Fortress Press

Sacred Anthropology: Prophetic Radicalism for Pulpit and Pew

Sacred Anthropology

Prophetic Radicalism for Pulpit and Pew

Tyshawn Gardner (Author)


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Pastors are often ill-equipped in preparing churches to be sacred advocates and activists in the communities most affected by social injustice and neglect. Sacred Anthropology aims to inform and equip pastors in discipling the body of Christ to effect social transformation in times of social crisis.

Tyshawn Gardner envisions the pastor as a "sacred anthropologist," as one who understands the cultures of other image-bearers for the sake of promoting the justice of God in the world. As a pastoral mandate, the sacred anthropologist challenges churches to be engaged in the political and social transformation of their community. The social anthropologist employs both secular and theological tools for an effective contextualized ministry. This book posits prophetic radicalism as a pastoral theology and the pastoral office as the center of prophetic radicalism, yet it does not limit prophetic radicalism to the pastoral office.

Sacred Anthropology is written with pastors and parishioners from any ethnic group in mind but draws heavily on the prophetic pastoral and preaching tradition of African American pastors and churches. Using this foundation and tradition, sacred anthropologists can lead their congregations in a way that challenges them to be involved, engaged, and transformative.

  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9781506481241
  • eBook ISBN 9781506481258
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Pages 188
  • Publication Date October 25, 2022


"Sacred Anthropology challenges readers to become active disciples of the word of God whose faith demands a Christ-embodied, radicalized response to inhumane treatment and injustice. This book is for those willing to bear their cross even if they must face isolation, knowing that their suffering will be redemptive within the human plight and predicament. All who are moved by the realities of the current departures from Scripture need to read this work, in which Tyshawn Gardner offers a timely biblical challenge that can only be realized by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone for the glory of God alone."

Robert Smith Jr., Charles T. Carter Baptist Chair of Divinity, Beeson Divinity School at Samford University

"Tyshawn Gardner's book is a must-have handbook for today's prophetic leaders. Drawing from cultural anthropology and the hard-won wisdom of the Black church's struggle for justice, Sacred Anthropology provides spiritual, biblical, theological, and practical guidance for preaching, leading, and self-care. I will be using this book with my seminary students, and I highly recommend it for clergy and church leaders addressing social injustice."

Leah D. Schade, associate professor of preaching and worship, Lexington Theological Seminary, and author, Preaching in the Purple Zone: Ministry in the Red-Blue Divide

"Sacred Anthropology is the long-awaited answer to many prayers. This book will meet the needs of many who have been hoping and waiting for such a long time for the help it brings."

J. Alfred Smith Sr., professor emeritus, Berkeley School of Theology, Berkeley, California

"In this interdisciplinary study, Tyshawn Gardner brings together the mind of an anthropologist, the heart of an advocate for justice, and the soul of a caring preacher to expose and eradicate the root causes of the perennial problems plaguing US society. For those for whom God is the source and summit of every stride to tear down the unjust systems of our times, this is your book. For those who seek to give voice to pain beyond generalities and to offer a brand of prophetic proclamation that is informed by grassroots activism, this is your book. For those who have never welcomed the idea that we can wage a war against physical, structural, and cultural forms of violence by demonizing and deriding those with whom we disagree, this is your book. For those in the pulpit and the pew who are looking for spiritual disciplines that will sustain them in their struggles for justice and thus not let them 'grow weary in well-doing,' this is your book."

Abraham Smith, professor of New Testament, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University