Item description for A Persistent Peace: One Man's Struggle for a Nonviolent World by Sj John Dear...
Overview A nationally known peace activist recounts his decades-long journey, discussing his bold, decisive, and often unpopular actions before government officials, military leaders, and even hostile representatives of the Church.
Publishers Description All of us say we want peace, but only a few are willing to prove it.John Dear, SJ, has been arrested more than seventy-five times. He has spent more than a year of his life in jail. He has been mocked by an armed and angry U.S. National Guard battalion standing outside the doors to his New Mexico parish. All this because he so fervently believes in peace. "A Persistent Peace," John Dear's autobiography, invites readers to follow the decades-long journey and spiritual growth of this nationally known peace activist, and to witness his bold, decisive, often unpopular actions before government officials, military higher-ups, and even representatives of the Church. From his conversion to Christianity, to his calling to become a Jesuit, to the extreme dangers and delights of a life dedicated to truly living out the radical, forgiving love of Jesus, Dear's incredible story will touch the heart of anyone who believes in the power of peace and the possibility of a world where love conquers all.Praise for John Dear and A Persistent Peace "Once more, and in a plenary way, we are blessed by the eloquence and moral passion of John Dear. . . . More power to this intrepid disciple of Christ--The Peacemaker." --Daniel Berrigan, author of "The Trial of the Catonsville Nine" "John Dear understands that peacemaking is not a part-time job. . . . John has walked the talk for years, an inspiration to all of us to do more than we think we can." --Jim Wallis, author of The Great Awakening and president, Sojourners "John Dear has been arrested in the cause of peace and human decency more times than anyone else I know. I am honored to consider him a friend." --Joan Baez, singer and peace activist "John Dear is a great spiritual progressive leader whose wisdom, courage, and gentleness make him one of the most beloved teachers of nonviolence in America. . . . Reading this book will make you less lonely by knowing that you're sharing your time on earth with John Dear." --Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor of "Tikkun" magazine"Look, I know this guy. He's real; and he shows that it's possible for ordinary folks to really live Jesus' call to be peacemakers. . . . Prepare your own heart as you open this book." --Sr. Helen Prejean, CSJ, author of "Dead Man Walking" "John Dear's life story is inspiring and heartwarming." --Howard Zinn, author of "A People's History of the United States"
Citations And Professional Reviews A Persistent Peace: One Man's Struggle for a Nonviolent World by Sj John Dear has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Publishers Weekly - 05/12/2008 page 51
Christian Retailing - 07/07/2008 page 75
Booklist - 08/01/2008 page 10
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Studio: Loyola Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.1" Width: 6.1" Height: 1.7" Weight: 1.84 lbs.
Release Date Aug 1, 2008
Publisher Loyola Pr
ISBN 0829427201 ISBN13 9780829427202
Availability 0 units.
More About Sj John Dear
John Dear, SJ, is a Jesuit priest, peace activist, organizer, lecturer, and retreat leader. He is also the author/editor of twenty books on peace and nonviolence. John was recently nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa. John lives in northern New Mexico. Visit his Web site at www.persistentpeace.com.
John Dear currently resides in New York City, in the state of New York. John Dear was born in 1959.
Reviews - What do customers think about A Persistent Peace: One Man's Struggle for a Nonviolent World?
Paradox Nov 21, 2009
I find a great and curious paradox in the title of this book. You can only be peace. Creating Peace by Being Peace: The Essene Sevenfold Path
John the Great Oct 30, 2009
I first heard about John Dear while working within a group to develop a 2010 Seasons for Nonviolence program. I urged that we invite him to come to our town, but it didn't work out. I feel closer to the work that he has accomplished through reading this autobiography and will still strive to meet him personally someday.
The Inner Journey of Peace in John Dear's A Persistent Peace Jul 6, 2009
The most important gift John Dear gives the reader is a candid revelation of his spiritual journey. A willingness to share his interior struggles when confronted with unflagging opposition from both superiors and hawks identifies him with the common of mortal. But John Dear, unlike most, has taken the Gospel message literally. Through his life witness he provides the reader with a glimpse of what following the Gospel message should look like in our violent times. Vivid images and compact text elicit both laughter and breathless gasps.
This book is a compelling read to the 10th power!
Inspiring May 12, 2009
I can't imagine why I had not heard of John Dear before. As this book points out, he has been involved in various peace movements since the Reagan-supported supression of uprisings in Central America. Probably not a book for admirers of ex-VP Dick Cheney, but as a peacenik, I personally loved it! Beyond that, John Dear is obviously a serious follower of Jesus' teachings and the book is full of solid Christian insight. Bottom line: John Dear believes with all his heart that to follow Jesus requires one to work for peace. To this end he has devoted his life, despite continuing uphill struggles with authorities.
No Ivory Tower May 11, 2009
I am glad that John Dear is telling his story. He challenges and might disturb. It is not the sort of story to make friends, critics, or ordinary upstanding tax-paying citizens comfortable! Several nights it kept me awake, hardly able to put it down.
It juxtaposes a dramatic, impetuous, idealistic young Jesuit priest, called to justice and peacemaking, with government officials and local Church superiors who restrain him quite unsympathetically, as he challenges the world's injustice, corruption, oppression, and cruelty.
Of daring and risk, there are plenty. Of a large canvas and dramatic encounters--with Teresa of Calcutta and Desmond Tutu; with a high Pentagon official and Federal judges; with Salvadoran Jesuit academics and Irish Mairead Corrigan; with the living God, on the edge of the Sea of Galilee as Israeli jets streak toward and over him on their way to bomb Lebanon.
He moves among prominent players on a political stage, befriending icons of media, government, and church as matter-of-factly as he befriends the poor and oppressed. He visits a Smithsonian curator who assembled an exhibit on the B-29 "Enola Gay" that bombed Hiroshima. "You have no idea," the curator says, furtively and in a whisper, "of the forces within the government opposing this exhibit, not in your wildest dreams."
A man of extraordinary strength and power, he plows through collected works of Mohandas Gandhi in half a year while organizing peace demonstrations. He is affected when homeless advocate and recovering drug addict Mitch Snyder is driven by demons of loneliness to suicide.
With candor, he writes of uncomfortable truths, violating the greatest taboo for a priest--against writing openly of life behind the black code of silence. He writes of stinging abuse by his Jesuit superior and, the night before ordination, by the bishop who ordained him; about staunch rejection by a prosperous New Mexico parish and, cruelly, by the bishop who sent him there. He writes as well of blessings and approval given him by the Jesuit Superior General and the Pope. He emerges not as a hothead, but as a man struggling to discipline himself--a Jesuit, a writer, an impulsive lover of God and the poor.
He struggles against temptations to badger opponents. He plunges into the peace movement of his time, supporting the in-your-face blood-pouring, plane-hammering "Plowshares" actions. Accepting secrecy as a tactic, he creeps with a raiding band through the forest surrounding Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina in order to damage a jet fighter. In justification he refers to Jesus's expulsion of money changers from the temple, allowing for no distinction between a temple and a Roman garrison.
I could encourage the author to engage the internal dialogues within the peace movement about ends and means, strategy and tactics. I could encourage him to give us more personal context. We know virtually nothing of his relationships with family or friends or of any exclusive affections such as those that humanize Thomas Merton and Karol Wojtyla. Yet he is by no means bloodless--deeply experiencing playfulness, pain, rejection, loneliness, and white hot anger.
These are small reservations. The book is a classic of contemporary Catholic peace and justice activism. One day I hope to read the rest of the story.
John Dear currently lives in the solitude and loneliness of the high New Mexican desert, a hermit like Thomas Merton. His renunciation and isolation stand in mysterious relief all the more stark against the context of a life of action, its perigee yet undetermined.