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Hope Sings, So Beautiful

Graced Encounters across the Color Line

Christopher Pramuk,
Foreword by M. Shawn Copeland,
Afterword by Edward Kaplan

Price: $19.95
Pub. Date: May 2013

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“Today, in the midst of increased hopelessness…people of faith need resources that point to the hope expressed in this book.”

~ St. Anthony Messenger

“A joy to read and source of deeply contemplative material for anyone who is concerned with building relationships across the color line. This is a book to get excited about.”

~ Catholic Books Review

 “Pramuk is a theologian with the writing style of a mystical novelist and the concerns of a social ethicist. In an age of increasingly complex global systems, this striking work captures the spiritual significance of racial consciousness for individuals and communities.”

~ National Catholic Reporter

In Hope Sings, So Beautiful, award-winning author Christopher Pramuk offers a mosaic of images and sketches for thinking and praying through difficult questions about race. The reader will encounter the perspectives of artists, poets, and theologians from many different ethnic and racial communities.

This richly illustrated book is not primarily sociological or ethnographic in approach. Rather, its horizon is shaped by questions of theology, spirituality, and pastoral practice. Pramuk’s challenging work on this difficult topic will stimulate fruitful conversations and fresh thinking, whether in private study or prayer; in classrooms, churches, and reading groups; or among friends and family around the dinner table.

“Seldom does an author share his soul. Not just his life and experience, but the people and events that inspire him; the art, the music and the encounters that feed his imagination; the passion that drives him. That is what Chris Pramuk does in Hope Sings, So Beautiful. His passion is nothing less than overcoming every form of discrimination to gaze on Christ ‘in ten thousand places.’ It is spiritual theology at its most satisfying, intended to move the senses as well as the mind. If you want uplift and are not afraid to be turned upside down and inside out, this is the book for you.”
            Drew Christiansen, SJ, Former editor of America
            Visiting scholar, Boston College
“Kiss ‘doubt and small living’ goodbye and prepare to take a tremulous step across the color line. Hope Sings gracefully shepherds the reader beyond isolated, self-centered prisons into inspiring worlds of scholarship, story, and song. Pramuk does not present a simplistic diagnosis of race problems, but an ‘alternate horizon’—painful, partial, mysterious, but nonetheless resonant with music. To those who help us see, we owe the deepest reverence; this author is one.”
            Kathy Coffey
            Author of The Best of Being Catholic
“Pramuk creatively interweaves music, scholarship, art, the natural world, theology, personal experience, spiritual writings, and much more to examine discipleship in a racist and fractured world. But above all he unveils the everyday mystery of divine love that beckons us to new life and a new way forward.”
            Timothy Matovina
            University of Notre Dame
            Latino Catholicism: Transformation in America’s Largest Church
Hope Sings, So Beautiful dares to interrupt readers, inviting them to reflect more deeply still on systemic racism’s dehumanization of us all. Pramuk writes with eloquence, integrity, and urgency.”
            Kimberly Vrudny
            University of St. Thomas


“Pramuk invites us to face the complexities of race in the United States with truthfulness and hope.”

~ America magazine

This fresh, theologically grounded approach to race relations moves beyond reactivity and oppositional thinking. Drawing on actual experiences and the works of poets and artists, theologians and critical race theorists, Pramuk presents an elegant read in which hope stings pointedly, rings defiantly and finally sings beautifully.

~ Christian Century

Pramuk’s book is a breath of fresh air. Among the small but growing number of white Catholics attempting to address racism and white supremacy as theological problems, Pramuk’s work is unique and one of the finest.

~ Theological Studies


Mary McClintock Fulkerson, Fulkerson.JournalReligion.2015 (Oct 2015).

Laurie Cassidy, Horizons (June 2015), Cassidy.Horizons.

Alicia von Stamwitz, Publishers Weekly (Aug 2015).

Raymond Carr, The Merton Seasonal (Dec 2014): Carr.HopeSings.MertonSeasonal.

Jon Nilson, Nilson.AnglicanTheological.2014 (Summer 2014).

Kevin Considine, Theological Studies (March 2014).

Arlene Montevecchio, National Catholic Reporter (August 2013).

Andrew T. McCarthy, Catholic Books Review (Summer 2013).

Laura Swan, OSB, Magistra: A Journal of Women’s Spirituality in History 19:1 (Summer 2013), 96-7.

John Kane, The Denver Post, Hark (November 11, 2013).

Alden Bass, Englewood Review of Books (July 19, 2013).

C. Vanessa White, St. Anthony Messenger 121:3 (Aug 2013).

Anthony Pogorelc, America magazine (July 29, 2013).


Briefer Notices

Sharon G. Thornton, Christian Century (Sep. 30, 2013).

Dan Horan, OFM, and his blog “Dating God.”

Margretta Dwyer, OSM.

Sisters of Mercy (Aug. 23, 2013).


Interviews / Stories

  The Observer (November 2014), Notre Dame and St. Mary’s College

   Xavier Newswire (October 2013)

   Cincinnati Enquirer (October 2013)

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