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Call It Grace


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About the Author

Serene Jones is the president of the historic Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. The first woman to head the 180-year-old institution, Jones occupies the Johnston Family Chair for Religion and Democracy. She is the past president of the American Academy of Religion. Jones came to Union after seventeen years at Yale University, where she was the Titus Street Professor of Theology at the Divinity School, and chair of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Yale University. Jones is the author of several books including Trauma and Grace. She is a child of the Oklahoma plains, a daughter of a university president and a single mother, a sister, a cancer survivor, a theologian, a minister, a news commentator, a public intellectual, and a devoted teacher.


Praise for Serene Jones and Call It Grace

"A moving, personal reflection on the alchemy of race, gender, class and theology in rural America and beyond written by one of the leading progressive theologians in the United States, Serene Jones."
-Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow

"Serene Jones, the first woman to head the Union Theological Seminary, is one of the most visible faces of the religious left. . . . Call It Grace discusses her Oklahoma background, her intellectual influences, and how concepts such as original sin and forgiveness fit into her vision of Christianity. That vision, at heart, encompasses the values of many progressives, even those who are nonbelievers. As she writes, the four 'foundations' of her theology are 'the necessity of our interconnecting breath, the importance of struggling for justice, the beauty of mercy, and the ultimate power of love.'"
-The New Yorker

"Jones offers a deeply personal reflection on her spiritual journey and what it means to connect with the divine. . . . moving, illuminating."
-Lion's Roar

"I once listed my dear, spectacular friend Serene Jones as my 'spiritual advisor,' and she is that and so much more. Our impassioned conversations across the last six years and through travel and adventures together and apart, have shaped [my] writing in a thousand ways and flow all the way through it."
-Krista Tippett, author of Becoming Wise and On Being

"'Theology' is one of those words that sends people in another direction these days, but this book is a beautifully written reminder of what it might mean in reality. For a tired, divided, angry world, this volume is a great blessing."
-Bill McKibben, author of Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?

"Compelling as well as wise, the theology this book embodies arises from a life fully lived. Serene Jones is a wonderful storyteller, whose wisdom is earned-which makes what she has to say both powerful and inspiring."
-Betty Sue Flowers, book editor and series consultant, Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth

"Serene Jones demonstrates the vitality of faith in a dangerous and uncertain world. She writes with passion about her joys as well as her sorrows. A book both inspirational and practical."
-Bill Bradley, former U.S. senator and author of We Can All Do Better

"Jones is a plainspoken, talented teacher and this moving memoir illustrates her deeply reflective ethics and eloquently captures Jones's response to her life's trials."

-Publishers Weekly

"[Jones's] engaging stories illustrate complex theological and philosophical ideas, presenting a vision of hope for the future. This book makes a strong case for the progressive power of theology that will be appreciated by socially engaged readers."
-Library Journal (starred review)

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