Entries by Linda Kurtz

Speaking Our Truth Without Shaming Those Who Don’t See It: The Soul of Shame

It is important to name and fight for what we see as right, and against what we see as wrong. But when we engage in shaming — dehumanizing others by declaring them, rather than their positions or actions, to be wrong or bad — we create what Thompson refers to as “states of aloneness within us and between us, and most substantially between us and God.”

Bonhoeffer Biography Espouses Transforming “The Proud and Hateful” into Love

While it is false (I hope) to say that the present climate in the U.S. is exactly parallel to what happened in Nazi Germany (though there are eerie similarities), the church can be informed by what happened then as it seeks to be faithful today. Bonhoeffer witnessed a swift increase in authoritarianism, xenophobia, aggression toward the feminine, populism, and the dangerous conflation of religion, politics, and belief in an illusory national myth.

“Spirit in the Dark” Examines the Boundaries of Religious Life

The book that is providing theological perspective and inspiration for me these days is “Spirit in the Dark: A Religious History of Racial Aesthetics” by Josef Sorett. This work is exciting because it puts religion in conversation with the secular and in doing so allows the church/religion to erase the divide between what is inside and what is outside of the church walls, or the boundaries of religious life.

Meditations of the Heart by Howard Thurman “Sheds a Little Light”

Voices from around the PCUSA and beyond will follow throughout the coming weeks. Each will identify their context for ministry and call, a book they recommend, what the book is about, and why they believe it is critical reading today. My prayer is that these will become timely and descriptive “meditations of the heart,” so to speak, for a holy pilgrimage into God’s imagined future: the NEXT Church.