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Daniel Berrigan, Part III, Prophet in Our Times

by John K. Stoner (March 9, 2018)

In my December 29 blog I promised further blogs on "those who use the methods of peace to pursue the goal of peace."  I've written two on Daniel Berrigan; this will be the third and last on him.

It was reading Jim Forest's recently published book that set me to drawing on Dan's voice from the past--my focus for this series is on voices in the present.  But I want to commend his book to you--AT PLAY IN THE LIONS' DEN: A BIOGRAPHY AND MEMOIR OF DANIEL BERRIGAN (Orbis, 2017).  Jim Wallis wrote this about it:

As a young activist, who had been kicked out of my home church over the issues of race and war, Daniel Berrigan was the first Christian I heard of who was against the war in Vietnam.  So I thank you Dan, for keeping my hope of faith in Christ alive.  You were among the biblical prophets who showed us the way.  And thank you, Jim Forest, for this superlative spiritual writing."

Wallis says he was kicked out of his church--it was a conservative evangelical church.  Berrigan avoided being kicked out of his church, Roman Catholic, over his peace activism, but just barely.  There is a lot in this book about how he painfully struggled with his church and the Jesuits, the Catholic order in which he had taken vows.  It is instructive to read this history, including correspondence between Berrigan and Thomas Merton, on destruction of "property," and obedience to "superiors." 

So I suggest, lay aside THE TIMES and THE POST for a few days, and read a prophet from OUR TIMES.   

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