The God of Peace: Toward a Theology of Nonviolence

By Grant, J. Jeremy M. | Interpretation, October 1996 | Go to article overview

The God of Peace: Toward a Theology of Nonviolence


Grant, J. Jeremy M., Interpretation


The God of Peace: Toward a Theology of Nonviolence, by John Dear. Orbis Books, Maryknoll, 1994. 212 pp. $16.95 (paper). ISBN 0-88344-980-3.

"THE GOD OF PEACE is never glorified by human violence," reads the Thomas Merton quotation at this book's opening. John Dear goes further, though: The God of Peace never has nor will use violence but is transforming the violence of this world through God's present reign. This realm of God's nonviolence was alive in Jesus and spreads today through the community of peacemakers who actively pursue unconditional, universal love with the nonviolent means of sacraments, liturgy, and daily praxis.

Dear points out three twentiethcentury people who have lived out the "seamless" ethic of nonviolence. "Mohandas Gandhi, Dorothy Day and Martin Luther King, Jr., brought the world's attention to the possibility of nonviolence" (p. 11). Dear himself continues to live out this gospel of nonviolence. (He was imprisoned at press-time for pouring blood and hammering on a nuclear-capable jet with Pax Christi Spirit of Life Plowshares.) He provides in this book the theological and spiritual foundation for such a life.

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