Practicing Hospitality in Troubled Times
Offering hospitality to strangers was a distinctive feature of ancient Christian life. The biblical texts and tradition, Jesus’ practice and explicit teachings, and the needs of the ancient church and world combined to make hospitality a central aspect of Christian discipleship. In the last 500 years, transformative understandings of hospitality have been mostly lost, and with them, some crucial insights into Christian witness, social ministry and congregational life. Giving fresh attention to an ancient practice allows us to see the close connection between theology and everyday life, and offers promise and challenge to the contemporary church.
Christine Pohl is Associate Provost and Professor of Church and Society/Christian Ethics at Asbury Theological Seminary. She received a B.S. in Special Education at Syracuse University, 1972; a M.A. in Theological Studies, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, 1986; and a Ph.D. in Ethics and Society at Emory University, 1993. Dr. Pohl is the author of several books including Making Room: Recovering Hospitality as a Christian Tradition. She has recently completed a book entitled Living into Community: Cultivating Practices that Sustain Us (Eerdmans, 2011).