Homies and Hermanos: God and Gangs in Central America, by Robert Brenneman. A courageous scholar, Brenneman has undertaken extensive interviews with former members of some of Central America’s most lethal street gangs who have converted to evangelical and Pentecostal Christianity.
Parallel Lives of Jesus: A Guide to the Four Gospels, by Edward Adams. Introductions to the Gospels most often underscore the individual personality of each Gospel and leave aside questions of the Gospels’ similarity. Parallel Lives of Jesus achieves both with economy and clarity.
Here’s the thing about Jürgen Moltmann. Almost everything he says, you feel you’ve read somewhere before. Now there could be two explanations for this. One, that he’s a creature of fashion: that, like everyone, he speaks out on the environment; on the analogy between the discourse on human rights and the relation to soil, sea and sky; on justice for the oppressed; on God’s coming future. Or two, that he’s a creator of fashion.
In The Clash Within, Martha Nussbaum explored the capacity to entertain the other as key to a democratic society. Now she considers angry resistance to the other, bringing her usual erudite analysis and intense moral passion.
A three-day Vatican conference last month called on the Catholic Church to rethink its commitment to just war theory. The theory too often provides a justification for war, the conference’s final document says, arguing that the just war approach gets in the way of exploring nonviolent resolutions. “We propose that the Catholic Church develop and consider shifting to a Just Peace approach based on Gospel nonviolence,” the document says. Conferees said that the destructiveness of modern warfare and the effectiveness of nonviolent means of peaceful resolution have made the theory, which goes back to Augustine and Aquinas, outdated. “Jesus is our inspiration and model,” they state. “Neither passive nor weak, Jesus’ nonviolence was the power of love in action” (National Catholic Reporter, April 14).