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Christians, Free Expression, and the Common Good

Getting Beyond the Censorship Impulse

Gordon S. Jackson

Christians of all theological and political backgrounds ought to be ardent advocates of advancing, not curbing, freedom of speech within their own ranks and in the increasingly secular societies in which they live. Christians, Free Expression, and the Common Good presents the concept of free expression, and its opposite of censorship, as a tool for the Western church (and the U.S. church in particular) to respond more wisely and effectively to controversy. In their most severe form, these controversies lead to both formal and informal limitations on free expression, as Christians seek to silence those with whom they most stridently disagree. This study is timely given the Western church’s current state of flux as it tries to determine its identity and mission in a post-Christian setting. Christians, Free Expression, and the Common Good will appeal to a wide range of thoughtful religious scholars and others who would welcome ideas on how the church should refine and live out its mission in the early twenty-first century. « less more »
Lexington Books
Pages: 244Size: 6 1/4 x 9 1/4
978-1-4985-0401-0 • Hardback • May 2015 • $85.00 • (£54.95)
978-1-4985-0402-7 • eBook • May 2015 • $80.00 • (£52.95)
Gordon S. Jackson is professor of communication studies at Whitworth University.

Chapter 2: A Theology of Freedom and Free Expression
Chapter 5: Censorship––A Dangerous, Corrosive Force
Chapter 7: Christians, Government and the Politics of Free Expression
Chapter 9: Responding Christianly––Part 2: Nurturing Free Expression
Chapter 10: Conclusion––“A More Excellent Way”
This work realistically describes the tension to be managed between the deep convictions of being a Christian and effectively navigating the pathologies of "free expression" in our culture. It goes far beyond the idea of those of us that live under the First Amendment in America. Today more than ever, the cultural conversation needs some lessons from history, Scripture, and Professor Jackson's book.

Chris M. Leland, Colorado Christian University

Jackson offers a well written, and at times delightfully lighthearted, book that advances the discussion of the critical connections between communication and religion. Timely issues in our pluralistic society, such as religion in public schools, are reframed as opportunities for transparency and dialog. Jackson's goal is always to promote God's will through deliberative discourse. A suitable read for a wide-ranging audience, this book reminds us to embrace '...grace and forgiveness as we love the unlovable.'
Kristen L. Majocha, University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown

Christians, Free Expression, and the Common Good is a well-researched and balanced work that examines the relationship between faith and free speech that advances the public discourse on these important topics. Jackson presents a thoughtful argument with relevant examples that will resonate with readers.

Jeanne M. Persuit, University of North Carolina Wilmington