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:: B O O K :: P A G E ::
Pedro Casaldáliga: in Pursuit of the Kingdom


NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE AS A FREE PDF BOOK:

BISHOP PEDRO CASALDÁLIGA
In Pursuit of the Kingdom
Writings 1968 -1988
Translated by Phillip Berryman
Distributed with permission of the publisher.

About the late Pedro Casaldáliga (1928-2020):
“It was [his] decades of commitment to the people’s struggles, defending and amplifying the voice of the indigenous, the peasants, the blacks, the women and the most forgotten. Since its inception almost 50 years ago, CIMI has been inspired by Bishop Pedro’s example of prophetic life,” said the Indigenous Missionary Council, using its Portuguese acronym, CIMI. “His life was a gift and grace for all of us.”  Download PDF



Kathy Kelly:
Good Friday Sermon at Nuclear Weapons Lab



To see video controls, hover mouse cursor over video area.


This sermon was given on April 18, 2014, by longtime peace activist Kathy Kelly outside the guarded fence of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California, about forty miles east of Oakland. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has designed nuclear weapons for the United States military since the 1950s.  For more information about Kathy Kelly’s life and religiously inspired peace witness, click here.



Oscar Romero, A Saint for Our Times


From the June 2015 issue of Celebration, A Comprehensive Worship Resource

Does beatification signal where Pope Francis is leading the church?

By Pat Marrin

The beatification of martyred Archbishop Oscar Romero on May 23, 2015, acknowledges what has been celebrated throughout Latin America since his assassination at the altar on March 24, 1980, in El Salvador. Blessed Romero gave his life as a good shepherd for his flock in a time of persecution. He modeled what a bishop looks like in a church committed to justice for the poor. Romero’s death and the baptism of blood endured by the people of El Salvador during its 12-year civil war (1980-92) inevitably have larger implications for the universal church, and for us in North America.

Pope Francis’ determination to advance Romero’s cause for sainthood recognizes this witness. It also reveals the influence Romero is having on Francis’ own goal as pope — to move the global church closer to the kind of church that emerged in El Salvador under Romero, whose story is a roadmap to such a church.

This article explores some of its characteristics: a church faithful to the reforms of Vatican II, fully engaged in the modern world and its economic and social struggles; a pastoral church reaching out to the suffering and neglected people at the margins of society; a more vocal and prophetic church challenging global systems that oppress and exploit the poor; and an evangelizing church that practices what it preaches and lives what it prays. Continue reading

Spiritual Activism: Leadership as Service
By Alastair McIntosh and Matt Charmichael — 2015


Over the past half century the issues facing activists have changed, as has our understanding and awareness of spirituality. For activists, spiritual philosophy is rising up the agenda because it offers distinct, tried and tested approaches to deep questions: Where did it all go wrong? What does it mean to be human? What is the place of leadership? What is the nature of power?

The book begins by defining spirituality for a modern audience of all faiths and beliefs, and goes on to consider the problems and necessities of true leadership. Drawing on a rich history of spirituality and activism, from The Bhagavad Gita, to the Hebrew prophets, to Carl Jung, it is both guide and inspiration for people involved in activism for social or environmental justice.

Click here to read sample chapter.

Continue reading

:: B O O K :: P A G E ::
Jesus and the Disinherited
By Howard Thurman


Jesus and the Disinherited
by Howard Thurman

Jesus and the Disinherited is the centerpiece of the Black prophet-mystic’s lifelong attempt to bring the harrowing beauty of the African-American experience into deep engagement with what he called ‘the religion of Jesus.’ Ultimately his goal was to offer this humanizing combination as the basis for an emancipatory way of being, moving toward a fundamentally unchained life that is available to all the women and men everywhere who hunger and thirst for righteousness, especially those ‘who stand with their backs against the wall.’
—Vincent Harding, from the Foreword


Editorial review from Sacred Fire:

Published in 1949, Howard Thurman’s Jesus and the Disinherited delivers a masterful interpretation of how God works in our lives. Thurman was one of the foremost preachers and theologians of the twentieth century, and much of his work centered on the relevance of the Christian message to the contemporary struggles of black people. In this, Thurman’s masterwork, he argues that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is not just a map for getting to the next world, but a guidebook for the empowerment of the poor and disenfranchised in this world. Thurman was one of the leading preachers of this new Social Gospel that eventually flowered in the form of the church-centered civil rights movement.

Thurman identified the central spiritual problems faced by black folks as the overwhelming stresses of poverty, racism, and a sense of spiritual disconnectedness. He then turned to the life of Jesus as a primary example of the power of love to drive the spiritual regeneration required to sustain a vision of God and self in modern society. The life of Jesus serves as a guidepost to the kind of love that is a hallmark of human spirit, success, and personal salvation. But Thurman doesn’t believe that the Gospel only applies to the individual search for salvation: He also challenges our unconscious submission to the philosophies of individualism and insists that the Gospel is a manual of resistance for the poor and disenfranchised.

He interprets the life of Jesus within a context of the oppressed and offers incisive and liberating thoughts on man’s most egregious of sins: fear, deception, and hate. Of fear, he says: “He who fears is literally delivered to destruction…. There are some things that are worse than death. To deny one’s own integrity of personality in the presence of the human challenge is one of those things.” While Jesus and the Disinherited was influential in shaping the philosophies of the early civil rights movement, it remains topical and deeply relevant even today.


 

SOUL/SELF CARE: RESPONSES TO MORAL INJURY 4/1/2020

By John Stoner

Soul/self care: Responses to Moral Injury Post  4/1/20

Responses to yesterdays post about a US military suicide in Iraq war were varied. 

One person said, inventing a probably useful verb, “to me there remains no violencing that is essential, in any way, shape or form.  If I were given to fear, our societal assumptions would scare me.” 

Indeed, what is essential?  This led me to wonder whether one in a hundred, or thousand, Americans asked themselves whether war production was essential. 

Another response, “do these two paragraphs (taken from the 3/28/2020 “What a Plague Reveals” article at https://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/62098-focus-what-a-plague-reveals) feed into the discussion of “nationalism” that you’ve initiated?”

 

“. . . overall, the pandemic has revealed in particularly stark terms that the extreme economic inequalities unmasked by the 2008 economic collapse remain unaddressed. There’s a titanic dynamic playing out now in real time. Celebrities and the wealthy are first in line for the lifeboats of coronavirus tests. Rupert Murdoch and his familyhttps://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/23/business/media/fox-news-coronavirus-rupert-murdoch.html while profiting from a news empire that downplayed and outright disputed the threat of the coronavirus. The permanent residents of resort towns on the Eastern seaboard are being shoved aside https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/25/nyregion/coronavirus-leaving-nyc-vacation-homes.html who are stripping shelves of food and flooding the limited local health facilities.


Another said:  I haven’t thought specifically of less arms production and the reason is probably that the arms industry is kept out of sight, spread around the country, out of mind. Actually, that doesn’t seem like a good answer. We could watch the stocks of the arms producers.


And this question came:  I support you and your efforts but …


I have said  earlier that I think violence, torture , war etc are like scabs  in the infection of “FEAR” . Unless we address Fear we will only deal with the superficial  symptoms of the Fears that we all deal with . This fear of “survival” in the broadest sense  is not some excuse I offer but the cause of these terrible “Fight reactions” . Why is this not  included in your concepts. What am I missing??  To begin the relationship with “Mutual fears” rather than You are evil for your violence and I am good because I am for peace will make a difference in  resolution efforts. Such efforts requires greater effort to “understand”  the person or nation  etc  and work to deepen resolution than just stopping the violence. 

But what am I missing. ? I deeply applaud your writing and conversation  stimulus.”


I hope I may be forgiven for trying to help us avoid national suicide by letting our fears of one thing blind us to the deadly plague of another thing. 

John K. Stoner

________

This and earlier Soul Care reflections can be seen on the website of https://1040forpeace.org, in the right column blog.  To respond, use the “contact” function, top right.

Book: TOWARD A PLANETARY THEOLOGY
Along the Many Paths of God


José María VIGIL (editor)
M. Amaladoss, M. Barros, A. Brighenti,
E.K-F. Chia, A. Egea, P.F. Knitter, D.R. Loy,
L. Magesa, J. Neusner, I.A. Omar, T. Okure,
R. Panikkar, P.C. Phan, A. Pieris, R. Renshaw,
J.A. Robles, K.L. Seshagiri, A.M.L. Soares,
F. Teixeira,
and the
International Theological Commission of
ECUMENICAL ASSOCIATION OF THIRD WORLD THEOLOGIANS
(EATWOT)

Download free PDF file (198 pages)


This book is written for all those who are preoccupied by the future of theology: Where is it headed? How far can it go? Where does it seem to be going?

The result of the investigation that this book presents, directed as it is to people devoted to theology throughout the world and in different world religions, draws a conclusion that is not only positive but a source of enthusiasm: In spite of what many believe, theology is moving, is evolving, is taking risks, is questioning itself, is asking about the transformations that have to be brought about so that it can be a theology for today and a theology for the future. As the religious discipline that it is, it has always been tinged with a halo of eternity, of unquestionability, of immutibility. It seemed that theology—that sacred science!—could not change its classical figure as patrimony of religions and Churches. Continue reading

There MUST be a Better Way
Thoughts as the USA Stumbles Blindly Toward War with Iran

An editorial addressed to his fellow U.S. citizens by Dennis Rivers
January 6, 2020


In the name of Jesus, who said “love your enemies,” and from the Inner Light of my own heart, I mourn the death of every person killed in war, Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani of Iran included. May his children find consolation on the loss of their father.

To all those American politicians and commentators who have just said loudly, “No American will mourn the death of this man,” I ask this question: Is this the best that America can do? Is this all that America can do? How can we ask God to bless America if all America can do is kill people, assassinate leaders of other countries, and then threaten to kill even more people after that?

There MUST be a better way. We cannot possibly be so smart that we can put rovers on Mars, and then be so dumb that we can’t work out our disagreements with other countries. Continue reading

Social Ecology, Ecojustice and the New Testament
Liberating Readings

LATEST ADDITION TO OUR LIBRARY OF FREE BOOKS:

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Social Ecology, Ecojustice and the New Testament
Liberating Readings

Carlos Alberto Sintado

Our planet Earth is going through an unprecedented crisis. The current ecological predicament is such that has the potential to annihilate life as we know it today. It is a global phenomenon that concerns every human being and even the whole creation itself. The international community and many organizations have issued persistent calls to change habits and behaviors as well as the basic organizational pattern of societies to make this world sustainable for future generations.
  Continue reading

The Spirituality of Liberation — By Pedro Casaldáliga and José Maria Vigil

The Spirituality of Liberation  (PDF)
By Pedro Casaldáliga and José Maria Vigil
(released in free PDF format by authors)

From the Prologue:

The theology of liberation had to produce a spirituality of liberation. In effect it has done so. This is the subject of this book.

This is, as one might have expected, a new spirituality, different from the traditional spirituality in which we older people were brought up. It is also a specifically Latin-Ameri- can spirituality. Like the church itself, it is no less universal for being local. And it is a realist and not a theoretical spirituality.

This spirituality is radically different from that of those who close their eyes to society and politics: that is, to the poor, to the ever-widening abyss betwen rich and poor. This means that it is different from the bourgeois spirituality of the rich and the ‘ ruling classes—though these also contain poor, blind led by blind guides, poor people who also shut their eyes, to poverty, and to themselves.

This spirituality says radical things, and the reader will find them in this book: such as that the poor are the only sacrament for salvation. And that people are divided not into believers and unbelievers, but according to their attitude to the poor.

read more (English translation) ~ ~ ~ edición original en español



Also from these authors, in multiple languages, The Latin American Agenda an index of twenty-seven years of writing, collecting, editing and publishing scholarly materials on social and religious challenges, visions, progress and problems in Latin America.

Click here to download PDF file