Awaiting the King by James K.A. Smith

Awaiting the King

In this culmination of his widely read and highly acclaimed Cultural Liturgies project, James K. A. Smith examines the political through the lens of liturgy. What if, he asks, citizens are not only thinkers or believers but lovers? Smith explores how our analysis of political institutions would look different if we viewed them as incubators of love-shaping practices--not merely governing us but forming what we love. How would our political enga...

Details Awaiting the King

TitleAwaiting the King
Release DateNov 7th, 2017
PublisherBaker Academic
GenreReligion, Theology, Politics, Cultural, Philosophy, Nonfiction

Reviews Awaiting the King

  • Scott
    A nice conclusion to a remarkable trilogy. While each volume seems to have to have it's own eclectic style and concerns, this seemed to me to be the most eclectic of the three. I began this trilogy now around 5 years ago and to finish it now I can see how it has shaped my thoughts on things like theological anthropology, and ecclesiological practice. This book strikes an interesting note as it touches on the intersection between ecclesial practic...
  • Alex Stroshine
    3.5/5.One of the dangers of challenging yourself to read 75 books in a year is that it can make you read too fast to appreciate a book. This is only exacerbated if your reading of the book is fragmentary and even WORSE if you are not reading it alongside someone else so you can digest and discuss the book together. I might be guilty of a "poor" reading of 'Awaiting the King: Reforming Public Theology,' as a result.This is the final volume in Jame...
  • Michael Nichols
    This is the book I’ve desired to read for about the past three to four years. Someone finally wrote it. (I was starting to worry I’d have to write it myself). Chapters one and two bolster the political nature of the church. Then chapters three through six work out the implications for Christian participation in earthly politics. Smith sketches what it might look like to do politics in a hopeful key, from a place of cruciform authority rather ...
  • Chad
    One of the brilliant insights of Smith’s book (and others in the trilogy) is that we are worshiping creatures whose hearts are formed and deformed by the million competing liturgies to which we are exposed. In the past, I've envisioned myself as keeping politics at arm's length. I had no use for its "liturgies." I've come to realize, more and more, not only the impossibility of such insular living but the abdication of my responsibility in doin...
  • Robert D. Cornwall
    Preachers are often cautioned to steer clear of politics, and yet the biblical story is very political. Jesus himself was executed as political figure. The Romans didn't care about intricacies of Jewish theology, but they did pay attention to claims of being a king. So, Pilate had him executed. The prophets of Israel often stepped on the toes of the political establishment. So it goes. Politics and religion have long been connected, even if the r...
  • Josh Skinner
    Smith is a scholar for whom I have great respect. I have not had the chance to read the first two volumes of the Cultural Liturgies series, but I am planning on it. "Awaiting the King" is a volume that can stand on its own, especially if you have read some of Smith's other work. "You Are What You Love" remains one of my favorite books, and serves as a nice appetizer for "Awaiting the King." In this newest volume, Smith examines the idea of publi...
  • Justin Edgar
    I love Smith, and I loved this book. I wrestle with so many of the things that Smith talks about in this book, related to politics, political action, the role of faith, cynicism, doubt, skepticism and hope. I think chapters 3 and 4 provided some tough sledding through O'Donovan and his thought, but I think the work was worth it. Chapters 1, 2 and 6 were money all the way through. An important book!
  • Tim Hoiland
    In this final installment of the heralded Cultural Liturgies trilogy, James K.A. Smith invites us to reexamine the way we approach politics – and, even more, the ways politics "disciple" us. Continuing his ongoing engagement with Augustine, Smith argues that we are liturgical creatures, shaped for better and worse by rites both within and outside the church. For those of us who are persuaded of "the good of politics" but recognize all the ways ...
  • Ian Caveny
    In a world where the Christian theologians, pastors, and laymen routinely communicate co-opted political stances, where televangelists preach the "gospel" of the Religious Right or where T.V. pastors preach the "gospel" of the Christian Left, and, yet, where Christian engagement in "politics" is often reticent, fraught with overcomplexities, and, in the end, discarded, James K.A. Smith's final entry in his Cultural Liturgies project is a breath o...
  • Zachary
    It's hard to put into a short summary the depth and breadth of what Smith covers in this book. First, the reader should understand that this is the final in a trilogy of books (Cultural Liturgies) by Smith which advocate and engage liturgical theology. If you haven't read either Desiring the Kingdom or Imagining the Kingdom then some key points of his arguments or chapters may seem to lack a foundation (or justification) which was established in ...
  • Justin
    I was worried I'd feel like I'm coming in in the middle of a conversation. I haven't read the preceding books in Smith's Cultural Liturgies series. I'm also not as steeped in Kuyper or Augustine as the ideal reader would be, and I'm totally unfamiliar with Oliver O'Donovan, the key figure in this work. Even so, it's easy enough to get up to speed, and there's plenty to reward the work in this book.The answers to the various issues raised in this ...
  • David Collins
    While I have thoroughly enjoyed reading Smith’s books in cultural liturgies project, and was waiting for this book for a while; I couldn’t help but leave the book disappointed. After Smith talks about the “Godfather problem” and how we can be deformed through liturgy while still attending the church I believed he has missed the point of his own project. From my reading of his book he relegates all “worship” to what happens within the ...
  • Ethan
    In the third volume of his Cultural Liturgies project, Smith unwraps what it looks like for the Church to be the City of God in the midst of a fallen world. Instead of quietist despair or triumphalist action, Smith tries to convey a posture of striving for the good of society while also bearing in mind that the world's days are numbered and Christ the King is coming. Jesus is the only one who brings the Kingdom, and we eagerly await him. I think ...
  • Joshua D.
    The much anticipated conclusion to Smith's cultural-liturgical formation trilogy. This time Smith focuses on political theology, with an eye toward an Augustinian critique of his own Kuyperian theological tradition. The book mainly asks (and allows Augustine to answer) a series of questions of his Calvinist (and neo-Calvinist) compatriots...- Is something lost in our tenacious emphasis on the goodness of creation?- Do we perhaps protest a bit too...
  • John Wise
    Extremely helpful after the 2016 election.Key insights:Modern people have a naive understanding of institutions, namely, that the individual changes the insitution. The relationship between individual and insitution is actually two-way; the individual changes the institution, and the institution changes the individual. Individuals who walk into an insitution thinking they will change it usually wind up culturally assimilated.How do Christians par...
  • Simon
    The best one of the series. More Reformed, more conservative, and more helpful than was expecting. There are some problems, which I will unpack elsehwere, not least the 'church-as-polis' thing. But more later.
  • Amanda Patchin
    Rich, complex, and necessary.
  • Nathan Mladin
    Writing review now for Theos think tank