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Few books on the market share not only a vision of Jesus’ nonviolence but also ways of actually living out that same vision today. Who better to write such a work than Father John Dear, an internationally known peacemaker?
Put Down Your Sword invites us into Jesus’ way of nonviolence as presented by the Gospels. Arguing that all Christians must follow Christ’s example in the ways of peace, Dear outlines the many actions he himself has taken following the path of nonviolence, modeling his own vision of peace in this turbulent world.
First sharing his convictions and insights about the nonviolence of Jesus, the Beatitudes, the nature of God, and the mystery of the resurrection, Dear goes on to relate stories from the various protests in which he has been involved. Journal entries from missions to India and Colombia offer a poignant backdrop for his impassioned argument. Dear also profiles the peacemakers he finds most inspiring, from Martin Luther King Jr. to Henri Nouwen to Joan Baez. Finally, he reflects on care for the earth, the teachings of Thomas Merton, and the vision of a new world without war, poverty, or violence.
I The Commandments of Gospel Nonviolence 1
1 The Last Words of Jesus 3
2 The Beatitudes of Peace 6
3 Our Image of God 11
4 The Politics of the Sacred Heart 14
5 Resurrection! 17
6 The Common Ground of Interfaith Nonviolence 20
II Nonviolence in Action 25
7 Sackcloth and Ashes 27
8 Standing Up at the School of the Americas 32
9 To the Tombs and Back 35
10 The Santa Fe Nine 39
11 Generosity, Not Domination 42
III Pilgrimages of Nonviolence 45
12 A Pilgrimage to Gandhi's India 47
13 Witness for Peace in Colombia 80
14 The Road Isn't Easy 110
IV Practitioners of Nonviolence 115
15 Dr. King's Daring Nonviolence 117
16 The Moral Leadership of Ignacio Ellacuria, Cesar Chavez, and Philip Berrigan 124
17 Ten Nobel Peace Laureates 134
18 Henri Nouwen's Spirituality of Peace 137
19 Denise Levertov's Peacemaking Poetry 141
20 Joan Baez: A Voice for Peace 144
21 Bill O'Donnell: Peacemaking Priest 147
22 On Retreat with Thich Nhat Hanh 154
23 Sophie Scholl and the White Rose 158
24 Franziska and Franz Jagerstatter 162
V The Vision of Nonviolence 169
25 The Earth Means the World to Me 171
26 The Wisdom of Thomas Merton 175
27 A World without War 183
Posted April 2, 2011
"Put down your sword." So said Jesus to his apostle in the Garden of Gethsemane. How many among our leaders today cite this profound peace message of Jesus as the "apostles" of perennial war do just the opposite? In this work the author reminds us just who the true Prince of Peace is, always referring to Jesus as "the nonviolent Jesus." It's worth a read by those of us deeply troubled by the current spread of war and violence everywhere. It reminds us also that the strength, courage, and faith that were Gandhi's are well and alive in great souls everywhere today, including that of this great priest/author, John Dear, S. J.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 22, 2011
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