A Call to Gospel Nonviolence

Another compelling event from Will O’Brien of the Alternative Seminary in Philly.

Dear friends, 

I am reaching out to many friends and colleagues of the Alternative Seminary with a request that you help promote our upcoming program.

We are once again doing the special Advent program, “The Cross of Christ: Justification for Redemptive Violence or a Call to Gospel Nonviolence?” on Saturday, February 25.

As those of you who have participated in the past know, the program offers a critique of how atonement theology has bred terrible suffering by offering a vision of sacred violence that justifies actual violence, especially again women and minority communities. Starting with resituating Jesus’s crucifixion in historical context, we explore how the cross can be seen as a symbol of nonviolent resistance to oppressive powers. The themes continue to be urgent, especially with the rise of Christian nationalism, in this country and around the world.

I would be so grateful if you could send the formation about the program through your network, using any email lists, websites, Facebook, or other social media platforms.  I think it is important that we draw more people into the network of folks committed to radical discipleship and a liberating faith – and this is a great opportunity for that.

Also, if you have any ideas for this year’s program (special resources, liturgies, music), that would be wonderful.

Information on the program is below.  Here is a link to the Facebook page.

Thanks for your continuing faithful witness, and for the gift of being companeros with you on the path of Jesus and Beloved Community.

Peace, blessings, hope,

Will O’Brien                                                                                                                                       


The Alternative Seminary invites you to




Saturday morning, February 25, 2022

10:30 am – 12:30 pm EST

At a time when a militant Christian nationalism continues to grow in the United States, followers of Jesus are challenged to assert the radical gospel of love, justice, and Beloved Community.

Part of this task is reclaiming the core image of our faith:  the Cross of Christ.  The founder of our faith was sent to the cross as an execution by empire – yet for thousands of years, that same cross has been wielded by empire to justify and bless human violence.

We will explore the history of “redemptive violence” that has flowed from theologies of atonement. We will revisit the crucifixion of Jesus in its historical context and explore the questions:  How and why did Jesus die?  How is his death related to his ministry in the Gospels?  How did the early communities grasp his death, and how does it make us think differently about the Resurrection?  We will reflect on how a more radical understanding of the passion of Christ can impact our discipleship, and particularly our efforts to witness to justice and shalom in a world of empire, violence, and degradation of creation.

This session will be facilitated by Will O’Brien, coordinator of The Alternative Seminary. 

A challenging event as we journey in Lent toward Good Friday.

Registration is required. You can register at this link:



The cost is $20 (or whatever you can afford).

The deadline for registration is February 21.

See the event on Facebook.

If you have any questions, please contact

Will O’Brien at willobrien59@gmail.com or 267-339-8989.

The Alternative Seminary is a program of biblical and theological study and reflection designed to foster an authentic biblical witness in the modern world.  

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