Item description for Practicing Peace: A Devotional Walk Through the Quaker Tradition by Catherine Whitmire...
Overview From the bestselling author Whitmire comes this guide to the Quaker discipline of practicing peace. Stories of successful nonviolent movements throughout history are partnered with quotes mined from over 350 years of Quaker teachings on peace.
Publishers Description Quaker author Catherine Whitmire shares stories of successful nonviolent movements throughout history partnered with quotes mined from over 350 years of teachings on peace. Query questions lead readers on a journey to self-discovery and through the stages of practicing peace: first by focusing inwardly, then turning our eyes to practice peace in the world around us. This resources serves as a devotional guide to the Quaker discipline of practicing peace for spiritual seekers of any religious tradition.
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Quaker author Cathy Whitmire has served for decades in many leadership roles in the Quaker community, including supervising community empowerment projects in New England for the American Friends Service Committee. She is an Alternatives to Violence trainer, and has nonviolent communication and mediation training. Whitmire received a master of divinity degree in 1987 from Harvard Divinity School. She has served as a Protestant chaplain and pastoral counselor on a psychiatric unit of an inner-city hospital in Boston. She attended the Shalem Institute's program in spiritual direction in 1997 and also writes, provides spiritual direction, and leads peace and nonviolence workshops and retreats. The mother of a grown son and two stepsons, Whitmire lives with her husband, Tom Ewell, in a home overlooking Puget Sound in Washington.
Reviews - What do customers think about Practicing Peace: A Devotional Walk Through the Quaker Tradition?
Profound Insights in Bite-Sized Pieces Jun 26, 2007
I don't know if I've written a book review since high school or college 30-40 years ago but I loved this book when I first read it in draft, and even more now, so I just have to say so. As I'm anything but an egghead, it's a delight not to have to plough through Kierkegaard or other heavyweights and yet to still get a chance to think about several centuries of profound insights in bite-sized pieces. Plus it makes me laugh--not a lot, to be sure, but every once in a while I'm startled into laughing right out loud.
The book builds so gently with carefully-organized chapters, from loving ourselves and spiritual renewal through parenting and money--I particularly appreciated the one on beauty and joy--and by the time it gets to the terrifying bits, like people sacrificing their lives for peace (Jesus, for one, of course), it still manages not to overwhelm me with guilt for the world's plight but invite me ever so lovingly to consider what I might do. The author was what we Friends call "clerk" of my meeting when I first met her, and she is one of those who not only sees the best in us, but makes it come true by her having seen it there. Her book is like that.
On the other hand, one of the modern quotations in it (on page 195) echoes what the original Quakers knew, that "many people hate [the light of God within us] because it condemns their behavior." I was surprised by the bit of behavior of mine that the book brought to my attention to be condemned. It was in the chapter about fear. Now when I was young I had driven the Quaker van around burning barricades in Belfast and felt upheld by God's love and the love of the people on the ground who took me and my frightened vanload in until the gunfire calmed down. I had not feared the chapter on fear. And yet, it struck home in an unexpected way---the "fear of looking stupid" (page 171). In meeting for worship a little while after reading that and the chapter on the costs of witnessing, I saw that it is not the fear of getting my name "on the suspect-lists of patriotic watchdog organizations" (page 232) but the fear of being unpopular with my congregation (also page 232)--my very own meeting--that has kept me too silent in the past year.
Finally, I like the typeface and layout of the book. The stories are short enough that I can remember the gist to tell friends at dinner when various topics arise and the book is easy enough to read that I can pull it from my bag and flip through it quickly to find a precise quote when I want it, and so far I've wanted to do that quite often!