In Political Theology Based in Community: Dorothy Day, The Catholic Worker Movement, and Overcoming Otherness, Marty Tomszak sutures together the seemingly disparate realms of radical political theology, communally oriented pedagogy, the Catholic Worker movement, and Catholic Social Teaching to carve a new way of doing ethics in our contemporary sphere. Through an adoption of weak theology and anatheism, brought into the fold by John Caputo and Richard Kearney specifically, and partnering them with the groundbreaking work of Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin in their outpouring of works of mercy, Tomszak highlights the hope present in radical hospitality for our world. This hope is addressed to the distinct publics of the academy, the Church, and wider society as this radical ethic provides distinct answers for a multitude of current crises.
Marty Tomszak is visiting professor of theology at Valparaiso University.
Introduction: Revisiting our Radix
Chapter 1: Works of Mercy and the Primacy of the Other: Viewing Dorothy Day Through a Levinasian Lens
Chapter 2: God is Dead No Longer: John Caputo, Richard Kearney, and Hospitality
Chapter 3: Transcendent-Immanence and the Rejection of an Alterity-Personal Dualism for the Divine
Chapter 4: Combatting Sovereignty Through Merciful Action: A Practical Political Theology
Chapter 5: Life-Giving Praxis and Theo-Ethical Tools for Change
Postscript: The Hope That Is: An Anatheistic Footnote
All too often discussions in political theology either ascend into theoretical abstractions inapplicable to lived realities or descend into the impasse of asking ‘What should we then do?’ while taking no concrete actions to change our world. Tomszak’s book avoids both pitfalls by offering us an incredibly illuminating response to the entire field by suggesting an actual, historical movement affecting Church, state, and society: the Catholic Workers and the personalist philosophy behind it. By putting Dorothy Day’s and Peter Maurin’s words and, more importantly, their actions in dialogue with contemporary thinkers such as John Caputo and Richard Kearney, Tomszak points a way forward for political theology that must be studied and discussed by anyone interested in how real change can take place amidst the inequalities and injustices that plague us every day.