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Liturgical Press

Church as Field Hospital

Toward an Ecclesiology of Sanctuary

Erin Brigham

Church as Field Hospital
Church as Field Hospital

ISBN: 9780814667200, 6720

Details: 200 pgs, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 x 1/2
Publication Date: 12/28/2021

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Through an ethnographically driven study of expressions of sanctuary in San Francisco, Church as Field Hospital constructs an ecclesiology that expands notions of public engagement and sacred space in Christian theology. Sanctuary practices that create spaces for those who have been marginalized—immigrants, refugees, and unhoused people—reflect the field hospital church Pope Francis has envisioned and enacted.

This book investigates sanctuary as a way of being church, one marked by prophetic witness, embodied solidarity, sacramental praxis, and radical hospitality.

Erin Brigham is the executive director of the Joan and Ralph Lane Center for Catholic Social Thought and the Ignatian Tradition at the University of San Francisco, where she also teaches in the theology and religious studies department. She earned her PhD in systematic and philosophical theology at the Graduate Theological Union in 2010 and continues to research in the areas of Catholic public theology and social thought as well as postconciliar ecclesiology and ecumenism. Her books include Sustaining the Hope for Unity: Ecumenical Dialogue in a Postmodern World (Liturgical Press, 2012), See, Judge, Act: Catholic Social Teaching and Service Learning (Anselm Academic Press, 2013; revised edition, 2018) and, coedited with Mary Johnson, Solidarity Toward the Common Good: Women Engaging the Catholic Social Tradition (Paulist Press, forthcoming 2022).


"A brilliant book! Brigham presents a compelling yet thoroughly practical vision of what the church could and should be in our times. Clarifying the church’s mission as one of radical hospitality, Brigham brings personal experience, cutting edge philosophy, and nuanced theology into dialogue with actual church practices. This inspiring and well-written book will be accessible for undergraduates, thought-provoking for graduate students, and engaging for all who seek to follow Christ in the church today."
Mary Doak, University of San Diego