A Philosophy of Christian Materialism offers a new religious engagement with the public sphere via means of interdisciplinary analysis and empirical examples, developing what the authors call a Relational Christian Realism building upon interaction with contemporary Philosophy of Religion. The book argues that the current discourse on public religion is inadequate in addressing the issues now to be faced, including: material religious practice in the sphere of education; the growth of alternative political movements and the developing awareness of environmental concerns and urban social justice. Key concepts that support this strategic analysis are: entangled fidelities (the form of a materialist religious practice); the possibility of a relational Christian realism (including new developments in how we interpret key categories of doctrine including God and creation, salvation and humanity), and the post-secular public sphere (including the emerging phenomenon of postsecular rapprochement - namely the coming together of both religious and secular actors in methodologies and politics of pragmatism as well as ethical discourse for the sake of the public commons). Co-authored by theologians in both the USA and the UK, this book represents an exciting contribution to philosophy and practice of religion on both sides of the Atlantic and aspires to be sufficiently interdisciplinary to also appeal to readerships engaged in the study of modern political and social trends.
"Baker, James and Reader have produced a remarkable text that genuinely opens up new possibilities for theology and philosophy. ‘Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail’, would seem to be the right maxim here. We are grateful to the authors for this new mode of religious engagement with public space, for the common good." – Martyn Percy, University of Oxford
Contents: Introduction: A philosophy of Christian materialism - entangled fidelities and the public good; Relational Christian realism - the what and the why; Philosophy and Material practice: Deleuze, Latour, Badiou; Engaging the theological I: God; Engaging the theological II: creation, the human, and redemption; Practices in Christian materialism and relational Christian realism: urban community empowerment; Education and relational Christian realism; Entangled fidelities and environmental issues; Christian materialism and the contours of a new political imagination; Bibliography; Index.