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Public Theology for the Common Good

Public Theology grid
Leadership Foundations

Leadership Foundations

How do the deep resources of our faith help us to more deeply engage the Public Square? Can a Public Theology help us find a way through these divided and polarized times to work together toward the Common Good?

Anne Snyder (bio below), the Editor-in-Chief of Comment Magazine and the host of Breaking Ground, a collaborative web commons, joins us for this City as Playground podcast episode to explore these topics as we seek to find and enact a public theology for the common good. 

Anne Snyder is the Editor-in-Chief of Comment Magazine and the host of Breaking Ground, a collaborative web commons created in 2020 to try to inspire a dynamic cross-section of thinkers and practitioners to respond to the major crises of this year with wisdom, hope and courage. Anne is also a 2020 Emerson Collective Fellow and the author of The Fabric of Character: A Wise Giver’s Guide to Renewing our Social and Moral Landscape

From 2016 to 2019 she directed The Philanthropy Roundtable‘s Character Initiative, a program seeking to help American foundations and business leaders strengthen “the middle ring” of morally formative institutions. She maintains a post as a Fellow with the Urban Reform Institute, a Houston-based think tank that explores how cities can drive opportunity for the bulk of their citizens, and a Senior Fellow with The Trinity Forum. From 2014 to 2017 Anne worked with Laity Lodge and the H.E. Butt Family Foundation in Texas, and before that she worked at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, World Affairs Journal and The New York Times. She holds a Master’s degree in journalism from Georgetown University and a B.A. in philosophy and international relations from Wheaton College (IL). Anne serves as a trustee for the Center for Public Justice, the Hyde Park Institute, and the Colangelo Carpenter Innovation Center, and as an advisor to Sea Dog Theater. She has published widely, including The Atlantic Monthly, The Washington Post, City Journal, Philanthropy Magazine, The Orange County Register, Houston Business Journal, Bittersweet Monthly and of course Comment, and is currently hosting the podcast, The Whole Person Revolution

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Celia Vigil

Communications Fellow

What book, movie, quote, or tv show has most shaped your understanding of leadership or the city?   

A quote that has shaped my understanding of leadership and the city is, “Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly now, love mercy now, walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.”

While the amount of work there is to do to transform cities is great, this quote reminds me that we are freed from having to complete it all, though our obligation to continue remains. We may never see a huge transformation in our lifetime. The work stretches far beyond us. However, this does not make our acts of faithfulness in the day to day less significant, no matter how small they may seem.