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I really appreciate this book review of Hope in Disarray by Eunjin Jeon.

She writes “As a female Asian pastor & a non-citizen living in the United States for the past three years, I have experienced anti-Asian hate crimes – intentional & unintentional – & feel that in the Atlanta spa…” @presoutlook

Hope in Disarray: Piecing Our Lives Together in Faith

July 29, 2021 by The Presbyterian Outlook 

Grace Ji-Sun Kim
The Pilgrim Press, 160 pages
Reviewed by Eunjin Jeon

Grace Ji-Sun Kim, an ordained Presbyterian minister and a professor of theology at Earlham School of Religion in Indiana, is a Korean American theologian who examines social and religious experience combined with intersectional theology. In “Hope in Disarray,” Kim asks: “Why do we hope?” and “How can we better understand hope and its preservation in our lives?” She found that we are living in limbo between hope and doom; however, we go on to abound in hope anchored in the very presence of God, living with hope to uphold expectations for goodness and the ultimate revelation of the Son of God. The hope we aspire to is not individual work, but involves collective effort to achieve it through reframing, rebuilding and reacting to social injustice and conflict.

This remarkable book has resonated with my personal journey to find abiding hope in a troubling world. As a female Asian pastor and a non-citizen living in the United States for the past three years, I have experienced anti-Asian hate crimes – intentional and unintentional – and feel that in the Atlanta spa shootings, the victims were killed because they were Asian and were women. Reading this book has encouraged me to find the abiding presence of God and use it to overcome social anxiety and fear in the midst of the struggling world, hence speaking out and taking action on behalf of marginalized individuals who are engaged in ongoing struggles and helping them to find hope anchored to the presence of God.

“Hope in Disarray” relies on the author’s personal narratives and spiritual reflections, contextualized in terms of her background as a woman, a mother, a wife, a theologian, an immigrant and an Asian American. This book contains three sections that pertain to the church, culture and relationship. Each chapter begins with a biblical passage and ends with discussion questions designed to stimulate further reflection and conversation regarding how faith and hope will work in readers’ lives and how they can steer toward hope and cope with fear. Overall, she draws the focus to the empowerment of minority groups and oppressed groups that are devoid of economic, political and social power.

The first section, living in the church, invites readers to reflect on their spiritual journey during their churchgoing years through the framework of intersectional theology, contributing to reframing the profundity of Christianity in a changing world. In the second section, living in the culture, she urges taking action and taking responsibility through cultural reimagination amid the disarray of racism, sexism, gun violence and the environmental crisis. In the last section, she encourages readers to engage in the all-encompassing issue of living through collective efforts as well as finding hope that is anchored to the presence of God.

I highly recommend this book to ministers and educators who seek a contextual perspective on theology in North America. This book will greatly inspire those who are planning group discussions and those engaging person reflection and devotional journaling. The author’s unique perspective will guide open-minded readers with theological, ecclesiastical and practical information. Reading this book in immigrant churches and multiracial settings will enable congregations to have transformative experiences with taking responsibility and taking action to achieve hope in a troubled world.

Eunjin Jeon is a pastor in the Presbyterian Church of Korea and an administrative assistant of the Institute for Youth Ministry at Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey.


You can also listen to Love-Rinse, Repeat podcast with Rev. Liam Miller to discuss my latest book, Hope in Disarray

You can watch it on Youtube and listen to it on various podcast platforms.

Love-Rinse Repeat: Hope in Disarray

I sat down with Grace Ji-Sun Kim to talk about hope. We talk about writing for the public, differentiating hope from optimism, speaking of hope amidst the pain and violence of sexism, racism, and ecological destruction, and what it means to live inside and even become our hope. We also talk about her new podcast Madang and what it’s like to be on the other side of the mic.

Buy the Book with Pilgrim Press

Listen to Madang

Grace Ji-Sun Kim is Professor of Theology at Earlham School of Religion. She is the author or editor of 20 books, Invisible, Hope in Disarray: Piecing Our Lives Together in Faith; Reimagining Spirit, Keeping Hope Alive (Orbis Books), Intersectional Theology: An Introductory Guide (Fortress Press) cowritten with Dr. Susan Shaw; Healing Our Broken Humanity, co-written with Graham Hill, The Homebrewed Christianity Guide to the Holy Spirit, Mother Daughter Speak, co-written with Elisabeth Sophia Lee; Planetary Solidarity (Fortress Press) co-edited with Hilda Koster; Intercultural Ministry co-edited with Jann Aldredge-Clanton (Judson Press); Making Peace with the Earth (WCC); Embracing the Other (Eerdmans); Here I Am(Judson Press); Christian Doctrines for Global Gender Justice (Palgrave) co-edited with Jenny Daggers; Theological Reflections on “Gangnam Style” (Palgrave Macmillan) co-written with Joseph Cheah; Contemplations from the Heart (Wipf & Stock); Reimagining with Christian Doctrines co-edited with Jenny Daggers (Palgrave Macmillan); Colonialism, Han and the Transformative Power (Palgrave Macmillan); The Holy Spirit, Chi and the Other (Palgrave Macmillan); and The Grace of Sophia (Pilgrim Press).

Follow the Show: @RinseRepeatPod // Follow me: @liammiller87

Love Rinse Repeat is supported by Uniting Mission and Education, part of the Uniting Church in Australia Synod of NSW/ACT.Ep91. Hope in Disarray, Grace Ji-Sun Kim Liam Millerhttps://www.youtube.com/embed/qd-7ipYVqjU?version=3&rel=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&fs=1&hl=en&autohide=2&wmode=transparent