This unique theological biography traces the emergence of William Stringfellow's theology and the place of biblical politics within it. It highlights the centrality of life and work to his theology, and the inseparability of one from another. It tells the story of an ordinary life made less ordinary, radicalized through becoming a biblical person.
Amidst periods in America of threat and prosperity (1950s), and later dissent and protest (1960s), Dancer examines not only how Stringfellow held America to account, but the way in which he offered a hopeful alternative in which the place of the Bible and the world were both central. It explores the way Stringfellow learned that the Bible makes sense of us and not us of it. This is biblical politics--a radicalizing, organizing engagement with the person and the world of which the church seems to sadly have lost both sight and interest.
The advocacy of Karl Barth, his love of the circus, his scholarship to LSE, the National Conference on Religion and Race, his love for his parable of hope, Anthony Towne, and his prophetic confrontation with Johnson's "Great Society," all offer clues and insights into this radicalizing force at work in his life. Yet it was a life-threatening illness and personal confrontation with death in many ways became the final point of radicalization that lead to the production of Ethic for Christians and Other Aliens in a Strange Land-ethics as pertinent to today as they are to any age.
Endorsements & Reviews-
"For me and many others, the life and work of William Stringfellow were seminal in developing a biblical public theology. In what Anthony Dancer calls 'biographical theology,' this book lays out the social and political context that influenced and informed Stringfellow's theology of public discipleship. I commend it to anyone seeking for an authentic way of living faithfully, and enacting what Stringfellow called 'biblical politics.'" --Jim Wallis author of Rediscovering Values: On Wall Street, Main Street and Your Street
"Few American Christians have borne such powerful witness to the word of God and the life of the Christian as did William Stringfellow. While superbly situating him in his own turbulent historical moment, Anthony Dancer also makes clear how powerfully we need to listen to the voice of Stringfellow today." --William O'Brien Coordinator of The Alternative Seminary
"This book is a gift. In the absence of a definitive biography, for which we may yet hope, Dancer provides us the most thorough reflection to date on William Stringfellow's life. In the process he establishes himself, not only as a biographic theologian, but a voice in the Stringfellonian tradition. May his own summon a new generation to 'Listen to this Man.'" --Bill Wylie-Kellermann editor of Keeper of the Word: Selected Writings of William Stringfellow
''...Stringfellow is a timely yet complicated voice which ought to be heard, and Anthony Dancer's An Alien in a Strange Land is just the microphone we need to amplify that voice.'' --Michael Bowling, as reviewed in the Englewood Review of Books
Anthony Dancer Rowan Williams
Anthony Dancer works as the Social Justice Commissioner for the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia. He is editor of William Stringfellow in Anglo-American Perspective (2005).