Prophetic Preaching

The Hope or the Curse of the Church?

Edited by Ian S. Markham and Crystal J. Hardin

Mar/2020, 160 Pages, PAPER, 6 x 9

ISBN-13: 9781640652200



A collection of provocative, inspiring, and thoughtful essays about the place of politics in the pulpit.

This book is the first collection of essays to explore the question: is there room for politics from the pulpit? In response to an increasingly polarized society, preachers grapple with the call to witness a unifying Truth in a world where truth appears subjective. While many congregations respond positively to social and political themes in sermons, others do not. Conservative Episcopalians may feel uncomfortable with political-themed preaching, while liberal Episcopalians demand a political message from the pulpit. What is a preacher to do when the Episcopal Church is no more immune to the temptation of polarization than the secular world?

Contributors to this volume serve in a variety of contexts and bring with them their own distinct styles and visions. Anyone with an interest in the practical implications addressing the current political climate from the pulpit will find these essays provocative, inspiring, and thoughtful.

Contributors: Samuel G. Chandler, Sarah T. Condon, Alex Dyer, Crystal J. Hardin, Ruthanna Hooke, Mark Jefferson, Russell J. Levenson Jr., Ian Markham, Phoebe Roaf, Stephanie Spellers, Samuel Wells

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DR. IAN S. MARKHAM is the Dean and President of Virginia Theological Seminary and a Professor of Theology and Ethics. He is the author of numerous books including Against Atheism and An Introduction to Ministry (co-written with Oran Warder). His awards include the Robertson Fellow; Claggett Fellow attached to Washington National Cathedral; Frank Woods Fellow at Trinity College, Melbourne; and F. D. Maurice Lectures at King’s College, London.

CRYSTAL J. HARDIN is the Assistant to the Rector at Christ Church at Georgetown in Washington D.C. She graduated from Virginia Theological Seminary and from the University of Alabama School of Law where she was named a Hugo L. Black Scholar. After graduating, she clerked for the Honorable William M. Acker, Jr. on the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Alabama.


Ian S. Markham and Crystal J. Hardin


Chapter 1        Preaching Politics: Not Yes or No, but How

Crystal J. Hardin

Chapter 2        The Dangerous Potential of the Prophetic Pulpit

Sarah Condon        

Chapter 3        Addressing Power

Phoebe Roaf    

Chapter 4        Remember Jesus: The Purpose of the Pulpit

Russell J. Levenson Jr.    

Chapter 5        Reclaiming the Prophetic Pulpit

Alex Dyer                              

Chapter 6        Preaching the Jesus Movement

Stephanie Spellers                    

Chapter 7        The Political Work of the Church: Go for the Underlying Issues

Ian S. Markham                     

Chapter 8        Prophetic Preaching as Sacrament: Finding and Using a Political Voice

Ruthanna Hooke           

Chapter 9        Getting the Basics Right

Samuel Wells               

Chapter 10      What Succeeds in Preaching: The Way of Blessing

Samuel G. Candler                                                                                            

Chapter 11      Last Word: Reimagining Prophetic Preaching

Mark Jefferson               




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  • homiletics
  • preaching
  • sermons
  • politics
  • church and state

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