God and Community Organizing

God and Community Organizing

A Covenantal Approach

by Hak Joon Lee

290 pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in

  • Hardcover
  • ISBN: 9781481313155
  • Published: October 2020



The ever-evolving climate, technological advances, neoliberal capitalism, and globalization and its effects have transformed the very fabric of global society. In the wake of these phenomena is a globally experienced fragmentation caused by moral assumptions about social institutions as well as increasing disenchantment with democracy and social arrangements as they currently exist. Recently, a surprisingly large number of Christian congregations have been attracted to the twentieth-century concept of community organizing. This phenomenon is a result of the inherent passion for justice in covenantal organizing that underlies Jewish and Christian faith. Not only is covenant instrumental in the formation of God’s people as a community, the concept has also played an important role in the rise of modern Western ideas of democracy, constitutionalism, and human rights.

God and Community Organizing: A Covenantal Approach brings Saul Alinsky’s community organizing into conversation with biblical and theological models of covenant. Hak Joon Lee argues that covenant reflects the life of the triune God who eternally organizes Godself as the Father, Son, and Spirit. At the heart of the biblical institutions of the Mosaic Covenant and the New Covenant of Jesus is the attempt to structure a wholesome, close-knit community of love, justice, and power. Lee incorporates four examples of covenantal organizing in different historical and social contexts: Exodus, Jesus, Puritans, and Martin Luther King Jr. Critically engaging with Saul Alinsky’s method, Lee seeks to highlight how the two streams of thought—covenantal organizing and Alinsky’s community organizing—can complement each other to develop a more vigorous and effective method of faith-based community organizing.

From his study Lee explores the political and moral implications in light of the current struggle against the neoliberal corporate oligarchy. By demonstrating how covenantal organizing presents a more coherent and plausible social philosophy, an effective method in organizing a globalizing society is offered as an alternative to liberal democracy, postmodernism, identity politics, and communitarianism.