Friends – my new book Freedom of the Self: Kenosis, Cultural Identity and Mission at the Crossroads is about to be published and I have a web deal for you. The book will be available July 1st but won’t be up on Amazon and other sites for a few more weeks. My publisher has a “web deal” price of $16.80 if you order directly from the URL I am providing. Feel free to pass it around to those interested in picking it up:
The gist of the book is fairly basic: what it means to be a “self” in the world has been co-opted by the extremes of self-help gurus on the one hand who tell us that everything should feed our ego (“be all that you can be”, “you deserve a break today”, etc.) and those who feel the individualism of culture is so problematic that community should be everything and the self either ignored or dismissed. What I strike out to do in this book is reclaim what it means to have identity – to be a self – in this age after modernity and point toward a model of being and having identity through a model of what I call “the kenotic self”. As the book jacket says: “Freedom of the Self revitalizes the question of identity formation in a postmodern era through a deep reading of Christian life in relation to current trends seen in the Emergent and Missional church movements. By relocating deep identity formation as formed and released through a renewed appraisal of kenotic Christology coupled with readings of Continental philosophy (Derrida, Levinas, Marion) and popular culture, Keuss offers a bold vision for what it means to be truly human in contemporary society, as what he calls the “kenotic self.” In addition to providing a robust reflection of philosophical and theological understanding of identity formation, from Aristotle and Augustine through to contemporary thinkers, Freedom of the Self suggests some tangible steps for the individual and the church in regard to how everyday concerns such as economics, literature, and urbanization can be part of living into the life of the kenotic self.”
The book moves between philosophy and theology in the first section but doesn’t keep its head in the proverbial clouds. The second section of the book – The Space of the Self – is a how-to discussion ranging from economics (what role does spending play in our sense of self?) urbanization (what does being a self mean in today’s urban neighborhoods?) and the role that the Christian church can and should play in the world exemplifying what I am terming “missional openness” to others.
If you click through the URL above, you can read some of the reviews for the pre-release copy if you are curious. But my hope is to get a conversation going with you and hear ways this model of “the kenotic self” can play out in your communities and how “missional openness” can challenge some of the fortress mentality that is crippling so many faith communities including those in Emergent and Missional models (I spend quite a bit of time both affirming the Emergent and Missional movements but also critiquing them).
Blessings and peace my friends – would love to have your feedback and please pass the URL to those you might think enjoy these themes and conversations.
But wait… there’s more! Also you can get 40% off the retail price with the promo code BSCB10 – that bumps the price down to $12.60!