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God Knows There's Need


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Table of Contents

1. God Knows: Empathic Remembering ; 2. Remembering as Personal Story ; 3. Engaging Paradigms: The Shape of Early Christian Need ; 4. On Living and Telling: Crossing the Gap ; 5. Poverty and the Gendering of Empathy ; 6. Maria's Choice ; 7. On Living Crunchy and Doing Right(s) ; 8. Embodying Sacred Kingdom

About the Author

Susan R. Holman is an academic research writer and editor at the Francois-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights, Harvard School of Public Health. She is the author of The Hungry are Dying: Beggars and Bishops in Roman Cappadocia.


"Very few books manage to combine sensitive and accurate historical scholarship with deep personal engagement and indeed exposure; this is one of them. Susan Holman courageously bridges the gap between the scholarly study of early Christianity and the challenges of Christian discipleship today with a real depth of insight and no trace of romanticism about the past. A unique achievement."--Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury "Susan R. Holman reaches into the shadows of Christian patristic history to ask questions of breathtaking immediacy. Her spirited interrogation of poverty forms a compelling personal quest laced with wry intelligence. Meticulously researched portraits bring key patristic figures and their struggles vividly before us. Her determination to seek not a solution, but a relation, to poverty shines through on every page. Her book is a rare find, the fat of guilt and good intentions burned away in the transparency of a passionate and demanding inquiry." --Patricia Hampl, author of The Florist's Daughter "Masterfully interweaving stories and discussions of poverty and social justice from the late antique, medieval, and modern world, Holman exposes the reality of poverty and the moral demands it places on us. With deep knowledge of the fathers, methodological sophistication, and genuine sensitivity towards the poor, she challenges us 'to cross the gap between past and present,' to bring the insights and lessons of the past forward and incorporate them into our own efforts to fashion a more just world. Her book is a fascinating, enjoyable, and relevant read." --James E. Goehring, Professor of Classics, Philosophy, and Religion, University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, VA "Susan Holman writes like a poet keenly engaged with historical texts and contexts and alive to the problems we face today in engaging with the world's needy people. Passionately engaging the problem of society's response to the needy, she weaves a subtle and beautiful tapestry of Syrian, Greek, and Latin patristic sources, modern critical thinkers, her own experience, and many poignant stories ancient and modern. She takes us from the mind to the heart, and compels us to respond to the sick, the hungry, and the homeless today. A model of how religious persons can retrieve their tradition to heal the world's wounds, this is a stunning book. The most significant book I have ever read on the Christian response to the needy." --Richard Valantasis, Institute for Contemplative Living, Santa Fe, NM, and Professor of Ascetical Theology and Christian Practice, Emory University "[God Knows There's a Need] can be seen as a reflective breathing space, a retreat between hard covers for those whose response to need is too often reduced, perforce, to filling in a local-authority grant application." --The Tablet "[Holman's] empathetic remembrances show us how to recreate ancient Christians' responses to poverty, making them live for the church today."--Theological Studies "An important addition to any social justice reading list."--Catholic Library World "Provocatively thoughtful. . . [an] articulate, personally-engaged historical study."--Interpreatation

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