This substantive paperback grew out of a confluence of conversations that took place at Claremont School of Theology in Claremont, California, in which faculty from different institutions considered how theological schools could better address questions of violence and peacebuilding and another conference for church people on "Peacebuilding in Violent Times." Ellen Ott Marshall, the editor, is associate professor of ethics at Claremont School of Theology. She has brought together seven essays from other faculty members in addition to her own.
Marshall prefers to use the term peacebuilding to describe the challenges that Christians face as they seek to be God's shalom in a world twisted with violence, fear, terrorism, and vengeance. This resource about peacebuilding practices accentuates the belief that theological schools can do more to help believers frame some of the more value-laden issues of the day.
The essays are "The Vocation of Peacebuilding" by Philip A. Amerson and John W. Woell; "Prayer Practices for the Way of Peace" by Andrew Dreitcer; "Practicing Imagination" by Ellen Ott Marshall; "Loving Our Enemies: Contributions of the Narrative Arts to the Practice of Peacebuilding" by Frank Rogers Jr.; "Between Advocacy and Dialogue: Peacebuilding in the Classroom" by Carol Lakey Hess; "Nonviolent Conflicts and Cultural Differences: Essentials for Practicing Peace" by Kathleen J. Greider; and "A Spiritual Journey toward Peaceful Living: From Hospitality to Shalom" by Elizabeth Conde-Frazier.
We were most interested in Marshall's essay since it deals with the spiritual practice of imagination. We were gratified to see that she offers a meditation on the poem we wrote on September 11, "Rest in Peace" (see the excerpt). Another essay that stood out for us was Dreitcer's on prayer practices; he describes one, "kything prayer," which emphasizes the interconnections between all people, creatures, and the good earth. Peacebuilding is explored in the round on these pages, and we are blessed to have its many insights and practical strategies.