ePub Essential Writings ePub

by Daniel Berrigan

This book, introduced and edited by John Dear who was mentored by Berrigan, is a wealth of materials of Berrigan’s talks and writings through the years as well as some of his poetry.

I am not a big fan of the poetry, although that probably says more about me than about Berrigan's skill as a poet, but I continue to be challenged by Berrigan's narration of his thoughts about peacemaking, thoughts tied in with his extensive non-violent, civil disobedience through the years.

Here are just a few of the statements I liked:

“The nonviolent person is the one who within normal times can save normal times from their idolatries—neglect of the poor, growing bourgeois selfishness, weapons or war, and the other realities around us” (p. 64).

In 1970 Berrigan wrote, “Americans who can bear equably with the sight of burning children are enraged and baffled by the sight of burning draft files” (p. 112). Also, “There is no peace because the making of peace is at least as costly as the making of war—at least as exigent, at least as disruptive, at least as liable to bring disgrace and prison and death in its wake” (p. 113).

In his court testimony in March 1981, Berrigan said, “I have learned that we must not kill if we are Christians. . . . I have read that Christ our Lord underwent death rather than inflict it. And I am supposed to be a disciple” (p. 189). Later: “The only message I have to the world is: We are not allowed to kill innocent people. We are not allowed to be complicit in murder. We are not allowed to be silent while preparations for mass murder proceed in our name, without money, secretly” (p. 192).

"The first nonviolent revolution was, of course, the Resurrection. The event had to include death as its first act. And also the command to Peter, 'Put up your sword." So that it might be clear, once and for all, that Christians suffer death rather than inflict it" (p. 276).

"The 'just war theory' is in fact a cruel oxymoron. War, no matter its provocation or justification, is of its essence and nature, supremely unjust. The injustice of war implies a blasphemous inflation of human authority, that humans are allowed to decree who shall live and who shall die, to dispose of human differences by disposing of humans. We are done with that theory forever" (p. 278).

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Book Title
Book Author
PublisherOrbis Books
Release date 01.11.2009
Pages count224
eBook formatPaperback, (torrent)En
File size3.3 Mb
Book rating4.16 (19 votes)
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