A must-read for Christian disciples, justice activists and new monastics.” —Rev Dr Ash Barker
In 1971, two priests from a Catholic order left their monastery in order to reinvent the contemplative life amid a Liverpool community oppressed by poverty and systemic racism. Foreshadowing the ‘new monastic’ movement, the members of a 300-year-old religious order began to translate the radical, self-sacrificial values of monastic living into an open, hospitable, practical life on the margins of society.
Passion for the Inner City is a probing spiritual reflection on the first twelve years of Austin Smith’s life in the inner city. He describes a new model of faith—not just giving up his possessions, but letting go of assumptions, dependencies, all his rationalisations—until he sees the poorest in society outside of his own agendas. By living and suffering alongside them, he calls out the deep offensiveness of the inequality we daily permit.
With stories, insights and reflections, Passion for the Inner City is a fascinating account of ‘old’ monasticism embracing the challenges of the present, and also a trove of wisdom and challenges that still have sharp questions to ask anyone pursuing their faith today.
“I have gone on marches in the inner city; I have fought for better housing; I have been part of the struggle for better education for our children; I have stood on the street in riots; I have been part and parcel of the struggle for community power; I have set my face against my own racism and the racism of others. Why? Because I believe where creation is sinned against, where human beings suffer, Jesus is being crucified.”