Living into Hope: A Call to Spiritual Action for Such a Time as This

Inspires and challenges us to live life fully—not carefully or cautiously, but wholly engaged with the world and with the messiness of humanity—and dares us to claim our freedom to care, to risk and to step out into the unknown and live as people of hope.

Rev. Dr. Joan Brown Campbell
Foreword by Karen Armstrong

6 x 9, 208 pp | Includes Discussion Guide | 978-1-59473-283-6

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Step beyond the walls of the church and into the thick of humanity.

“Joan Brown Campbell’s career can be regarded as prophetic. For Joan, faith has meant engagement with the world and its pain. Her words remind us that at its best, religion should not narrow our horizons, but enable us to live more fully; should not cause us to withdraw from the world, but to do our utmost to make it a better place.”

—from the Foreword by Karen Armstrong

Drawing on her amazing life experiences, Rev. Dr. Joan Brown Campbell speaks out on the pressing issues that face us today: love, justice, reconciliation, forgiveness and community. With a bold, distinctive voice, this visionary minister asserts that we have the capacity to transcend the barriers that separate us from one another. She poses that “Who is my neighbor?” may be the most crucial question in our world where so many are hungry and hurting and weary of war. She calls us to live life fully—not carefully or cautiously, but wholly engaged with the world and with the messiness of humanity. She dares us to act as the people we are called and created to be—to claim our freedom to care, to risk and to step out into the unknown.

Capturing the essence of her wisdom gained from years of world travel and experience, Campbell offers inspiration and challenge for all who would claim their lives as people of hope.

“A testament to the transformation that can occur when faith and action go hand in hand.... A compelling call to people of all faiths to work in unity to bring hope and renewal to the human community.... Draws out themes that are ... critical to the work of peacemaking, reconciliation, and faithful activism.”


“Very thorough study guide. More than most, this work can easily be used for church study groups and is clearly designed to propel people from inside the church walls to the world in need of transformative peace and justice.”

Christian Feminism Today

“In a series of vignettes and stories ... pays tribute to the love ‘which shows us what matters,’ the noble dream of unity and the long way we still have to go achieve it, and the trust that emanates from true religion.... A vivid testimony to the importance of faith in action.”

Spirituality & Practice

“Secures [Campbell’s] status as an American ‘pulpit prince’.... Warm and clear.... Brings fresh insight to gospel parables.”

Publishers Weekly

“Sermon collections are common but great sermons are rare. This is a collection of great ones. Joan Brown Campbell, in her inimitable warm, clear and penetrating way, makes scripture come alive and life more meaningful than the average day’s events would ordinarily signal it to be. Read this collection of pointed and powerful sermons and begin to see both scripture and life in a new and intimate dynamic.”

Joan Chittister, OSB, St. Scholastica Priory; co-author, Uncommon Gratitude: Alleluia for All That Is

“A cornucopia of relevant truths eloquently presented with sensitivity, integrity and passion…. Offers readers a rare opportunity to experience inspiration while learning history from the vivid stories of a compassionate agent. After you read this book, if you know someone who may not or cannot read this book, please read it to them.”

Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, president, Interfaith Alliance

“Joan Brown Campbell’s prophetic words are driven by a pastor’s caring heart. She lives with holy hope for all the world—and invites us also to live that way!”

Rev. Albert M. Pennybacker, former pastor, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

“[Unites] a remarkable life of engagement with the important and often difficult issues of our time…. A fascinating, inspiring and helpful book.”

Rev. John M. Buchanan, pastor, Fourth Presbyterian Church, Chicago; editor/publisher, the Christian Century

“Joan Campbell’s voice is an essential voice in the interfaith community today. [Here] she beautifully describes her own life experiences and how they point to the need for greater unity among the religions and understanding of our deep interdependence…. This book is a must read for all Christians and people of faith everywhere.”

Dena Merriam, founder and convener, Global Peace Initiative of Women

“Joan Brown Campbell is a titan among ministers. She brings a deep love of the gospel and commitment to justice that is reminiscent of the prophetic words of Amos and the just actions of Sojourner Truth. Every person of faith will do well to read this prophetic work.”

Rev. Otis Moss III, senior pastor, Trinity United Church of Christ

“Joan Campbell’s vision of a world where people of every faith are honored is clearly and profoundly set forth. You will read every word again and again. As Muslim leaders, we are grateful to Joan for sharing her gifts.”

Daisy Khan and Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, American Society for Muslim Advancement

“These stories of faith and love are treasures that touch moments in history and share lessons for all time. Enjoy the thought-provoking discussions that emerge as you read and share my mother’s life.”

Jane Louise Campbell, former mayor of Cleveland; Joan Brown Campbell’s daughter

“Emblematic of her inclusive theology. ‘We are the Children of God,’ she regularly intones, and with reverence and intent develops our understanding of the blessings and obligations of that fact.”

Thomas M. Becker, president, Chautauqua Institution

“Powerful testimonies from a lifetime of a pioneering Christian woman. The reflections and prayers open up the lessons we can all learn from Joan’s stories. I commend the stories and the storyteller to you.”

Jim Wallis, president, Sojourners; author, Rediscovering Values: On Wall Street, Main Street, and Your Street

Foreword by Karen Armstrong xi
Acknowledgments xv
Introduction xvii

PART ONE: Love and Unity 1
Love Matters 3
Bearing Down in Love 11
Who Is My Neighbor? 19
One Shepherd, One Flock 27

PART TWO: Reconciliation and Renewal 35
Sacred Conversation 37
Prodigals and the Path to Peace 49
For Such a Time as This 59
The Beloved Community 67

PART THREE: Faith in Action 77
The Road to Jerusalem 79
Dangerous Dreams 89
Science and Religion 97
On Prayer 109

Discussion Guide
Introduction to the Discussion Guide 119
Love Matters 120
Bearing Down in Love 125
Who Is My Neighbor? 129
One Shepherd, One Flock 134
Sacred Conversation 138
Prodigals and the Path to Peace 142
For Such a Time as This 147
The Beloved Community 152
The Road to Jerusalem 157
Dangerous Dreams 162
Science and Religion 167
On Prayer 172
About the Discussion Guide Authors 176
Notes 177