Augsburg Fortress

A Future without Walls: Confronting Our Divisions

A Future without Walls: Confronting Our Divisions

A Future without Walls offers a comprehensive and complex analysis of Othering, while unveiling the connections between our divisions and the roots, forms, and consequences of the walls that have been erected. It also offers concrete steps forward to help us dismantle these walls.

In A Future without Walls, T. Richard Snyder draws upon his half-century of activism in the struggle for justice and weaves analysis, prescription, and personal story throughout. Racism, extreme nationalism, xenophobia, gender abuse, bullying, and religious intolerance are all on the rise globally. Walls that many thought had been torn down are now being rebuilt. Those people who are different, and even those who differ, are treated as Other. A Future without Walls is a lamentation for the tragedy of Othering and a clarion call for justice. The dividing walls are more than a problem calling for a quick fix. They are embedded in both our history and our current culture and demand fundamental transformation.

Snyder analyzes the entangled fabric of Othering: its history, roots, various forms, and inevitable violent consequences. Countering this tragedy are the voices of activists, mystics, scientists, philosophers, and theologians--black and white, indigenous and cosmopolitan, Christian, Jew, and Buddhist, female and male--each of whom urges us to embrace rather than exclude. This universal moral imperative is a call to action.

A Future without Walls offers paths to healing and transformation, drawing on both individual and collective actions that have made a difference. Walls that have been erected can be dismantled. And while success is not inevitable, failure to act only guarantees disaster.


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  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9781506466033
  • eBook ISBN 9781506466040
  • Age/Grade Range Adult
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Pages 299
  • Publication Date January 19, 2021


"A Future without Walls is an essential contribution to public theology today and needs to be read amid the current crises pertaining to borders, hate, and social division. It is a theoretically astute reflection on the themes of difference and othering for those grappling with the perennial problems of American public life."

Mark Lewis Taylor, Princeton Theological Seminary

"This is a courageous, passionate, and timely book. T. Richard Snyder challenges the assumptions behind the production of inequalities and the nation state, and passionately presents the future of humanity without walls."

Ali Abdullatif Ahmadi, University of New England

"Snyder presents a historically rooted and richly argued alternative to hunkering down in our factions or seeking to return to a simpler life. Rather, we need a radical transformation that requires all of us to come up out of ourselves as individuals and embrace relationships, connections, and hope as the only foundation for our future existence. This is a nourishing and restorative read."

Katherine Cramer, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the author of The Politics of Resentment: Rural Consciousness in Wisconsin and the Rise of Scott Walker.

"A Future Without Walls is an important and timely companion for the weary, the questioner, the explorer, the activist, the intellectual, the lover of friendlier tomorrows, and the repairers of our broken world."

Lester Edwin J. Ruiz, Director of Accreditation and Global Engagement, The Association of Theological Schools in the US and Canada

"Elegantly written, A Future Without Walls surveys the remnants of dysfunctional democracies to encourage collective struggle against phobias, persecution, and violence . . . Snyder writes as a quilter--calling all to mindfulness and accountability in shared labor to bind against the dangers that rip us apart."

Joy James, author of Seeking the 'Beloved Community' and The Womb of Western Theory