FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 14, 2021
Contact: Lori Arguelles
Building Toward a More Perfect Union
New Book Provides Civic and Faith Prescription to Heal Polarization
(Washington, D.C.) In his new book, released today by Broadleaf Books, Sojourners President Rev. Adam Russell Taylor shows a way out of the fear and hatred that divides our country by replacing toxic polarization with redemptive patriotism and casting a unifying moral vision that draws up on our civic and spiritual values and completes the unfinished business of the civil rights movement. Part history lesson, part policy prescription, part moral reckoning, A More Perfect Union: A New Vision for Building the Beloved Community, meets this moment of political polarization and systemic racism in a unique and profound way.
“The soul of our nation is infected with a form of toxic polarization that stems in part from the conflicting and competing understanding of our nation’s history,” says Taylor. “Today, destructive nationalism erodes redemptive patriotism and keeps us from healing the injustices and evils of the past. As a result, we stay stuck in the vicious cycle of a fear-based politics fueled by distrust of and contempt for the ‘other.’”
“The topics in this book are extremely timely and relevant,” aid Lil Copan, Senior acquisitions Editor for Broadleaf Books. “Taylor’s take on where we are as a country and, more importantly, where we have the capacity to go, is a powerful dose of hope for a nation and a people in despair. What Taylor calls ‘redemptive patriotism’ is a powerful antidote to the toxicity that pervades our politics, our communities, and even our churches.”
Drawing from personal experience as a bi-racial Black man; professional experience at the World Bank, the White House Faith Initiative, and Sojourners; and religious reflections as an ordained Reverend, Taylor weaves together a powerful, redemptive story of America. A More Perfect Union celebrates the beauty and promise of America’s ideals while also calling for radical truth-telling about the need to confront and make amends for the ways in which those ideals fail to be manifested for millions of people.
“We need a moral vision capable of inspiring and uniting Americans around a shared vision of the future. And the only way we’ll get there is by co-creating a more just and inclusive America,” says Taylor. “We must resurrect and recast the concept of the Beloved Community—the moral vision at the heart of the civil rights movement, which sought dignity and justice for all. Beloved Community does not start or end with our politics, but transforming our broken politics is an indispensable part of how we must co-create it.”
Taylor digs deep into our nation’s history; cites current studies on attitudes and beliefs; and highlights people, organizations and communities doing the work of the Beloved Community. This compelling chronicle addresses current issues, from immigration, poverty, and criminal justice to combatting climate change and revitalizing our democracy, by offering tangible and practical policy prescriptions to transform our broken political system and heal our nation.
As Taylor writes, “The Beloved Community has arms wide and strong enough for all of America, including those known as Dreamers and others in immigrant communities, those from religious traditions considered outside the mainstream, and those who have been left out and left behind—from Midwestern towns and rural farms to Indigenous reservations and blighted cities or suburbs—red, blue, and everything in between.”
Modern day ‘Beatitudes’ form an essential foundation of the book and include the concepts of equality rooted in imago dei (the image of God in everyone), radical welcome, e pluribus unum or unity in authentic diversity, ubuntu interdependence, environmental stewardship, nonviolence, and dignity for all. These Beloved Community Beatitudes combine civic humanitarianism with the deep spiritual and religious values that inform the social justice, peace, and environmental stewardship work of Sojourners.
Award-winning journalist, professor, and author EJ Dionne will moderate a conversation with Rev. Adam Taylor about the themes of the book, including how redemptive patriotism can counter the toxic polarity prevalent in politics and society today. Whitney Parnell, CEO and Founder of Service Never Sleeps; Dr. Eboo Patel, Founder of the Interfaith Youth Core; and Joseph Tomás McKellar, Co-Director of PICO California—all of who are featured in the book—will join the conversation.
Date and Time: September 15, 2021 4pm-5pm ET
About Adam Russell Taylor - Rev. Taylor is president of Sojourners and author of Mobilizing Hope: Faith-Inspired Activism for a Post-Civil Rights Generation. Taylor previously led the Faith Initiative at the World Bank Group, served as the vice president in charge of Advocacy at World Vision U.S., executive Director of Global Justice, and senior political director at Sojourners. He was selected for the 2009/2010 class of White House Fellows and served in the White House Office of Cabinet Affairs and Public Engagement. A graduate of Emory University, the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, and the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology, Taylor is also ordained in the American Baptist Church and the Progressive National Baptist Convention and serves at Alfred St. Baptist Church.
About Sojourners - Sojourners, a faith-inspired nonprofit, articulates the biblical call to social justice through its magazine and digital publication and convenes, equips and mobilizes people to put their faith into action while building alliances for effective advocacy. Sojourners envisions a future in which Christians put their faith into action in the passionate pursuit of social justice, peace, and environmental stewardship, working in partnership with people of conscience and from other faith traditions. https://sojo.net/
About Broadleaf - Broadleaf Books is committed to expanding the mind, nourishing the soul, cultivating the common good. Broadleaf books inspire transformation in readers and their communities to foster a more open, just, and compassionate world. Rooted in the progressive Christian tradition and reflecting the diversity of human creativity, Broadleaf publishes books that engage readers in fresh, substantive, timely, and inspiring reflection on what it is to live with meaning and connection. www.broadleafbooks.com.