June 2023 Publishers Newsletter

Posted by ida decesaris on



 Dear Friends,


Jon Sobrino, a Spanish-born Jesuit who has spent most of his life in El Salvador, is one of the pioneering pioneers of liberation theology. In over a dozen books on Christology, spirituality and other themes, all informed by the perspective of the poor and those on the margins, he has  indelibly shaped contemporary theology. In particular, Sobrino’s work has been a form of witness to a church of saints, prophets, and martyrs, including St. Oscar Romero, Blessed Rutilio Grande, his own Jesuit community, massacred in November 1989, and so many other members of the “crucified peoples” of El Salvador.

            Now approaching the end of his life, he has contributed a moving theological memoir in the form of conversations with a Salvadoran journalist: Theology without Deception: God, the Poor, and Reality in El Salvador. Here he tells the story of his journey as a theologian—one born and trained in Europe, who nevertheless, in his immersion in El Salvador, found himself “awakening” from the “sleep of inhumanity.” Here is his soul-searching account of how he came to read the Gospels with new eyes, the price that was paid, and his hopes for the church and the world.

            The legacy of another great mystic and spiritual master, the great Howard Thurman, is examined in The Unfinished Search for Common Ground, edited by Walter Earl Fluker. With essays by over a dozen of the leading Thurman scholars and other religious voices, these essays probe Thurman’s significance for spirituality, for interfaith dialogue, and the ongoing challenges of democracy. As Martin Doblemeier, documentary chronicler of Thurman, observes, “Howard Thurman is exactly the balm our nation needs at this divided moment. He remains America’s most articulate and insightful critic because he has a heart that envisions a better day, tempered by a wisdom that comes from being witness to humanity’s great failings.”

            Both Sobrino and Thurman reflected on how much our reading and understanding of Jesus Christ is shaped by our social or cultural context—especially, as Thurman said, for those “with their backs against the wall.” Al Tizon’s new book, Christ Among the Classes: The Rich, the Poor, and the Mission of the Church, develops this theme on several levels. What are the implications for the church and its mission when we consider Christ’s own poverty, his message of “good news to the poor,” and his identification with all who are hungry and hard-pressed?  

            Finally, Volker Küster, in a revised edition of his classic work, The Many Faces of Jesus Christ: Intercultural Christology, shows how Jesus is incarnated and articulated in different times and diverse cultural contexts: Latin American, Africam, Asian, African-American, and in a new chapter, in the experience of global women.

            In the end, as Sobrino has always observed, for Jesus the most important question is not is not who we may say he is, but whether will join him on the path of discipleship.



Robert Ellsberg



















Share this post

← Older Post Newer Post →