Spiritual leader and peace activist John Dear guides readers on the path to finding peace within, and bringing harmony to a world torn by hatred and violence, through following in the footsteps of Jesus.
John Dear’s efforts on behalf of social justice and world peace have won him international admiration and spurred features in the New York Times, the Washington Post, NPR’s All Things Considered, USA TODAY, and the National Catholic Reporter. Seen by many to be the spiritual heir to the Berrigan brothers, Dear believes that the key to the spiritual life is not just finding inner peace, but also bringing that peace to bear on the outside world. In his latest work, Dear uses the Gospel account of the Transfiguration, inviting readers to shape their lives along the story of Jesus and to continue his mission of love and peace. These practices have sustained him through his work with the homeless in Washington, D.C., and New York City, as a human-rights advocate in Northern Ireland and Iraq, and on his many missions for peace in war-torn places around the world. Dividing the lifelong pursuit of peace into three distinct parts—an inner journey, a public journey, and the journey of all humanity—he delves into the challenges of learning to love ourselves as we are, diffusing the hatred we feel toward others, and embracing the choice to live in peace.
A Jesuit priest, successful author and peace activist, Dear uses Jesus' Transfiguration on Mt. Tabor as a model for personal and corporate transformation to the ways of peace and nonviolence. Using the biblical texts as a metaphor, he explores how we, too, can journey up the mountain, be transfigured and then walk back down into the world as transformed people and churches willing to go to the cross. Dear also includes helpful suggestions on spiritual practices that lead to embracing nonviolence, as well as questions for individual contemplation or group discussion. Like many who are passionate about their subject, Dear's sense that he absolutely knows God's will is daunting at times. He also stretches some of the biblical texts, arguing, for instance, that Moses and Elijah appear at the Transfiguration specifically to affirm Jesus' call to nonviolence. Dear is much to be admired for his persistence in the call for peace and nonviolence, a mission for which he has been willing to go to prison, and those who already share the author's views will find this book inspiring. Those who do not will probably go away unconvinced that the account of the Transfiguration makes his case.