Augsburg Fortress

eBook-By the Rivers of Babylon: Blueprint for a Church in Exile

eBook-By the Rivers of Babylon: Blueprint for a Church in Exile

The language of exile, focused with theological and biblical narratives and coupled with depictions of real-life exilic communities, can equip church leaders as agents in the creation of new communities.
Robert Hoch reads the larger North American tradition of Christian worship and mission through the prism of visibly marginalized communities. Through this lens, leaders may come to see diversity as an indication of mission vitality, and focus less on assimilating people and more on the future promises of God and the manifold textures of incarnation.

  • ISBN 9781451438505
  • Format eBook
  • Pages 160
  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Publication Date Nov 1, 2013


“Every pastor, seminarian, or judicatory leader who has ever questioned the tameness of the North American church needs to read Robert P. Hoch’s By the Rivers of Babylon. Hoch raises deep questions about the shape of authentic ecclesial life by taking us to scattered, modest communities of faith, most but not all North American, that have rooted themselves among society’s social, economic, and/or political exiles. These communities, whether near the Tex-Mex border, amid urban poverty and violence, or among Native American peoples, weave liturgy, witness, and daily life in deep partnership with the ‘exiled.’ Suggesting that traditional churches reinforce, rather than break down, the socio-economic walls that ‘protect’ society’s mainstream from its exiles, Hoch presses for honest self-assessment and daring change.”
—Sally A. Brown
Princeton Theological Seminary