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Living Peace: A Spirituality of Contemplation and Action Kindle Edition

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Length: 242 pages

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

John Dear, a Jesuit priest, directs the Fellowship of Reconciliation, "the largest, oldest interfaith peace organization in the United States." Since 1915, the organization has advocated nonviolence as the only sure path to peace; its members have included Martin Luther King Jr., Thomas Merton, and Helen Prejean. Living Peace: A Spirituality of Contemplation and Action is a spiritual handbook for readers who seek to make peace in their lives and in the world. The journey to peace, as Dear describes it, is composed of an Inner Journey (involving solitude, silence, prayer, and mindfulness), and a Public Journey (involving direct political action), which, undertaken together, make possible reconciliation and transformation on a global level. "If we try, and keep trying, and stay faithful to the journey unto our last breath, we will find great joy and a peace not of this world, knowing that we serve not only the human family but the God of peace." Dear's book includes historical anecdotes and concise descriptions of particular challenges facing American readers today ("If we want to live in peace, we must learn to love the people of Iraq."), but his descriptions of spiritual exercises, particularly his own morning devotions, may be the most compelling parts of Living Peace. --Michael Joseph Gross

From Publishers Weekly

The Fellowship of Reconciliation is the oldest interfaith peace group in America, its members having included Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King Jr. and Helen Prejean. Now its director gives readers a succinct, moving paean to peace, in which he suggests that peacemaking on a world level first requires making peace within. Dear advocates long amounts of time in prayer, and peaceful prayer at that not just talking to God, but listening for God. Dear recommends that readers take up Ignatian prayer, in which one meditates on a Scripture passage and imagines one's way into the biblical scene (though readers will have to turn elsewhere for a truly thorough introduction to this method of prayer). "To live a life of peace," writes Dear, we must also practice peace "with the whole world," so in the second section, he turns to "The Public Journey." Worldwide peacemaking begins with an active choice for peace: Dear himself committed his life to peace while on a trip to Israel during the war with Lebanon. Some of the book's most encouraging passages recount Dear's own efforts at peacemaking: stays of execution he was instrumental in bringing about, trips to war-torn El Salvador, protests against Trident nuclear submarines. Remarkably, Dear never sounds moralistic or self-congratulatory; the book reads more like one friend sharing his experiences with another. In this inspiring little book, Dear proves himself the William Sloane Coffin of our day.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


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More About the Author

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.

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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Therese A. Hagemann on July 5, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book should be required reading for all Christians. If enough did, we would have a beautiful world. Violence is eating the soul and heart out of this country. We need to turn it around and make the love of Jesus our guiding principle.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Joanna C. Stott on September 15, 2008
Format: Paperback
Honest insight into the meaning of the Christian Message of all inclusive love which leads to true peace. Dear's is not a message of "feel good Christianity". He takes gospel of nonviolence seriously and invites all to follow.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Talk about peace everywhere is cheap and present everywhere. My own life is full of peace talk. It takes a book like this to show us how to translate all that cozy, fuzzy talk into action, and for that alone this is an important book. Fr. Dear is clearly a man who walks his talk, and the result is this beautiful, practical and inspiring roadmap to a useful life of peace. I will be re-reading this often.
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