Conversatio Divina

Politics and Philosophy

Spiritual Formation and...Politics?

That knowledge, and perhaps religious knowledge above all, is political follows from the relationship it has to truth, method, evidence, and life . . . Because [religious knowledge] confers upon the possessor the right and responsibility to act, direct action, set and supervise policy, and teach, it cannot not be political.

–Dallas Willard, Knowing Christ Today

Martin Institute Cultura Fellow Michael Wear is hard at work bringing knowledge of Christian Spiritual Formation to our politics. Michael is the Founder, President, and CEO of The Center for Christianity & Public Life, a nonpartisan, nonprofit institution based in the nation’s capital with the mission to contend for the credibility of Christian resources in public life, for the public good. Michael’s message is straightforward: if we want a better politics, we have to become a different kind of people. We ought to view our involvement in public life as an opportunity to live out our love of God and neighbor.

Michael details his vision for the renovation of our politics in his newest book, The Spirit of Our Politics: Spiritual Formation and the Renovation of Public Life (on sale now). The book is a prescient and invaluable resource for all thoughtful Christians who are looking for an alternative vision for our politics. In the book Michael gives sound advice and suggests helpful practices for transforming our politics for the greater good.

In the latest installment of our “Spiritual Formation in Context” series Michael Wear and Michael Di Fuccia, Director of the Cultura Fellowship, discuss the Willardian themes and influence in Michael’s book and how they’ve come to shape his vision for a more gentler and persuasive Christian politic.


Why Philosophy?

In this week’s newsletter, we also want to call your attention to a book by one of the affiliate scholars of the Dallas Willard Research Center, Daniel Napier. Daniel’s recent book, Soul Whisperer: Jesus Way Among the Philosophers, is one of the five finalists for the 2023 Dallas Willard Book Award. He and his publisher, Cascade Press, have graciously allowed us to share a substantial excerpt from the book. Daniel’s hope for the book it that it might “help ordinary people become quite a lot like Jesus—saint-making, I like to call it. . . . I hope that through the book, people will see the sense of Jesus’ teachings about moral-spiritual transformation, and thereby become enthralled with Jesus’ genius and goodness.”


Renovaré Institute: Seattle

The Renovaré Institute is designed to put its participants in a position to live fully in the Kingdom of God, whatever their real-life circumstances may be, increasingly manifesting the character and power of that Kingdom throughout the contemporary world.” – Dallas Willard

The Renovaré Institute for Christian Spiritual Formation is a two-year online and in-person program combining intensive study, experiential practice, and deep-hearted community. Applications for the 2024-26 cohort of the RI (with residencies in Seattle) are open until February 1st.

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