New faculty book explores how politics can be a spiritual practice

Date: April 15, 2024

In The Good News of Church Politics, The Rev. Ross Kane, Ph.D., shows how healthy Christian politics start with loving your neighbors and being a caring congregation.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. April 15, 2024 – Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) is excited to announce the publication of The Good News of Church Politics by The Rev. Ross Kane, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Theology, Ethics, and Culture at VTS.

In The Good News of Church Politics (Eerdmans, 2024), Kane combines scripture, political theology, and personal experience to reframe politics around shaping our common life, showing that church politics can become a spiritual practice.

He points out that people often think about politics in terms of the privileged vying for power, associating it with gridlock, frustration, and how little their voices seem to matter. He observes that our obsession with statecraft can both paralyze us and lead us to duplicate the tactics of this exasperating form of politics when we lead our church communities.

Kane, who is also Director of Doctoral Programs at VTS, argues that from community service to advocacy, congregations can instead practice politics in ways that embrace our loving interdependence as members of the body of Christ. The Good News of Church Politics is an uplifting guide for Church leaders, whether lay or ordained, on how to model God’s reign in our world by loving our neighbors.


The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry, Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church, said: “Ross Kane offers a new way of looking at politics, as another form of human interdependence through which we can prayerfully and intentionally live out the Way of Love and make a difference in our world. This is an important book of reimagining that is needed in this deeply divided age.”

The Rev. Samuel Wells, Ph.D., vicar of St. Martin-in-the-Fields Church, London, the U.K., said: “Ross Kane demonstrates that there is nothing more political than church because church is the embodiment of how we live with one another and with God. Politics is often portrayed as a tussle between heart and head. This book will persuade you that it’s about body and soul.”

Kane’s research and teaching focus on the intersections of culture and moral decision-making, and the religious practices and teachings that enable us to form communities of love and justice. In his first book, Syncretism and Christian Tradition: Race and Revelation in the Study of Religious Mixture (Oxford University Press, 2021), he explores the lived experience of religious communities, with a particular focus on the incorporation of new and unfamiliar expressions of belief and practice.

You can purchase The Good News of Church Politics (Eerdmans, 2024) here.

Notes to editors:

For media enquiries, please contact Nicky Burridge, Vice President for Communications at VTS.
Tel: (703) 461-1782

Mobile: (703) 300-2876

Photo caption: The Rev. Ross Kane, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Theology, Ethics, and Culture at VTS. And author of The Good News of Church Politics.

About Virginia Theological Seminary:

Virginia Theological Seminary was founded in 1823 and has a long tradition of shaping faithful women and men, lay and ordained, for leadership in The Episcopal Church and beyond. It is the strongest seminary in the Anglican Communion and provides more than 25 percent of the clergy of The Episcopal Church.

Back to all