A leading poet and a theologian reflect on the Old Testament story of Ruth, a tale that resonates deeply in today's world with its themes of migration, the stranger, mixed cultures and religions, law and leadership, women in public life, kindness, generosity and fear.
Ruth's story speaks directly to many of the issues and deep differences that Brexit has exposed and to the polarisation taking place in many societies. Pádraig Ó Tuama and Glenn Jordan bring the redemptive power of Ruth to bear on today's seemingly intractable social and political divisions, reflecting on its challenges and how it can help us be effective in the public square, amplify voices which are silenced, and be communities of faith in our present day.
Over the last year, the material that inspired this book has been used with over 6000 people as a public theology initiative from Corrymeela, Ireland's longest-established peace and reconciliation centre. It has been met with an overwhelming response because of its immediacy and relevance, enabling people with opposing views to come together and be heard.
From the back cover:
Amid the poorly told, blunt stories in our world today that divide, polarize and reinforce stereotypes, this lyrical and imaginative book invites us to explore a timeless human drama that reveals how we might respond more creatively to pressing current issues about borders and belonging.
The ancient story of Ruth tells of an outsider, a migrant facing uncertainty in a strange land, a vulnerable female in a foreign culture; yet Ruth draws out generosity and justice and is herself the gift that will shape a new future for the people she chose as her own.
Abounding in wisdom, truth and beauty, this book is a book to treasure.
Pádraig Ó Tuama is a renowned poet. He broadcasts regularly on BBC 2's Prayer for the Day and on BBC Radio Ulster and is in demand as a festival and conference speaker. He is the author of several books including Daily Prayer from Corrymeela.
Glenn Jordan (1964-2020), whose untimely death occurred as this book was being prepared for publication, was Public Theology Manager for Corrymeela.