In twenty reader-friendly chapters, Kerry Walters explores the meaning and scope of Christian courage, offers tips on how to cultivate it in daily life, and offers profiles of Christians who have exemplified it in their own lives. The portraits are of modern women and men, some famous and some lesser known, from all parts of the globe, who have displayed physical, moral, or spiritual courage.
Riffing on S ren Kierkegaard's rebuke of "respectable Christianity," Walters (Giving Up god... to Find God), a philosophy professor at Gettysburg College, delivers up 18 profiles of contemporary Christians as models of physical, moral, and spiritual courage who are unafraid to go against the grain. Walters resists hagiography and focuses rather on the humanity of his subjects. In his account of the 2005 murder in Brazil of 73-year-old Catholic sister Dorothy Stang, who stood up to powerful ranchers, Walters eloquently evokes Stang's final moments: "One of them held a revolver. Dorothy reached into the cloth bag she always carried with her and pulled out her well-read Bible. This is my weapon.'" Two thousand people attended her funeral. Artful prose and elegant logic stand out in Walters's writing. Christian courage, he writes, requires reconciling one's own will to God's will, which requires love. Love is developed by "letting go" of fear and "letting be" what is of God, skills only acquired through prayer, breaking "free of the me-centric universe's gravity field." Each of Kerry's subjects lead lives replete with meaning, embedded in robust communities of faith. In this age of alienation, there is a hunger for Kerry's invitation to courageous living, but how many will seek it out?