Item description for The Soul of Politics: Beyond "Religious Right" and "Secular Left" by Jim Wallis & Garry Wills...
Overview The Soul of Politics responds to signs of cultural breakdown and political impasse with a resounding call to reintegrate politics and spirituality. Wallis draws on his own experience in the urban ghettos of Washington, D.C., to show why traditional liberal and conservative options that emphasize either social justice or personal values fall short of solutions.
Publishers Description Wallis draws on his experience in urban ghettos to show why traditional liberal and conservative options that emphasize either social justice or personal values fall short. He looks outside the traditional corridors of power to find solutions. Foreword by Garry Wills; Preface by Cornel West.
Citations And Professional Reviews The Soul of Politics: Beyond "Religious Right" and "Secular Left" by Jim Wallis & Garry Wills has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Publishers Weekly - 09/11/1995
New York Times - 12/24/1995 page 16
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More About Jim Wallis & Garry Wills
Jim Wallis is the founding editor of Sojourners magazine and a well-known Christian leader for social change. An activist, writer, and popular speaker, his books include Who Speaks for God?; Faith Works; The Soul of Politics: A Practical and Prophetic Vision for Change (The New Press); and, most recently, the national bestseller God's Politics. He lives in Washington, D.C.
Jim Wallis has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about The Soul of Politics: Beyond "Religious Right" and "Secular Left"?
Author Doesn't Get It Jan 11, 2008
The author, and most of the reviewers of this book, still don't get it. Liberalism is a religion--it is a "replacement theolology"--and the American Left is insidiously replacing Christianity in the West with Liberalism. Look at Europe for your best example. This author is a Liberal who is attempting to blend Liberalism with Christianaity to create a New World. He, and the Left, are changing the message to suit their political agenda. American Christians aren't perfect (like Liberals are--just ask them) but if you ARE a Christian or are a wanna-be, you'll see right through this guy and his claims. He's a false prophet, and he's making millions off of you advancing the religion of Liberalism.
Is there any hope for contemporary politics? Aug 26, 2007
I must admit, as a Black living in America, I'm inclined to read works written mostly by Black authors. As I began to read this book and learn about some of the social activism (i.e. working with inner city youths in the D.C. area) of the author, I was surprised to learn that he's of European descent. Not that I think there aren't any white folk who are willing to fight socially for people of color, it's just you don't hear about them very often. This book was very refreshing in that sense.
Although published in the 90's, this book is very applicable to the political landscape of today. Mr. Wallis very effectively points out the shortcomings of both parties and conveys the need for social responsibility and social justice. One of his most brilliantly stated positions is, "Liberalism is unable to articulate or demonstrate the kind of moral values that must undergird any serious movement of social transformation; the critical link between personal responsibility and societal change is missing on the left. Conservatism, on the other hand, still denies the reality of structural injustice and social oppression; to call for individual self-improvement and return to family values while ignoring the pernicious effects of poverty, racism, and sexism is to continue blaming the victim." He argues very effectively I might add that we [Americans of all backgrounds] need a politics that will encompass, at the least, the basic needs of all people - not just the middle class as most of the politicians like to point out, but the poor as well.
This book is a powerful and prophetic call to a politics of spirituality. Please heed the call America!
An Alternative to Politics Jan 20, 2007
Jim Wallis takes on the world with this book. Evan though written more than 10 years ago, it is even more relevant today. I read his book "God's Politics" before reading this one, and there are few substantive differences, though one was written before 9/11 and one after. If anything, Jim Wallis is consistent in his belief in a non-violent approach to conflict. If you're looking for an alternative philosophy to those of the dominant two parties, this is one to consider. He advocates not a compromise toward the middle, but rather a radical transformation of U.S. and world societies, emphasizing justice and real equality, not the self-serving kinds disguised in the rhetoric of both conservatives and liberals. As a self-proclaimed evangelist, the author occasionally offers well-known Biblical quotes to support his theses. He cites the need to return to a spiritually-based brand of politics, with emphasis on a redistribution of economic wealth as one means to avoid an otherwise inevitable uprising by the world's poor and oppressed. This latter group, in isolated areas around the world, is already beginning to make noise, and Wallis says that their initiative is essential because the relatively wealthy and powerful are not willing to give up their status and rewards in order to promote a more level playing field. If everyone read this book and absorbed its contents, and acted out the recommendations that Wallis suggests, the world would be topsy-turvy tomorrow -- and in a good way. But those in power around the world are not likely to revere such a radical transformation.
A call to action Nov 10, 2006
In some ways I wish I hadn't read this book, because now I have to do something. While I'm not sure what exactly that will be - something will change in my life.
Jim Wallis is a modern day prophet. There haven't been many in a long time. I am excited about what he and his organization are doing. I am excited about what I can do. I am excited about what each of us can do to make this a better world, one person at the time.
This is a must read no matter how hard it is to hear what he has to say.
Faith Renewed Nov 14, 2005
As someone that journeyed into the political life of this nation as a young man, I came to have a jaded and pessimistic view of the entire body politic. Watching the workings of committees and the deal making process that is the creation of legislation, I became convencied that entering public life would mean a compromise of my faith, values, and sense of social justice. I left political life disgusted with both sides. However, after reading the Soul of Politics, I have become excited and refreshed to know that on the rise, a movement is working to bringing true faith in God and eachother into serious political discourse. I believe that now, more than ever, people are sick of the abuse and perversion of the faith that the "religious right" trumphets as the "will of God," and the ignorance of the "secular left" in completly disregarding the faith as irrevelant in solving social and political problems. This is not simply an ideological portrait of how things could be, but, a plan that is working in areas across this country. I reccomend this book to anyone that believes we need a new direction and center in the public life of our nation. Out of the numerous books on public policy and political science that I have read in university and these last six years after graduation, The Soul of Politics was the most important. I only wish that I had found Sojourners before leaving D.C.