Now Featured in the Patheos Book Club
Our Last Option: How a New Approach to Civility Can Save the Public Square
By Andrew Marin
About the Book
How does a pluralistic country like the United States find a medium of civic engagement that advances society through its most high profile arenas—religion and politics—in a way that inherently gives dignity and worth to a variety competing, even opposing, worldviews? Each of the most well known of these cultural disconnects, including LGBTs and conservatives, ultimately stems from that lingering question.
On any given topic, the opposing worldviews argue for their baseline moral, social, and ethical frameworks, and coinciding policies, to be the dominant lens which culture views, governs, and engages itself and others. The battle for ethics, policy, and who gets to dictate cultural normalcy produces the fertile ground for the culture wars that this recent generation has only ever known. Yet this polarizing disintegration of peaceful and productive engagement no longer has to be viewed as "normal."
Our Last Option sets a path forward for a new generation of people tired of the broken system handed to them; providing answers to the problems that are tearing Western societies apart. This short ebook will explore a new model of civic engagement, Composite Engagement Model (CEM), articulating the merits of its four key principles as this generation's most effective model of building bridges between opposing worldviews. CEM has been tested since the year 2010 through Andrew's work with the United Nations, as well as over the past decade through his internationally recognized peace-building organization, The Marin Foundation. Now for the first time CEM will be explored academically.
Our Last Option will hold its readers accountable to live within a different standard of cultural, political, and religious engagement—one that begins to shift the dynamics of the tired systems that caused these culture wars in the first place.
About the Author
Andrew Marin is the President and Founder of The Marin Foundation, which over the past dozen years has been widely credited with creating a new cultural category of building bridges between the LGBT community and social, theological, and political conservatives. Andrew is the award winning author of two books and a DVD curriculum, and also publishes his academic research in theology and political journals. His forthcoming book, Us vs Us: The Untold Story of Religion & the LGBT Community,will release June 2016.
Andrew regularly lectures at universities and facilitates trainings for community groups around the world. His speech, Homophobia and Bridging from within the Evangelical Church, given on Capitol Hill the night before the first Inauguration of President Barack Obama, is archived in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC. Since 2010 Andrew has been asked by the United Nations to advise their various agencies on bridging opposing worldviews, civic engagement, and Christian involvement in reconciliation. His bridge building work has been called a model of hope for the future by the BBC; described as blocking hate with love by CNN; was #1 on BuzzFeed's list of Restoring Faith in Humanity; and along with Pope Francis among others, was recently named by FAITH as one of the 25 Most Influential People of Faith for the Next 25 Years.
Andrew has degrees in Applied Psychology (BA), Urban Studies and Social Change (MA), and is earning a PhD in Divinity from the University of St. Andrews, where he is currently researching and teaching on the theology and praxis of social reconciliation between victims and their perpetrators. Andrew is married to Brenda, and you can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the blog of The Marin Foundation.