RELEASED APRIL 19, 2022
"I don't care for vocational books written in the United States; they're too American." When Susan Maros heard this comment from a Malaysian colleague, she was initially taken aback. Isn't the concept of calling universal? Why wouldn't resources with a biblical perspective on vocation apply to everyone?
The reality is that each of us encounters our questions of calling from within a particular context. In this paradigm-shifting book, Maros explores how various dimensions of social location—including race, ethnicity, culture, socioeconomic status, and gender—shape our assumptions and experiences with vocation. Maros helps Christians in the United States in particular see how ideas about calling that emphasize certainty, career paths, and personal achievement arise from cultural priorities that shouldn't go unexamined, such as individualism, productivity, and meritocracy. She explains how unexamined "mental maps" can distort our perspective and refocuses our attention on biblical insights about calling as a lifelong journey. In the process, she helps us find both clarity and encouragement to explore the paths before us.
God calls all people, yes—but calling is not a monolithic concept. Filled with numerous stories from Christians in diverse communities, Calling in Context invites anyone exploring questions of calling to find fresh possibilities in their own identity and engagement with God's mission. Reflection questions and Bible study prompts are included throughout.
What They’re Saying
"Rarely do experts on calling urge people to consider how God's action in our lives is shaped by race, gender, class, and much more. In honest, profound, and biblically informed prose, Susan Maros opens up a whole new horizon on calling, revealing its complexity and brilliantly translating complicated concepts into everyday language so that all of us can grapple with vocation in more culturally sensitive and faithful ways. An invaluable addition to literature on calling!"
Bonnie J. Milller-McLemore
"Before the end of the introduction you will discover why Dr. Susan Maros is one of Fuller Seminary's most respected and popular professors. By the end of the book, you will realize that almost all your assumptions about how God calls a person will be challenged. Filled with biblical reflections that will cause you to reconsider what you think you know, and stories and studies that will encourage you to rethink what you believe to be settled about the way vocation is formed, this book disturbs and deconstructs, and then provides wisdom and a way for reconstructing perhaps the most personal moments in a Christian's life. I heartily recommend it."
"Creatively critical, Calling in Context fills a much-needed space in the literature on Christian vocation, engaging ways in which gender, racial and ethnic identity, economic status, and social class shape people's vocational possibilities and practices of discernment. The book challenges individualist and idealist assumptions present in dominant North American understandings of vocation, inviting readers into richer conversation and vocational practice that is more attuned to the variety of ways in which vocation is experienced globally, more faithful to the range of biblical narratives of vocation, and more attentive to God's interaction with human beings over time."