JP Shortall | December 30, 2016
In statements, addresses, and homilies, Pope Francis often calls for a Church of the poor that takes seriously what the poor and vulnerable have to teach us and empties itself in order to be fully receptive to the grace of God. The vision developed in those calls is the focus of a new book by Clemens Sedmak, Visiting Professor of Catholic Social Tradition and Community Engagement at the Center for Social Concerns and the Keough School of Global Affairs.
A Church of the Poor: Pope Francis and the Transformation of Orthodoxy (Orbis Books, 2016) asks how a Church of the poor might change our ways of knowing, learning, and understanding, which in turn might affect how we understand orthodoxy. Sedmak argues that orthodoxy, understood as right relationship with God, is not possible without right relationship with the poor and the vulnerable—and that authentic love of God must spring from poverty and vulnerability.
Sedmak holds the F.D. Maurice Chair in Moral and Social Theology at King's College London and is the F.M. Schmölz Visiting Professor for Social Ethics at the University of Salzburg. He has been Director of the Center for Ethics and Poverty Research at the University of Salzburg since 2005, and President of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Social Ethics in Salzburg since 2008.