Sunday, September 12, 2010

Belonging to a community

Community: The Structure of Belonging, by Peter Block.

“Modern society is plagued by fragmentation. The various sectors of our communities–businesses, schools, social service organizations, churches, government–do not work together. They exist in their own worlds. As do so many individual citizens, who long for connection but end up marginalized, their gifts overlooked, their potential contributions lost. This disconnection and detachment makes it hard if not impossible to envision a common future and work towards it together. We know what healthy communities look like–there are many success stories out there, and they’ve been described in detail. What Block provides in this inspiring new book is an exploration of the exact way community can emerge from fragmentation: How is community built? How does the transformation occur? What fundamental shifts are involved? He explores a way of thinking about our places that creates an opening for authentic communities to exist and details what each of us can do to make that happen.” [From the book’s blurb.]

The list of contents may prove interesting (certainly more interesting than the cover design!):

Intro: The Fragmented Community and its Transformation...

Part One The Fabric of Community
1 Insights into Transformation
2 Shifting the Context for Community
3 The Stuck Community
4 The Restorative Community
5 Taking Back our Projections
6 What it Means to be a Citizen
7 The Transforming Community

part 2 The Alchemy of Belonging
8 Leadership is Convening
9 The Small Group is the Unity of Transformation
10 Questions More Transforming than Answers
11 Invitation
12 The Possibility, Ownership, Dissent, Commitment and Gifts Conversations
13 Bringing Hospitality into the World
14 Designing Physical Space that Supports Community
15 The End of Unnecessary Suffering

Peter Block is a proponent of servant leadership, a concept initiated by Robert Greenleaf.
Block has a newer book out, The Abundant Community.

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