Exploring California as a theological place, this book renders critical engagement with significant Californian religious and theological phenomena and the inherent theological impulses within major Californian cultural icons. Harnessing conceptual tools inherent to theology, through theological reflection, assessment, and critique, the chapters in this volume begin to ascertain the significance of various empirical data and that no other qualitative methodological Californian study has done. Many universities are picking up on California literature as a theme that highlights a place of hope, wonder, and cultural innovation, but have neglected the significance of theological instincts flowing through the Californian dynamic. Californians Fred Sanders and Jason Sexton assemble leading voices and specialists both from within and without California for engagement with California’s influential culture: including leading theologians and cultural critics such as Richard J. Mouw, Paul Louis Metzger, and Fred Sanders, alongside leading specialists in Film studies and cultural critique, theological anthropology, missiology, sociology, and history.
'Providential thinking clearly shapes ideas about California. Does the opposite also take place? Does California shape religion and theology too? Is there perhaps a unique California theology, call it Californianity? In a state where religious adherence is increasing rather than declining - unlike the rest of the country - these questions have an unexpected purchase. And the theologians and scholars in this volume, following Josiah Royce's call for a "higher provincialism," bring welcome new light to the connections between place and faith.' Jon Christensen, Editor: Boom: A Journal of California 'Theology is faith seeking understanding - yes, but of California? As a theologian and native Californian, I am delighted to recommend this collection of essays that seek to understand the spirit of the place that shaped my childhood (and millions of others), and how the Holy Spirit may be active in that place. The church, after all, is always local, and a theology of California will undoubtedly serve Christ's body in California by fostering understanding and enabling her to continue her ongoing mission of witnessing both to the lordship of Jesus Christ over all things and to the renewal of all things in Christ.’ Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, USA 'This volume… is an ambitious undertaking to bring theology into the conversation of California - what it was, what it is, and what it will become. To the degree that co-editors Sanders and Sexton have raised pertinent questions to interrogate our state’s spiritual situation, as well as have offered clear examples of Californian theological reflection, they have succeeded admirably… Theology and California is an excellent launching point for further theological work about California and the diversity of Californian experiences. It heads us in the right direction by asking the right questions.' Russell M. Jeung, San Francisco State University, USA ’Arranged to encourage debate and discussion,