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|Resistance as Prayer||83|
Posted December 26, 2009
Nouwen writes this book with a vision of a world poised for self-destruction by nuclear war as the back drop. Peacework is urgent because it is "the task of saving humanity from collective suicide." The choice now is "between peace and the end of humanity. He uses a triptych of Prayer, Risistance and Community. While this may seem a narrow view simply caused by a worse case scenerio, it also provides Nouwen with an urgency that causes him to annalyze his own experience and make some new and different choices as to his personal behavior toward war and peace. He achieves a balance not seen in much of the literature. His warning are not only directed at those who make war, but also those who work for peace. I would cite two examples: "When peacemaking is based on fear it is not much different form warmaking. Although peacemaker may use words that ere different from those used by warmakers, they still might bespeaking the same language. They remail captive to the strategies of those who want to fight." (p35); "Here we touch the greatest dangers that face the peacemakers: That peacemakers themselves become the victims of the evil forces they are tring to overcome. The same fear of 'the enemy' that leads wormakers to war can begin to affect the peacemaker who sees the warmaker as 'the enemy.'"p69)
The triptych of Prayer, Resistance and Community moves the reader from an individual concern for peace, to activity for peace, ending with the building of the counter-cultural community where peacework can be modeled and which provides a witness to the quest for shalom, "flourishing rlations with God, fellow man, and nature.