A Covenantal Imagination

I am pleased to announce the publication of a collection of my essays from 1971 to 2003 laying out the main contours of the development of my thought. I entitled it A Covenantal Imagination, because at the core of this development has lain the rich concept of covenant, with its many ramifications in theories of federalism, of the dynamics of reconciliation, and a framework for knitting together our oikos of work, family, faith, and the land.

This collection completes the work of making my thought and primary publications available to a wider public. While not tombstones, these publications represent the completion of one phase of my life, leaving me free to continue to explore realms of poetry, liturgy, woodworking, and conversations that cultivate the work of reconciliation in its many dimensions.

Book cover for A Covenenantal Imagination by William Johnson Everett

My long-time colleague in the Society of Christian Ethics, David Hollenbach SJ, now at Georgetown University, wrote that “These stimulating essays draw on the central biblical image of covenant to argue that human freedom and social connectedness can be mutually supportive, not opposed.

They…argue that the covenant that can link us to God and one another sheds ethical light on practical areas ranging from family life…to the struggle against racism and pursuit of post-conflict reconciliation. A valuable contribution that can guide our divided society to greater mutual respect and solidarity.”

My Emory colleague Jon Gunnemann wrote this about it: “In these essays Bill Everett traverses an extraordinary array of ethical issues, ranging through the ecological crisis, marriage, family and work, the importance of federalism and reconciliation in political life, and much more.

The theological theme of covenant anchors his interpretation of these issues, but Everett’s sociological imagination, interwoven with the insightful use of metaphor, symbol and story, leads the reader at every point to see the world refreshed and anew. An invaluable treasury.”

Scott Paeth, who was my teaching assistant at Andover Newton and now Professor of Religious Studies at DePaul University, reflected that: “A Covenantal Imagination is a fitting testament to a lifetime’s work as a theologian and ethicist.

The depth and scope of reflections in this volume demonstrate Everett’s commitment to understanding Christian ethics as touching on every dimension of human life . . . . The thread that ties these essays together is Everett’s understanding of covenant as the key to the moral framework in which Christian social ethics is done.”

So you can get a quick sense of the range of subjects these articles touch on, I’ll conclude this announcement with the Table of Contents.

Cybernetics and the Symbolic Body Model

Liturgy and American Society: An Invocation to Ethical Analysis

Ecclesiology and Political Authority: A Dialogue with Hannah Arendt

Vocation and Location: An Exploration in the Ethics of Ethics

Land Ethics: Toward a Covenantal Model

Stewardship Through Trust and Cooperation

Shared Parenthood in Divorce: The Parental Covenant and Custody Law

OIKOS: Convergence in Business Ethics

Transformation at Work

Sunday Monarchists and Monday Citizens?

Couples at Work: A Study in Patterns of Work, Family and Faith

Human Rights in the Church

Constitutional Order in United Methodism and American Culture (with Thomas E. Frank)

Seals and Springboks: Theological Reflections on Constitutionalism and South African Culture

Reconciliation as New Covenant, New Public

Serving the Church and Facing the Law: Virtues for Committee Members Evaluating a Pastor

Public Works: Bridging the Gap Between Theology and Public Ethics

Reconciliation between Homecoming and the Future: A Case Study from the Vietnam War

Journey Images and the Search for Reconciliation

2 thoughts on “A Covenantal Imagination”

  1. What rich work, Bill. I hope to read this book one day. Several of the chapter titles intrigue me. Congratulations on accomplishing this task.

  2. Amazing array of subjects and themes! I’d love to read these again or for the first time! Did you hide your reflections on the peaceful revolution in East Germany somewhere in one or two of the essays? The round table idea was kind of reinvented there in 1989/90.
    And you gave it theological substance. A real eye opener for many quasi-agnostics!
    send the book, I’ll pay the customs.
    Love and covenant,

Comments are closed.