Welcome to HopeSingsSoBeautiful.org, which builds from the conversation about race initiated in the book Hope Sings, So Beautiful: Graced Encounters Across the Color Line (Liturgical Press, 2013), by Christopher Pramuk. As the author of Hope Sings, I’m grateful you’re here. Whether or not you’ve read the book, I hope you’ll find something here to inspire, provoke, deepen, or challenge your thought and imagination. The main interactive areas of the site are as follows:

Reading Guide: questions for group discussion, classroom reflection, or personal meditation on material in the book, organized by chapter

Music and Art: links to works of art, music, literature, and film discussed in each chapter as well as other pastoral, artistic, and scholarly resources

Raids Across the Color Line: our blog, with a diverse and talented group of writers, all deeply invested in the conversation about race. The title image of”Raids” is borrowed from a favorite book by Thomas Merton, Raids on the Unspeakable, perhaps his most prescient, poetically haunting, and beautifully “sideways” attack on structural sin and violence, inclusive of racism. I pray that something of Merton’s contemplative, prophetic spirit will accompany us in this blog.

About the Book: here you’ll find a description of the book, editorial reviews, and a link to purchase. If you’ve read the book and wish to share your thoughts about it, you are most welcome and encouraged to do so in the comments section here. Please, tell us what you think.

Hope Sings builds its mosaic of images and sketches partly from the intuition that racism, among many other things, is the symptom of a profound poverty of imagination, inclusive of our theological imagination, our most elemental images of God. Moreover, a disease of the imagination calls not only for moral or ethical responses but also responses that nourish, enlarge, and free the imagination. Thus the artistic spirit I aim to nourish and give free play throughout the book.

For more about “raids” and “the art spirit” please see my inaugural blog post. For now, on behalf of Liturgical Press and my fellow contributors, a heartfelt welcome!

Chris Pramuk, Cincinnati, May 2013


Rules of Engagement: Reader Comments & Site Images.

Because conversations about race, ethnicity, identity, and culture can be intense and personal, even (if not especially) among friends, please keep these “rules of engagement” in mind when posting comments to any area of this website.

A hermeneutic of generosity. We hope the conversations generated here reflect a hermeneutic of generosity, a genuine spirit of catholicity. We are committed to providing a safe space for discussions that are open, challenging and respectful, in a spirit of listening and mutual transformation. Comments that run counter to this spirit may be removed at the editor’s discretion.

Be polite. We’ll often explore uncomfortable subjects. Our contributors will seek to do so with sensitivity, authenticity, and good humor, and we’ll hold our commenters to the same standard. Please engage in good faith without personally attacking contributors or fellow commenters. None of us enters the conversation about race as a perfectly realized, fully enlightened human being. We are all, each of us, stumbling pilgrims on the journey. To presume “good faith” is to assume best of intentions and a desire for growth on all sides, wherever possible. It follows that ad hominem arguments or comments are never justified. Where you feel moved to critique or amplify or correct, please do so with charity.

Stick to the topic at hand. If a post covers a subject that doesn’t hold your interest, please move on, rather than expressing your boredom or changing the subject.

Image copyright. It should be assumed that all images on this website are copyright protected, and are used here for educational purposes only.

(My thanks to the blog “Women in Theology” and NPR’s “Code Switch” for help with these guidelines.)

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