Thomas Swann shares his thoughts on Earlham School of Religion’s 2014 Ministry of Writing Colloquium featuring Father John Dear:
One would be hard pressed to slip into sleep when listening to John Dear even if you were prepared for the exuberant words that come out of his mouth. He is a very passionate speaker. Perhaps for most even shocking. Though for many at the weekend ESR Writers Colloquium their heads moved up and down with agreement towards much of what he said. This is not a language and thought for the meek, not at all.
My back went soft in the presence of his spoken truth when I heard him quote Daniel Berrigan, an early and constant influence, "The point of this life is to make our story fit into the story of Jesus". Oh my. What a contrary flow of theology in this day when we seem to do our very best to make the gospel of Jesus mold to our modern day sensibilities. A wonderful amount of research has sharpened our understanding of the historical realm of Jesus. Yet at the same time we seem to be stuck in making the understood life of Jesus still comply with the Constantinan demand for an imperial order. Non-violence is a way back to the call to peace beyond empire.