Now through January 12, the ebook of Secret Faith in the Public Square: An Argument for the Concealment of Christian Identity by Jonathan Malesic is only $1.99 (93% off) from the following participating retailers:
2009 Book of the Year Award, ForeWord Magazine
“Those interested in the ongoing discussion of the relation of Christianity and culture will want to read this book, as will any theologian interested in what it means to preserve the distinctiveness of Christianity in contemporary America.”
—Bill Reddinger, Religious Studies Review
In this groundbreaking and provocative book, Jonathan Malesic examines the tradition and practice of keeping faith separate from public life. Going against the general theological trend of advocating an ever more visible presence for Christianity in American public life, he argues that the best way for Christians to be caretakers of their tradition and to love their neighbors selflessly is to conceal their religious identity in the public square. The alternative—insisting on Christianity’s public visibility in politics, the marketplace, and the workplace—risks severely compromising the distinctiveness of Christian identity.
Delving deep into the Christian tradition, Malesic explains that keeping Christian identity secret means living fully in the world while maintaining Christian language, prayer, and liturgy in reserve. He shows how major thinkers—Cyril of Jerusalem, Søren Kierkegaard, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer—sought to protect Christian identity from being compromised by the public sphere. He then shows that Christians’ dual responsibilities for the tradition and for the neighbor must be kept secret.
Jonathan Malesic (PhD, University of Virginia) is assistant professor of theology at King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. He has written several essays for the Chronicle of Higher Education.