Publishers Newsletter - June 2024

Posted by ida decesaris on

Dear Friends,

Award season is once again upon us, with our 2024 Nautilus Awards!

A Gold Medal in Western Spirituality to Brother David Steindl-Rast for You Are Here: Keywords for Spiritual Explorers. Famous for his promotion of Gratitude as an essential foundation for the spiritual life, Brother David here offers a synthesis of his life-long teaching. My One-on-One interview with Brother David is here.

Even as we bask in the glow of these affirmations, it’s impossible not to think of the many peoples suffering in the world today and the ongoing call, as Pope Francis wrote to us, to show that “another way of writing history is possible.”

Thirty-five years ago, Orbis published Justice and Only Justice: A Palestinian Theology of Liberation by Naim Stifan Ateek. It is terrible to realize, over the course of a generation, that the same urgent cry for peace and justice in Israel and Palestine is now more desperate than ever. Published just prior to the war in Gaza, Rev. Mitri Raheb’s Decolonizing Palestine: The Land, The People, The Bible offers a frank analysis of the ideological roots of this conflict, and of a possible path to sustainable peace. It deserves to be read by Christians and all people of good will.

Kate Common, in Undoing Conquest: Ancient Israel, the Bible and the Future of Christianity, explores archeological evidence that reshapes our understanding of Israelite history and the Bible. Her book offers an alternative “origin story” based on a liberatory spirit of community, rather than a mythical narrative of violence that has been used to justify conquest and colonialism from biblical times to the present day. Our interview here.

Another sadly topical book is Henri Nouwen’s Ukraine Diary, the story of a pilgrimage from thirty years ago. With an introduction by Archbishop Borys Gudziak, it addresses a country’s efforts then and now to assert its independence and moral and spiritual values in the face of historic challenges.

And finally, there is Father John Dear’s magisterial work The Gospel of Peace, a comprehensive commentary on the synoptic gospels through the lens of nonviolence. See our interview here.

To quote Pope Francis again, “The health of a culture is measured by its capacity to pool its best resources and awaken the best talents to create networks of solidarity that allow us creatively to build new alternatives to what affects us today.” May all these resources advance that cause.



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