Liberating the Bible from the Hands of the Colonizers

index.jpgA Review of Unsettling the Word: Biblical Experiments in Decolonization
(Edited by Steve Heinrichs)

By Jen Galicinski

A timely, poetic, and prophetic new anthology titled Unsettling the Word: Biblical Experiments in Decolonization has recently been published by the Mennonite Church of Canada and will be re-published by Orbis Books in February 2019. It was edited by Steve Heinrichs, the Director of Indigenous-Settler Relations for the Mennonite Church of Canada and one of the several faith leaders who was recently arrested and spent time in prison for protesting the Trans-Mountain pipeline in Burnaby, B.C. in solidarity with the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples.

For Heinrichs, it was working on the book that deepened his profound belief that we must truly listen to the voices of Indigenous peoples, who have been suffering, alongside their wounded land, since contact with European Christian settlers.  He is committed to following The Crucified One by acting in solidarity with crucified peoples, following their leadership towards self-governance and sovereignty over their own lands. Continue reading

Review of Dianne Bergant, A New Heaven, a New Earth: The Bible and Catholicity

bookBy Wes Howard-Brook

Readers here of the “Wild Lectionary” series hardly need to be convinced of the Bible’s deep concern for all of God’s good creation. Our shared journey through the Scriptures from the perspective of Earth and her creatures has brought forth beautiful, poignant and powerful reflections on our own broken relationship with creation and the path to mutual healing.

But as we also know, humanity as a whole continues to run roughshod over the planet as if the constant alarm bells of record-breaking heat, storms and drought were not audible over the din of commerce and headphoned distractions. People who identity as “Christians” often lead the charge of climate denial and rejection of God’s love for creation. For such people, Dianne Bergant’s solid, steady, gentle overview of the Bible’s message of ecojustice may be just what is needed to shift perspective enough to join the movement to transform and to heal our relationship with creation. Continue reading

Murder on Shades Mountain

cover-mosm_3-18.jpgBy Joyce Hollyday

Last Thursday in Montgomery, Alabama, the Equal Justice Initiative opened its museum dedicated to racial equality, at the heart of which is a profoundly powerful memorial to the more than 4,400 African-Americans who were lynched in this country between the Civil War and World War II. Three days later Melanie Morrison made a visit to Western North Carolina, reminding us that not all such acts of terrorism and brutality were carried out by white mobs under trees and the cover of darkness. Some were perpetrated in courtrooms in broad daylight. Continue reading

Missives of Love and Conscience

book reviewBy Bill Wylie-Kellermann, written for On the Edge, A Detroit Catholic Worker paper

The Berrigan Letters: Personal Correspondence Between Daniel and Phillip Berrigan , arrived here by post unbidden from Orbis, just days before the news of Daniel’s death in NYC (+April 30, 2016+). I carried it east to the wake and funeral. It was soaked with rain in my pack during the procession from Mary House (NY CW) to the church.  Its stiff warp and wrinkle is a sweet remembrance.

The publication was initiated by Dan himself with such events on the horizon.  It is a gift, even if one that suffers from the haste of getting it into his frail and failing hands. Continue reading

5 Years Later: Blessed Are The Organized

BlessedA Summary of Jeffrey Stout’s Blessed are the Organized by Tommy Airey

Democracy, in the sense I am commending, opens up space for minority voices because it is committed both to freedom as non-domination and the avoidance of arbitrary exclusion. Neither of these things can be achieved, according to the tradition of grassroots democracy, unless a lot of ordinary people get organized and actually hold officials accountable. These are things that require action.
Jeffrey Stout

In Blessed Are The Organized: Grassroots Democracy in America (2010), Princeton political science professor Jeffrey Stout recounts a back-and-forth he had with his 20-something son about deeply dysfunctional economic conditions in the U.S. You know the basics: the American worker has been tremendously productive for their company, but isn’t even coming close to sharing the wealth. In fact, since the 1960s, more income went to the top 1% of Americans than the bottom 50% combined. At the end of this casual, fact-filled conversation, Stout’s son proclaimed, “We’re fucked!”
Continue reading