Welcome to the Fall 2020 issue of the Journal of Religious Leadership takes its theme from the preceding Conference of the Academy of Religious Leadership and is constituted largely by its presentations. As we gathered online in April 2020, we were treated to rich array of intellectual offerings that delighted our minds and challenged our hearts.
We are grateful to former ARL President Jeffrey Tribble for convening the conference around the topic, “Engaging the Prophetic Dimension of Christian Leadership.” In his call for papers, he posed several questions to stimulate and evoke our best thinking around prophetic leadership. Given the tumultuous and contested times we live in, his questions continue to guide our engagement with communities and the wider society in matters of peace and justice, especially for the “least of these”:
- How does the prophetic tradition in the Bible as well as historical and contemporary prophetic figures inform practices of compassion and justice?
- How might a “prophetic imagination” guide social action to counter the economics of inequality, the politics of oppression, and the co-opting of God’s freedom to be present and act where God chooses?
- What leadership models, theories, methods, and strategies are useful for inspiring, energizing, and sustaining prophetic leadership?
- What spiritual practices inspire faith, hope, and courage to act boldly and wisely in the face of danger and threats by dominant principalities and powers?
The essays in this issue offer powerful answers to these questions from very different perspectives. Each and all together expertly draw upon wisdom of tradition, imaginative insight, and down-to-earth practices to inform and inspire prophetic engagement.