Although hospitality was central to Christian identity and practice in earlier centuries, our generation knows little about its life-giving character. Over the past three hundred years, understandings of hospitality have shrunk to entertainment at home and to the hospitality industry's provision of service through hotels and restaurants. But for most of the history of the church, hospitality was central to the gospel and a crucial practical expression of care, relationship, and respect.
This penetrating new work by Christine Pohl revisits the Christian foundations of welcoming strangers and explores the necessity, difficulty, and blessing of hospitality today. The book offers an original argument that traces the eclipse of this significant Christian practice, showing the initial centrality of hospitality and the importance of recovering it for contemporary life.
Combining rich biblical and historical research with extensive interviewing of contemporary service communities -- the Catholic Worker, L'Abri, L'Arche, Good Works, Annunciation House, St. John's Abbey, and others -- this book shows how understanding the key features of hospitality can better equip us to respond faithfully to contemporary needs and challenges.
Sisters Today-In her beautiful book Making Room, Christine Pohl . . . illustrates both in content and in format the profound meaning of hospitality in Christian life. . . Using her own pastoral experience and that of others, Pohl deals realistically with the fragility of hospitality in its limits, boundaries, and temptations. . . Pohl encourages readers to engage in thoughtful reflection on how important it is to adopt the attitude of the early Christians toward all people in our world.- Booklist-Pohl elegantly, accessibly introduces the history of Christian hospitality and its potential for transforming contemporary Christian practice. . . The book appeals not only to readers interested in contemporary Christianity and its historical development but also to those interested more generally in the margins of society and the commercialization of hospitality and welfare.- Books & Culture-Casual readers beware: Making Room is guaranteed to challenge even the most complacent Christian. You are not likely to walk away from this book unchanged.- CBA Marketplace-[Pohl] effectively weaves biblical insight, historical precedent, and practical wisdom, exploring how concern for strangers has been normative from ancient times. To revitalize this 'moral dimension, ' Pohl challenges readers to move beyond their safety of hosting people within their familiar social or economic world. While contemporary examples focus on intentional Christian communities -- such as L'Abri or the Catholic Worker -- the book has rich implications for house- or church-based ministry. Ultimately, readers from any church background will learn that as they make room for others in their homes, more room will become available to them to receive God's blessings.- Christian Retailing-Making Room is a welcome reminder that as God's people we are all called to be hospitable to others, whether or not we have what some call 'the gift of hospitality.' The book would most appeal to those desiring to make a difference in the lives of others through hospitality.- Publishers Weekly-Christine Pohl addresses a surprisingly undiscovered topic in Making Room: Recovering Hospitality as a Christian Tradition. Far from a Martha Stewart handbook for Christians, Pohl's work focuses on the nitty-gritty of forging community hospitality, as evidenced in such organizations as The Catholic Worker, L'Abri and The Open Door. Hospitality, she writes, should be more about welcoming strangers than friends and family.-