In these passionate and wide-ranging essays Obery Hendricks offers a challenging engagement with spirituality, economics, politics, contemporary Christianity, and the abuses committed in its name. Among his themes: the gap between the spirituality of the church and the spirituality of Jesus; the ways in which contemporary versions of gospel music "sensationalize" todays churches into social and political irrelevance; how the economic principles and policies espoused by the religious right betray the most basic principles of biblical tradition they claim to hold dear; and the domestication of Martin Luther Kings message to foster a political complacency that dishonors Kings sacrifices.
Hendricks concludes with a stinging rebuke of the religious rights idolatrous "patriotism" in a radical manifesto for those who would practice "the politics of Jesus" in the public sphere.
"Who but Obery Hendricks would dare to read the parable of 'vines and branches' in the Fourth Gospel through the lens of Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath? Such a connect is characteristic of the way in which Obery articulates the racial and class inequities pervasive in our society and, with the same intensity, occupy the biblical text. He has written a provocative and persuasive primer on how to read the Bible faithfully and knowingly upstream against the religious pabulum that endlessly seduces us." --Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary
Obery M. Hendricks, Jr. is one of todays most provocative and innovative commentators on the intersection of religion, politics, and social policy. He has been featured on C-SPAN, PBS, NPR, Fox News, and the Bloomberg Network. A former Wall Street investment executive and past president of Payne Theological Seminary (the oldest African American theology school in the U.S.) he is currently professor of biblical interpretation at New York Theological Seminary and visiting scholar in religion and African American studies at Columbia University. A featured writer for Godspolitics.com, his books include The Politics of Jesus (Doubleday, 2007), which The Washington Post called ""essential reading for Americans,"" and a novel, Living Water (HarperCollins, 2004).