How Faith Inspires Social Justice
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What impels a Mohandas Gandhi or a Martin Luther King, Jr.? How does religious experience animate a lifetime of dedication and drive for social justice?
In this instructive and inspiring account, Christian ethicist Curtiss DeYoung profiles three of the most dynamic and influential religious activists of the twentieth century: Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Malcolm X, and Aung San Suu Kyi each from a different generation, a different faith community, and a different continent. His portraits show how their mystic faith drove them to justice commitments and beyond customary boundaries between people from other traditions, countries, and ways of life.
Living Faith is more than a set of inspiring portraits. It also powerfully analyzes how these figures along with such other luminaries as Rigoberta Menchú, Nelson Mandela, Winona LaDuke, Fannie Lou Hamer, Elie Wiesel, Thich Nhat Hanh, and the Dalai Lama shared a fiery core experience and common characteristics that empowered their lives and work.
"Curtiss DeYoung stands tall in the arena of public theology, pioneering a whole new academic movement in reconciliation studies. In times like these, we need empowering reminders of the mentors, heroes and saints whose living faith compelled them to re-imagine the world. For those hungry to explore the connection between spirituality and social justice, DeYoung provides the book we've been waiting for."
Jim Wallis, author of God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It
"It is exciting to see the religious heart and soul of my father's work appreciated and espoused by Curtiss DeYoung's Living Faith."
Ms. Malaak Shabazz, Trustee of the Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial & Education Center, Inc., and the sixth child of Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz
"Religion is too often a divisive force in the world, abused in giving legitimacy to ideologies and practices that dehumanise others. But genuine advocates of the great religious traditions discover in their own scriptures, and in dialogue with others, the resources needed to engage the powers for the sake of reconciliation and restoring justice. By telling the story of twentieth century faith-activists, Curtiss DeYoung has provided a road map for all, irrespective of tradition, who recognize the deep connection between spirituality and the struggle for justice and peace. His passion for his subject is evident on every page, making his lively study a challenging document of faith and hope."
John W. de Gruchy, Emeritus Professor of Christian Studies, University of Cape Town
"The time has come when leaders of different faiths need to redefine religion and God. There is something very wrong when we can justify killing of humans and destruction of nature in the name of religion. Living Faith is a book that can be said to be a step in the right direction, a book that all who are concerned about the state of the world and of humanity must read."
Arun Gandhi, President, M. K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, Memphis, TN
"With the increasing destructive manifestation of religious violence around the globe, this book presents powerful stories of 'visionary activists,' who, guided by their different faith traditions, inspired millions to pursue peace and justice.... In comparison to other sources on religion and peace, this book is rooted in a revolutionary social justice analytical framework and successfully combines inspirational quotes from Muslim, Christian, and Buddhist leaders. This book is a must read, especially for those who still have doubts about the relevancy of spirituality in the pursuit of justice and peace, and those who utilize religious identity as a dehumanizing tool."
Mohammed Abu-Nimer, Associate Professor at the American University's School of International Service, Faculty Director of the Peacebuilding & Development Institute, and Co-founder and Executive Director of the Salam Institute.
|The Social Edge Interview with author Curtiss Paul DeYoung by Gerry McCarthy; Adobe Acrobat Document|