Christianity Today 2010 Book Award Winner
Word Guild 2010 Canadian Christian Writing Award
"Fresh and provocative.... This is an excellent book, one that holds the possibility of sparking a re-formation of Christian--or shall we say 'ecclesial'--education among all those who desire the Kingdom."--Steven M. Nolt, Christian Scholar's Review
Philosopher James K. A. Smith reshapes the very project of Christian education in Desiring the Kingdom. This text is the first of three volumes that will ultimately provide a comprehensive theology of culture. The entire set will address crucial concerns in ontology, anthropology, epistemology, and political philosophy. Desiring the Kingdom focuses education around the themes of liturgy, formation, and desire. The author contends--as did Augustine--that human beings are "desiring agents;in other words, we are what we love. Postmodern culture, far from being "secular," is saturated with liturgy, but in places such as malls, stadiums, and universities. While these structures influence us, they do not point us to the best of ends. Smith aims to move beyond a focus on "worldview" to see Christian education as a counter-formation to these secular liturgies. His ultimate purpose is to re-vision Christian education as a formative process that redirects our desire toward God's kingdom and its vision of flourishing. In the same way, Smith re-visions Christian worship as a pedagogical practice that trains our love. Desiring the Kingdom will reach a wide audience;professors and students in courses on theology, culture, philosophy, and worldview will welcome this contribution. Pastors, ministers, worship leaders, and other church leaders will appreciate this book as well.