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Experience the powerful legacy of Philip Berrigan’s nonviolent resistance to war and empire

From the battlefields of World War II to the front lines of peace activism, Philip Berrigan evolved from soldier to scholar, priest to political prisoner. Confronting the fundamental nature of America’s military-focused culture, Berrigan took an unyielding stance against societal evils—war, systemic racism, unchecked materialism, and the baleful presence of nuclear weapons. Imprisoned by his government and ostracized by his Church, Berrigan’s life is a courageous example of nonviolent resistance and liberation in the face of overwhelming odds.

A Ministry of Risk is the definitive collection of Philip Berrigan’s writings. Authorized by the Berrigan family and arranged chronologically, these writings depict the transformation of one revolu­tionary soul while also providing a firsthand account of a nation grappling with its martial obsessions.

Threading the vibrant fabric of history with autobiographical insights, introspective theology, and a clarion call to activism, A Ministry of Risk offers both a living manifesto of nonviolent resistance and a journal of spiritual reflection by one of the 20th century’s most prophetic voices.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781531506285
Publisher: Fordham University Press
Publication date: 04/02/2024
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 188,356
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

John Dear S.J. (Afterword By)
John Dear is a long- time peace activist, priest, and author of 40 books on peace and nonviolence. He is the director of and was a close friend of Philip Berrigan. He is the executor of the Daniel Berrigan Literary Trust and lives in California. For more information about John and his work, visit

Philip Berrigan (Author)
Philip Berrigan, an American peace activist and Catholic priest, spent 11 years in prison for advocating nonviolent resistance to war. Notably part of the Baltimore Four and Catonsville Nine, he protested wars from Vietnam to Iraq. The author of numerous books, he was a Nobel Peace Prize nominee.

Brad Wolf (Edited By)
Brad Wolf, former prosecutor and professor, co- founded Peace Action Network of Lancaster, PA. He coordinated the Merchants of Death War Crimes Tribunal and writes for numerous publications.

Bill Wylie-Kellermann (Foreword By)
Bill Wylie- Kellermann is a retired Methodist pastor, nonviolent community activist, teacher, and author. His books include Celebrant’s Flame: Daniel Berrigan in Memory and Reflection (2021); A Keeper of the Word: Selected Writings of William Stringfellow (1996), Principalities in Particular: A Practical Theology of the Powers that Be (2017), and Seasons of Faith and Conscience (1991). He was also a contributing editor of Sojourners.

Frida Berrigan (Preface By)
Frida Berrigan lives in New London, CT, with her husband and three children. She is an urban farmer and community activist, organizing around affordable home ownership with the Southeastern Connecticut Community Land Trust, and against the ever-stretching shadow of militarism with the Connecticut Committee on Nuclear Prohibition. She writes periodically for, and In These Times, and is the author of the 2015 book It Runs In The Family: On Being Raised By Radicals And Growing Into Rebellious Motherhood.

Table of Contents

Foreword: Witness and Wisdom
Bill Wylie- Kellermann | xv

Frida Berrigan | xxi

Brad Wolf | xxvii

Prologue: Worlds on Fire
Philip Berrigan | xxxix

Part I: A Catholic Trying to Be a Christian, 1957–67
Christ in Our Midst | 3
What’s It Going to Be with You? | 5
The Freedom Rides | 7
JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis | 9
The Nature of Christian Witness | 11
Segregation and the Nuclear Arms Race | 13
Questioning the Christian “Credo” | 15
I Will Take My Stand, Come What May | 17
Peace Is the Duty of Our Time | 19
Faithful Enough to Suffer, Daring Enough to Serve | 23
The Priest and Society | 26
Liberation from the Pathology of War | 28
Pacifist or Peacemaker | 29
The Gospel Means Peacemaking | 31

Part II: Resisting the Vietnam War, 1967– 73
Diary from the Baltimore City Jail | 37
Christianity and Revolution Are Synonymous | 40
Trying to Serve Love | 43
Times for Confronting Injustice | 46
All of Us Are Prisoners | 48
We Claim a Higher Law | 54
The Christian Roots of Protest | 56
After the Trial, Hope | 58
Truth Creates Its Own Room | 60
Liberation from Fear | 64
Acts of Faith | 65
Our Responsibility to Each Other | 66
We Have Trouble with Surrender | 68
The Sinless One Continues to Haunt Me | 70
Following the Man of Calvary | 75
Resistance Is Essential | 77
Withstanding the Attacks | 80
Marriage with Liz | 82
Smear and Ridicule | 85
The USA vs. Philip Berrigan | 86
Revolution, Berrigan Style | 87
Obeying God’s Word Can Get You Killed | 88
We Constitute the Church in Chains | 89
Fasting in Prison | 95
Resistance, Liberation, and Fear | 97
Prayer, Risk, and Generosity | 99
The Strength and Faith of Liz | 101
Renewing Wedding Vows | 103
Truth and Peace Mean Resistance | 104
An Enemy of the State | 106
Our Acts Are Nonviolent 107
On Self- Pity While in Prison | 109
What We Do to the Vietnamese, We Do to Ourselves | 110
The Plastic Goliaths | 116
Acquittal | 118
To Create Hope Is to Wrestle with Death | 120
Dealing with the “Blahs” in Prison | 124
Thanksgiving 1972 | 126
Finally Free . . . for a While | 127

Part III: Community, Plowshares, and the Bomb, 1973–2002
Paying Dearly for Our Love | 131
Religion and Politics | 134
A Ministry of Risk and Liberation | 136
Disarm or Dig Graves | 140
Resisting Nuclear Suicide | 143
A Leaflet at Christmas: Christ or the Bomb | 145
A Time When No Leader Can Buy Us | 147
The Kenosis of Christ | 149
Fools on Christ’s Account | 151
Thoughts from Alexandria Jail | 153
Prophecy and Life | 155
Hostage to the Bomb | 159
Back to the Pentagon | 160
We Cannot Be Silent if We Want Peace | 162
Letter from Prison to Dorothy Day | 164
A Call to Faithfulness | 166
Naming the Beast | 168
Tribute to Liz | 169
Liz in Prison | 171
Beating Swords into Plowshares | 172
Liz Resists the Arms Race, Again | 177
Disarming the Nuclear Navy— and Ourselves | 183
Empire and the Super-rich | 186
Free Enough to Go to Jail | 189
Commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. | 192
Isaiah in North Carolina | 194
Hellholes, Courts, Jails: A Triple Source of Resistance | 197
Suffering Servanthood | 200
Working for the Long Haul | 203
My Roots Are in the Church | 205
“From Prison, Old Militant Struggles On” | 206
Reliance on Community | 207
Ash Wednesday Action | 209
Agenda for Renewal | 212
No Freedom without Love | 215
Loving Our Enemies | 217
We Aren’t Doing OK by Ourselves | 220
A Harvest of Death | 224
The Trial of Depleted Uranium | 227
God Becomes Light to Us | 229
The Healing Act of Forgiveness | 231
Doing Good and Resisting Evil | 233
Time for a National Strike | 236
Notes from Prison on 9/11 | 238
Final Journal Entries 2002 | 241
Phil’s Last Statement, Unfinished, November 2002 | 243

John Dear | 245

Acknowledgments | 253

Contributors | 255

Photographs follow page 154

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