In word and deed, whether in courts, jail cells, classrooms, or chapels, Daniel Berrigan has proclaimed the Word of God: 'Blessed are teh peacemakers.' That testimony rings loud and clear in this collection of recent writings on peace, faith, and the imperative of hope.
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Berrigan, a Jesuit priest who has spent his life preaching non-violence and care for the poor, offers more than 40 short essays and excerpts from his writings on peace and justice. Highlights include chapters on the peacemaking activities of fellow workers Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King Jr., Thomas Merton, Archbishop Romero and the author’s brother, Philip Berrigan. This last essay includes hard-hitting criticism of the media’s non-coverage of pacifists; Berrigan condemns "the studied silence of those who purportedly exist to inform the public." The book’s final section discusses how Christians can remain Christians in a war-making state, and includes a moving poem that Berrigan penned in 2001 when U.S. Catholic bishops approved Bush’s war in Afghanistan. Although the book’s foreword by fellow Jesuit John Dear gives a fine introduction to Berrigan’s life and mission, there is no introduction explaining the goal of this book or the origins of these sermons and essays. The book simply jumps right in with Berrigan’s rumination on the "swords and plowshares" passage from Isaiah 2. Readers who are already familiar with Berrigan’s work will not consider this a problem, but beginners will wish for more context.
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