manchester. He is a prolific author and editor, whose works include Cities of God, True Religion, and The Blackwell Companion to Postmodern Theology.