This paperback is a completely revised and updated edition of a classic written by John Dear in 1987. The author calls upon readers to allow God to disarm our violent hearts so we can become peacemakers. Like Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Dorothy Day, the author gives us fresh ways of thinking about and enacting nonviolent actions in our lives. At the outset, he states: "One way to define violence is to see it as the act of forgetting or ignoring who we are brothers and sisters of one another, each one of us a child of God. Violence occurs in those moments when we forget and deny our basic identity as God's children, when we treat each other as if we were worthless instead of priceless, when we cling to our own selfish desires, possessions, and security."
With great clarity and insight Dear lays out six points that comprise the spirit of nonviolence: (1) It means remembering we are all God's children; (2) it flows from unconditional, active love; (3) It invites solidarity with the poor and the oppressed; (4) it involves resistance and truth; (5) It is rooted in prayer; and (6) it is a way of transformation. The author challenges us to make a vow of nonviolence as a way of witnessing to others that God has disarmed us and wants to disarm us all.
Dear spells out some of the consequences of a vow of nonviolence and the high price that peacemakers often have to pay for this way of life. We can learn a lot from those who modeled this path, including Jesus of Nazareth. Dear closes with a powerful "Prayer for a Disarmed Heart." This is an essential volume for all those who want to be peacemakers in a world that is addicted to war, violence, revenge and killing.