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“To say that The Justice Calling is a timely gift to the contemporary church is a profound understatement.”

— Christina Edmondson


Over the past decade, justice movements to abolish labor slavery, end sex trafficking, fight for those who suffer violent oppression, and address grinding poverty have been growing. Access to the needs of every neighbor on the planet is wide open in a way that has never before been true in human history, awakening Christians to the reality of injustice and the depth of suffering in our world today. Evangelical interest, in particular, has been on the rise. But reactions can all too easily range from impulsive fits of activism without true understanding to paralyzing despair.

Here two authors with firsthand experience in the justice movement encourage us to ground our call to justice in sound biblical and theological teaching as we engage with the most critical global needs of our time. The authors connect justice to Scripture, the character of God, and the long traditions of the church so that our passion meets perseverance and justice becomes an enduring and integrated part of our life and faith.

As political scientists and politicians scramble to bring comprehension to our worldwide diversity and conflict, Dr Kristen Deede Johnson brings the theological voice of Augustine into the forum…The results are astonishing: instead of strident polemics she brings the parties together in a rich conversation that integrates deep scholarship with a thoroughly Christian theological imagination.

— Eugene H. Peterson

How can we live together in the midst of our differences? This is one of the most pressing questions of our time. Tolerance has been the bedrock of political liberalism, while proponents of agonistic political thought and radical democracy have sought an answer that allows a deeper celebration of difference. Kristen Deede Johnson describes the move from tolerance to difference, and the accompanying move from epistemology to ontology, within political theory. Building on this ‘ontological turn’, in search of a theological answer to the question, she puts Augustine into conversation with recent political theorists and theologians. This theological option enables the Church to envision a way to engage with contemporary political society without losing its own embodied story and practices. It contributes to our broader political imagination by offering a picture of rich engagement between the many different particularities that constitute a pluralist society.

Select Chapters

Supporting this World’s Ballerinas: Learning from Mad Men’s Female Workers

‘The Universe is Indifferent’: Theology, Philosophy, and Mad Men

Edited by Ann W. Duncan and Jacob L. Goodson, Cascade Books, 2016.

Hunter and Peterson on Institutions

Pastoral Work: Engagements with the Vision of Eugene Peterson

Edited by Jason Byassee and L. Roger Owen, Cascade Books, 2014.

Earthly Peace in the Halls of City Schools

With Peter Boumgarden

Corners in the City of God: Theology, Philosophy, and The Wire

Edited by Jonathan Tran and Myles Werntz, Cascade Books, 2013.

Brave New World? Faith, Hope and the Political Imagination

Patterns of Promise: Art, Imagination and Christian Hope

Edited by Jeremy Begbie and Trevor Hart, Ashgate, 2012.