These profiles of world religious leaders tell the story of our quest for faith in an age of uncertainty, as religion moves once again to headline news.
Robertson, C. K.
In this collection of biographical, social, and theological reflections on twelve Christian figures who often confronted and changed the societies in which they lived, the writer doesn't shy from controversy. Canon to the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Robertson (Transforming Stewardship) ranges through church history to find "blessed troublemakers" who sometimes evoked anger from established authorities and other times spurred church and state to try to "canonize and control" them. The apostle Paul, 12th-century mystic Hildegard of Bingen, and German resistance martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer are some of those profiled less likely to raise questions in readers' minds. But others, such as W.H. Ting (controversial for his activities in Communist China) and 3rd-century theologian Origen, may be debated. While the writer's progressive perspective makes for lively reading, some readers will be disturbed that he often seems willing to question the sincerity of Christians throughout the centuries (and sometimes biblical scholarship as well) in order to highlight those whose perspectives sometimes put them at loggerheads with the powers that be. Questions accompany each chapter, making the book suitable for group or individual study.