It is a great privilege anytime a customer taps out an inquiry on email or picks up the phone to call in an order. Best of all, we love seeing folks in the shop, although I’ve grown fond of some of my favorite blogger pals and mail order customers. We try to keep in homey, but this high-tech stuff has allowed us to serve folks far and wide.
Which is extra cool of course. Today, for instance, an old acquitence that has started an extraordinary NGO is a very war torn and troubled land asked for some prices on some books about international affairs, peace building, faith-based diplomacy and such. Knowing he’s a bookman, I figured I could rattle off a couple others that, if not precisely what he needs, will at least remind him that there is a growing body of literature on conflict resolution, peacemaking and creating alternatives to war and violence. Heaven knows—I know heaven knows—that he needs reminded of this in his land of sorrows.
I thought some of you, too, might like to see this little list. My descriptions are pretty much off the top of my head, cribbing a bit from back covers. There are more. After some small talk and answering the questions he asked about, I sent off this list.
William Bole, Drew Christiansen & Robert Hennemeyer (USCCB)
$19.95 A splendid collection of essays compiled by US Conference of Catholic
Bishops, which draws largely on three case studies—Northern Ireland, Bosnia
and the truth commissions in South Africa. With endorsements from the likes of
Mary Ann Glendon (Harvard) and scholar of diplomacy, Douglas Johnston, this should be taken seriously. What a
remarkable notion— forgiveness offers implications for diplomacy and statecraft.
Public Order, Security and the Wisdom of the Cross edited by
Duane Friesen & Gerald Schlabach (Herald Press) $16.99 A hefty paperback
volume from the Mennonites from all over the world offering principles and
practices to guide international peacemaking efforts. There are plenty of case
studies, fairly scholarly studies, great stories, and very hopeful examples of
field-based discourse on this whole movement. Very,
Alternative Response to World Violence Gerald Schlabach, editor
(Michael Glazier) $27.95 Again, a masterful volume collecting a variety of
fairly academic case studies and new notions about just policing. The
contributors are from across the theological spectrum and raises lots of
interesting theological/spiritual reflections (from Augustinian thought to
Benedictine spirituality) and social ethics in a violent
world. Those of us who are advocates against war have to think this through: on what basis are some opposed to intervention, say, in Iraq, and yet favor military involvement in the Sudan? Perhaps this exploration will help.
Peacemaking Robert & Judy Zimmerman-Herr (Herald Press)
$12.99 This is a tremendous collection of case studies, including some examples
of peace building in Africa, compiled by MCC workers who we knew years ago in
Pittsburgh. These are dear folks, really sharp, with remarkable experience in
how to link very broad global peacemaking concerns with specific episodes of
local reconciliation. Very useful.
West Peter Blockhuis (Dordt College Press) $18.00 What a
fascinating gathering, a world-class conference which brought together scholars
and leaders on civil society issues, especially around the changing cultural
landscapes in Eastern Europe. Some of my neo-Calvinist Kuyperians are here, and
their insight is extraordinary. Sponsored by International Association for the
Promotion of Christian Higher Education (IAPCHE) A rare
Grace edited by Max Stackhouse (continuum) $34.95 This is the
4th volume in the academic and prestigious “God and Globalization” series, with
papers by a stunning array of thoughtful Christian scholars. Here is a great
pdf article which reviews this project and summarizes it’s serious themes,
written by Gabriel Fackre http://www.ctinquiry.org/publications/fackregodandglobalizationreview.pdf Not sure if this is the sort of stuff you’re reading, but it sure
looks meaty, eh? Any one of these would be well worth working through to enhance the big picture of our times.
Hope in Troubled Times: A New Vision for Confronting Global Crises Bob Goudzwaard, Mark Vander Vennen, and David Van Heemst (Baker) $19.99 I have blogged about this often, celebrated our tiny role in encouraging the authors, and explain to anybody that will listen that this is a profound and worthy bit of Christian thinking—wise and insightful thinking–about the nature of ideologies in the modern world. With a forward by Desmond Tutu, the “New Vision Group” (as Brian McLaren calls them in his popular Everything Must Change) this explores how to break with the engine which fuels some of the largest problems of our time. To relate international peace-building to environmental degradation and global poverty is essential, and these guys understand these dynamics deeply. Here is a very thoughtful review worth reading.