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Making Room: Recovering Hospitality As a Christian Tradition [Paperback]

By Christine D. Pohl (Author)
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Item description for Making Room: Recovering Hospitality As a Christian Tradition by Christine D. Pohl...

Welcoming the stranger is an age-old Christian virtue. By visiting historical figures (e.g., Chrysostom, Calvin, Wesley) as well as modern communities (e.g., L'Arche, L'Abri, the Catholic Worker, Jubilee Partners), Pohl equips us for this vital ministry.

Publishers Description
Although hospitality was central to Christian identity and practice in earlier centuries, our generation knows little about its life-giving character. Over the past three hundred years, understandings of hospitality have shrunk to entertainment at home and to the hospitality industry's provision of service through hotels and restaurants. But for most of the history of the church, hospitality was central to the gospel and a crucial practical expression of care, relationship, and respect.

This penetrating new work by Christine Pohl revisits the Christian foundations of welcoming strangers and explores the necessity, difficulty, and blessing of hospitality today. The book offers an original argument that traces the eclipse of this significant Christian practice, showing the initial centrality of hospitality and the importance of recovering it for contemporary life.

Combining rich biblical and historical research with extensive interviewing of contemporary service communities -- the Catholic Worker, L'Abri, L'Arche, Good Works, Annunciation House, St. John's Abbey, and others -- this book shows how understanding the key features of hospitality can better equip us to respond faithfully to contemporary needs and challenges.

Citations And Professional Reviews
Making Room: Recovering Hospitality As a Christian Tradition by Christine D. Pohl has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -

  • Publishers Weekly - 08/30/1999 page 75
  • Booklist - 09/01/1999 page 37

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Pages   205
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9" Width: 5.99" Height: 0.62"
Weight:   0.7 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 1, 1999
Publisher   Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
ISBN  0802844316  
ISBN13  9780802844316  

Availability  0 units.

More About Christine D. Pohl

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Christine D. Pohl (Ph.D., Emory University) is professor of social ethics at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky.

Christine D. Pohl currently resides in the state of Kentucky.

Christine D. Pohl has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Giving Project
  2. Resources for Reconciliation

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living

Christian Product Categories
Books > Christian Living > Practical Life > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about Making Room: Recovering Hospitality As a Christian Tradition?

A Should-Read for most churches!   Mar 4, 2008
As contemporary churches struggle with the fine line between generous evangelism and coercive proselytizing, Christine Pohl's Making Room: Recovering Hospitality as a Christian Tradition offers an alternative which focuses on practices within the Christian community and its relation to Pohl invites Christians to consider the virtue of hospitality as an evangelical center of Christian life. She asserts the Gospel's fundamental imperative for hospitality and examines biblical, ancient, and historical practices of evangelism for Christian hospitality traditions. After discussing these sources, Pohl conceives a new system for hospitality in the contemporary (American) church.
Pohl's book offers many valuable insights for Evangelism in contemporary society, but dances between a truly hopeful exposition of the possibilities of God's grace and just another example of good practices every American church should consider. Had Christine Pohl used the sentence, "Hospitality is simply joy of life" and constructed her recommendations for evangelism around the joy of worship, the life of meals and the practices which will form Christians into people who seek God's love in their lives through the mutuality with one another, her book would have the lacking edge of radical-ness which would make it truly radical and empowering (102).

Authentic and Radical Christian Hospitality  Jan 10, 2008
Making Room: Recovering Hospitality as a Christian Tradition is an excellent book on the subject of Christian hospitality.

The one caution that I might add would be those who are looking for a program for hospitality for a church or other religious organization. This book does not tell you about greeters and donuts after Mass. It is a work that makes a good attempt to rediscover the theology and actual practice of hospitality in Christianity. It is an invaluable resource in this respect. Christine Pohl also examines how this has changed throughout the years and how it has disappeared for the most part in modernity and post-modernity.

One might think this is just an obituary for Christian hospitality, but after talking about its demise, she finds hope. As part of the research for this book, she went to various places that have attempted to engage the hospitality tradition of Christianity in a serious way. By look at contemporary communities of hospital (such as L'Arbi, L'Arche, Catholic Worker Houses), she show that hospitality is still possible. By the use of her research, she helps the reader to begin to see how the Christian hospitality tradition might be recaptured in different facets of life; the church, the home, within the family, etc. While I felt convicted in my own heart, rather than feeling bad, this book had invigorated me to make authentic and radical Christian hospitality part of my own ministry once I am a priest.

This is a good book for Catholics, Orthodox, and Protestants. Pohl delves into the Patristic tradition, especially Saint John Chrysostom. She uses John Calvin and Martin Luther of the period of reformation. She quotes John Wesley. Finally, she goes to more modern Christians such as Dorothy Day, Peter Maurin, and Henri Nouwen. For those of other religions and those with a secular mindset, this book is probably not the book for you on hospitality. It is hospitality for a Christian perspective.
Remembering our Roots  Nov 5, 2007
In her book, "Making Room", author Christine Pohl considers the practice of true Christian hospitality from historical, theological and cultural perspectives with an eye to application in a modern context. With numerous quotations from figures throughout the history of the Christian faith (including Chrystostam, Luther, Calvin and Wesley), Pohl builds a compelling case for recovering what may be a mostly lost practice for the modern church. Pohl doesn't just make a statement regarding the recovery of hospitality but she also points out the difficulties, tensions and pitfalls that may await a practitioner. Her explanations of how hospitality has changed over time and how it must be practiced in both individual/family and congregational/community settings are simultaneously challenging and encouraging.

I found this book a to be real eye-opening work that has forced me to reconsider many of the ways I interact with those I come in contact with. As a college professor I have begun to look at my students as "aliens and strangers" within the culture of higher education and to think about what hospitality might look like in that context. This is the power the book has for the reader in my mind. It points out what true hospitality is and the power it has in a disconnected and disillusioned world and then challenges the faithful reader to examine how to live out the potential it has. I strongly recommend this book for those seeking to live an intentional or missional faith.
An old road for a new generation: Hospitality Reconsidered  Sep 6, 2005
In this day of declining membership in mainline Christian churches and the exponetially rising number of refugees and migrants worldwide, Christine Pohl makes a convincing case for the primacy of hospitality as a spiritual discipline for 21st century Christians. Fear and institutional distance has radically altered the practice of hospitality, making what was once common behavior, a radical devotion among only the bravest of souls. Simple hospitality will be the hallmark of sanctity in the modern world. Every minister should have this work in their pastoral library. It is a book to ponder and pray over.
Too much of an okay thing  Nov 21, 2003
I picked this book up because it was suggested "in addition" to another book on hospitality that I read recently and thought was life-changing. This book is very good, it includes interesting and thoughtful ideas and it is pretty well written. I couldn't shake the feeling that I was reading some academic paper prepared in graduate school. While I liked the book fine and it definitely worth reading, I think if fails to measure up to some other books on the market right now. I would certainly suggest it for anyone doing academic work, preparing for a class or inventing some church program.

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