Celebrate the Peace Parade: Books on Nonviolence, in Theory and in Practice

Article excerpt

FEW AMERICANS HAVE done more for establishing the theological framework for Christian pacifism than John Howard Yoder. In 1983 Yoder, a Mennonite, gave 11 lectures to the Polish Ecumenical Council on the history of nonviolence. In Nonviolence--A Brief History: The Warsaw Lectures (Baylor University Press), Yoder's lectures are published for the first time. Topics include the U.S. civil rights movement, just war tradition, Jewish pacifism, the science of conflict, and, notably, three lectures on Roman Catholic peace theology (with examination of Vatican II documents and reflections on the Catholic Worker movement).

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Catholic feminist theologian Mary C. Grey's The Advent of Peace: A Gospel Journey to Christmas (SPCK) uses contemporary political conflicts, particularly in the Middle East, to interpret the Advent readings and engage Christians more deeply in the incarnational call to be peacemakers.

Living With the Wolf: Walking the Way of Nonviolence, edited by Peter Ediger (Pace e Bene), collects 50 stories from 20 years of Christian peacemaking through the Pace e Bene community based in Oakland, California. Contributors include: Mary Litell, Josephine Olagunju, and Louis Vitale. Since 1989, Pace e Bene trainers have led 600 workshops on nonviolent social change.

Grungy subculture artist and writer Ho Che Anderson released the hardcover King: A Comics Biography--The Special Edition (Fantagraphics Books), combining his three-part Martin Luther King Jr. graphic biography with additional extras about Anderson's creative process. Toronto-based Anderson, a leading artist in black American comics who is influenced by Howard Chaykin (Black Kiss) and the Hernandez Brothers (Love and Rockets), depicts a gritty King who is both inspiring orator and womanizer, political radical and late-night clubber, Christian pastor and FBI target. In his black-and-white comicnoir style, Anderson displays the mechanics of Kingian nonviolence in an authentic, accessible, and enjoyable format.

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Bonhoeffer and King: Their Legacies and Import for Christian Social Thought, edited by Willis Jenkins and Jennifer M. McBride (Fortress Press), doesn't have any pictures, but includes essays from 20 leading ethicists, theologians, and practitioners on these two men who hold such esteem in Christian social imagination. …