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Just Spirituality

Just Spirituality

Author: Mae Elise Cannon

Activist and historian Mae Elise Cannon explores the connection between Christians' personal relationship with God and outward actions of compassion and advocacy. Looking at the lives of Mother Teresa, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Martin Luther King Jr. and others, Cannon finds a depth of spiritual practice at the root of courageous social action.
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Throughout history, Christians have been called by God to active engagement in society on behalf of the poor and oppressed. Christian leaders have been instrumental in caring for people who are poor, fighting injustice and advocating for social change. But they have never done so on their own power. Their energy and zeal were fueled by inner spiritual practices that propelled them forward into the world.

Activist and historian Mae Elise Cannon explores the direct connection between Christians' personal relationship with God and outward actions of kindness, mercy, compassion and advocacy. She looks at how notable Christian leaders were able to face societal challenges because of the rich depths of their spiritual practices.

  • For example:

    • Mother Teresa's practice of silence compelled her to service.
    • Dietrich Bonhoeffer's prayer life equipped his discipleship.
    • Martin Luther King Jr.'s beloved community empowered his proclamation.
    • Oscar Romero's discipline of submission prepared him to face martyrdom.

Biographical profiles of these and other key figures from around the world give us concrete examples of how activism and advocacy can be sustained over the long haul. Cannon also describes modern-day activists who embody the synergy of faith and action, with practical lessons for our own lives.

Find yourself spiritually transformed by these examples, and follow in their footsteps in just service to the world.

About The Author

Mae Elise Cannon

Mae Elise Cannon serves as senior director of advocacy and outreach - Middle East for World Vision USA. She is a minister, writer and academic who cares deeply about God's heart for the poor and the oppressed. She is the author of Social Justice Handbook: Small Steps for a Better World and Just Spirituality: How Faith Practices Fuel Social Action. Cannon is an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC), was formerly the executive pastor of Hillside Covenant Church in Walnut Creek, California, and has served as director of development and transformation for extension ministries at Willow Creek Community Church in Barrington, Illinois. Prior to joining World Vision, Mae lived in East Jerusalem and served as a consultant to the Middle East for child advocacy issues for Compassion International. Cannon holds an M.Div. From North Park Theological Seminary, an M.B.A. from North Park University's School of Business and Nonprofit Management, and an M.A. in bioethics from Trinity International University. She is now a doctoral candidate in American History with a minor in Middle Eastern studies at the University of California - Davis, focusing her dissertation on the history of the American Protestant church in Israel and Palestine.

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