A More Perfect Union

A New Vision for Building the Beloved Community 

A More Perfect Union

A New Vision for Building the Beloved Community 

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America is at a pivotal crossroads. The soul of our nation is at stake and in peril. A new public narrative is needed to unite Americans around common values and to counter the increasing discord and acrimony in our politics and culture. The process of healing and creating a more perfect union in our nation must start now. The moral vision of Martin Luther King Jr.'s Beloved Community, which animated and galvanized the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, provides a hopeful way forward.

In A More Perfect Union, Adam Russell Taylor, president of Sojourners, reimagines a contemporary version of the Beloved Community that will inspire and unite Americans across generations, geographic and class divides, racial and gender differences, faith traditions, and ideological leanings. In the Beloved Community, neither privilege nor punishment is tied to race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or economic status, and everyone is able to realize their full potential and thrive. Building the Beloved Community requires living out a series of commitments, such as true equality, radical welcome, transformational interdependence, E Pluribus Unum ("out of many, one"), environmental stewardship, nonviolence, and economic equity. By building the Beloved Community we unify the country around a shared moral vision that transcends ideology and partisanship, tapping into our most sacred civic and religious values, enabling our nation to live up to its best ideals and realize a more perfect union.

Continue your conversation with the A More Perfect Union Study Guide--perfect for church groups, book clubs, and individual study.

Endorsements

"America stands on a knife's edge. If we are to survive this moment, with its pitfalls and perils, we have to figure out how to be together differently. Rev. Adam Russell Taylor offers a path forward to making real the Beloved Community--a new consensus--for our time. Together, let us get about the hard work of building a new America."

Eddie S. Glaude Jr., author of Begin Again: James Baldwin's America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own

"When we relaunched the Poor People's Campaign in 2018, we stood on the National Mall and said this movement must be a national call for moral revival. This book explores the rich moral vision of Beloved Community. Read it and join the long struggle for a more perfect union in this land."

Bishop William Barber II, president of Repairers of the Breach and author of We Are Called to Be a Movement

"In a toxic world filled with bold dreamers, Adam Russell Taylor offers affirmation of dreams past and present, and accompaniment into what can be a world that sustains us in Beloved Community."

Rev. Traci Blackmon, Associate General Minister, United Church of Christ

"An old and deep vision that needs to be rediscovered to make our union more perfect. Adam Russell Taylor is one of the leaders who will help us restore and rekindle it. This essential book reframes and renews the vision."

Jim Wallis, founder and ambassador of Sojourners, and New York Times bestselling author

"There are books that are worth reading, and then there are books like this one that desperately need to be read, and by as many people as possible."

Rev. Michael B. Curry, presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church and author of Love Is the Way and The Power of Love

"This book is a powerful and desperately needed message for our nation. At a time when the United States is anything but united, Adam Russell Taylor offers a sober diagnosis and a compelling prescription for a way forward by envisioning the Beloved Community in which all people can flourish."

Richard Stearns, president emeritus of World Vision US and author of The Hole in Our Gospel and Lead Like It Matters to God

"An urgent and eloquent volume. Adam Russell Taylor invokes history, theology, and organizing experience to make clear that the idea guiding the witness of Martin Luther King Jr. and John Lewis should be our North Star in leading toward redemption, renewal, and social reconstruction."

E. J. Dionne Jr., author of Our Divided Political Heart and Code Red

"With a deep commitment to reimagining an America where all can breathe free, Adam Russell Taylor brings light to powerful traditions often made invisible by a nation at times afraid of the music and stories birthed by people who sing the blues and simultaneously preach the gospel. A More Perfect Union is a call to fight for a nation that is not yet but will be if we listen to this prophet in our midst."

Otis Moss III, senior pastor at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, Illinois

"Adam Russell Taylor offers a relevant, practical, and contemporary strategy for realizing the dream and vision that counter the polarizing politics of our day. Moving from a truthful diagnosis of our nation's mistruths and polarizing toxicity into the building blocks of a reenvisioned Beloved Community, Taylor leaves no stone unturned and no lie unaddressed. A must-read for all who are fatigued by the divisions and injustices that bombard us daily and are losing hope of a way forward into a more just and inclusive nation."

Howard-John Wesley, senior pastor at Alfred St. Baptist Church in Alexandria, Virginia

"Adam Russell Taylor paints a clear and compelling vision for a way beyond the fragmentations we experience. For those who have long been on this justice journey, and for those just joining, Taylor provides excellent analysis and tangible actions. He helps us to dream bigger and usher the Beloved Community into our neighborhoods."

Nikki Toyama-Szeto, president of Christians for Social Action

"Adam Russell Taylor is an American treasure, and this book shows why. Beautifully weaving spiritual principles with American possibilities, Taylor provides a new narrative of interfaith Beloved Community worthy of Dr. King's legacy."

Eboo Patel, founder and president of Interfaith Youth Core and author of Out of Many Faiths: Religious Diversity and the American Promise

"As a Jew and a rabbi, I couldn't be more inspired by Adam Russell Taylor's remarkable call for a renewal of the Beloved Community, which our nation-and our world-needs now more than ever. A More Perfect Union echoes the enduring Jewish commitment to tikun olam: repairing the world. May this book bring us together across all kinds of lines to become the community of justice and love for which we yearn."

Rabbi Jonah Pesner, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism

"In this book, Adam Russell Taylor invites you not to settle for the past, or even for the present. He urges us all to raise the bar for the future and to usher in God's dream for our country and for our world--which is nothing less than Beloved Community."

Shane Claiborne, author, activist, and co-founder of Red Letter Christians

"In a timely tome, Adam Russell Taylor has masterfully called us back to those unassailable principles necessary for building the Beloved Community in the midst of persistent racial and economic inequity. For those of us committed to the work of justice, A More Perfect Union, with its insight, honesty, and hopefulness, is a clarion call to not relent until this work is done."

Rev. Gabriel Salguero, president of the National Latino Evangelical Network (NALEC)

"Adam Russell Taylor expresses a depth of theology drawn from the breadth of the church and calls us to a life together in community that is thoughtfully explained with clarity. Taylor's call to a common narrative rooted in what can and should be the expression of the common good in the Beloved Community is the fresh word we need in our church and in our nation."

Soong-Chan Rah, professor at Fuller Theological Seminary and author of The Next Evangelicalism and Prophetic Lament

"In this book, Adam Russell Taylor has beautifully woven the rich tapestry of his own diverse background and identity into a moral vision of an America that values and celebrates the image of God in all people. This must-read book offers healing springs to the parched souls of people of color and allies deeply wounded by the all-consuming nightmare of a nation teetering dangerously between apartheid and a restored democracy. A More Perfect Union invites us all on a refreshing, hope-filled journey toward a reimagined America, where all systems impacting human life and flourishing truly reflect the Beloved Community."

Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner, co-convener of the National African American Clergy Network, president of the Skinner Leadership Institute, and author of I Prayed, Now What?: From No Faith to Deep Faith

"As a Muslim, immigrant, North African woman who chose to make the United States home and witnessed the unbelievable savagery--and heroism--of America over the last twenty years, I find Rev. Adam Russell Taylor's book healing. It is a roadmap of how the sacred can respond to the profane to build the America of love, resilience, and the triumph of the collective human spirit--the Beloved Community."

Azza Karam, secretary general at Religions for Peace

"At this historic moment, we need a book that seeks to both bring us together and stand up for our deepest spiritual values and their implications for our life together as a society. Rev. Adam Russell Taylor brings both his own life experiences and a variety of inspiring stories of a cloud of witnesses to the task. This is an important book, particularly for those of us who care about holistic mission to read and to discuss."

Rev. Dr. Alexia Salvatierra, Assistant Professor of Integral Mission and Global Transformation at Fuller Theological Seminary

"In A More Perfect Union, Adam Russell Taylor tells the story that America needs to hear about itself, including its repressed transgressions and inviting ideals. This book is a civic gift for our future, demonstrating the galvanizing vision of the Beloved Community. Taylor masterfully weaves his own powerful story into this narrative for the nation, revealing his insightful and incisive prophetic voice. If you want to choose one new book offering a spiritually grounded pathway forward for America at this time, here it is."

Wesley Granberg-Michaelson, author of Without Oars: Casting Off into a Life of Pilgrimage and former general secretary of the Reformed Church in America

"At this time of growing crisis for our democracy and our culture, Adam Russell Taylor makes a compelling case that love is the only impulse of the human heart strong enough to overcome the powerful forces that are pulling us apart and pulling us down, and that the spiritually grounded vision of the Beloved Community is the only social vision that can give us the solidarity and the passion to build a society in which all can flourish. This must-read book marks Taylor as a young leader who deserves our attention, respect, and support."

Robert A. Boisture, president and CEO of Fetzer Institute

"Drawing on reasons for hope from communities all across the nation, Adam Russell Taylor has issued a clarion call for us to embrace the moral vision of the Beloved Community--a story drawn from the deepest wells of America's civic and religious values. This book reflects Taylor's dual sense of calling as bridge-builder and truth-teller. There are tensions between those roles. But as the great novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald observed many years ago, the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and retain the ability to function, is the mark of a first-rate mind."

Tim Dixon, co-founder of More in Common and former prime ministers' speechwriter

Product Info

  • Publisher Broadleaf Books
  • Format Hardcover
  • ISBN 9781506464534
  • eBook ISBN 9781506464541
  • Dimensions 6.25 x 9.25
  • Pages 272
  • Publication Date September 14, 2021
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