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About Rose Marie Berger
Rose Marie Berger is a Catholic poet and writer who has worked for social change movements for 40 years. With a Masters degree in poetry, she is poetry editor and senior associate editor at Sojourners magazine, which has a mission to inspire hope and action by articulating the biblical call to social justice. She has published numerous articles and collaborated on several books. She was raised in the American River watershed, in traditional Miwok territory. She has lived for more than 30 years in Washington, D.C., in the Anacostia watershed, in traditional Anacostoan-Piscataway territory. She is currently active in the Watershed Discipleship movement and the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative, which formed in 2016 following a landmark meeting in Rome on Catholics and Nonviolence.
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In Unsettling the Word, over 60 Indigenous and Settler authors come together to wrestle with the Scriptures, rereading and re-imagining the ancient text for the sake of reparative futures. When read through these new lenses, the biblical texts come alive in new and surprising ways.
CONTRIBUTORS: Sasha Adkins, Jay Beck, Tevyn East, Erinn Fahey, Katarina Friesen, Matt Humphrey, Vickie Machado, Jonathan McRay, Sarah Nolan, Reyna Ortega, Dave Pritchett, Erynn Smith, Sarah Thompson, Lydia Wylie-Kellermann
“. . . let diverse young peace and justice activists and visionaries instruct you. Their fresh biblical exegesis, interlaced with the experience of coming home to their bioregions and its waters of life, will inspire you from front to back in this remarkable volume”
—Larry Rasmussen, Union Theological Seminary
“Myers brings a much-needed prophetic voice to the church with his call to watershed discipleship. The way he frames the issues—along with hopeful actions—and then engages an array of younger voices makes this anthology poignant. The book helps the church rediscover that the bioregional lens is critical to practicing the good news of the gospel. This material will be required reading in the collegiate courses I teach and with congregations seeking a new paradigm for living out their faith.”
—Luke Gascho, Executive Director, Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center, Goshen College; Leader, Mennonite Creation Care Network
“This book is important not just because it offers some shred of hope for the future of the church, but because it shows Christians who are relevant allies in the struggle for the planet.”
—Laurel Dykstra, Salal + Cedar Watershed Discipleship Community, Coast Salish Territory
“Ched Myers and the team of young authors he has assembled offer in this volume a Spirit-inspired, theologically grounded call to action that is ﬁlled with passionate hope.”
—Cynthia Moe-Lobeda, Paciﬁc Lutheran Theological Seminary and the Graduate Theological Union
Ched Myers is an author and activist theologian who has worked in social change movements for forty years. He and his partner, Elaine Enns, who helped edit this volume, co-direct Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries (www.bcm-net.org) in the Ventura River watershed, traditional Chumash teritory in southern California. Their publications can be found at www.ChedMyers.org.
"In St. Louis for a baptism during the great flood of 1993 (both themes prominent in these poems), Berger looked through Saarinen's Arch and saw all the way to the Farallon Islands. . . . This is 'decolonizing poetry': literate, theologically rich, and densely annotated."
--Ched Myers, Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries
"Rose Berger is doing poetic alchemy in her new book, Bending The Arch. She does it right before us. She is mixing vision with insight, words with symbol, and hope with common sense . . . and coming up with gold."
--Steven Charleston, retired Episcopal Bishop of Alaska
"How do we look back on the glorious past, once we realize it is not so glorious? In this important book, Rose Marie Berger looks imaginatively west through Saarinen's Arch in St. Louis and into America's past."
--D.S. Martin, Poet-in-Residence, McMaster Divinity College, and author of Ampersand
"This book is a beautiful, moving, challenging read, a poetry at once personal, historical, spiritual, and political. Drawing in voices from all of these facets of knowing, Berger creates a truly visionary text, one that feels like a discovery, a codex, and returns to the reader by its conclusion both responsibility and power. Berger's Bending the Arch is extraordinary in both its lyric power and intellectual reach."
--Linda McCarriston, poet, and professor in the Department of Creative Writing and Literature, University of Alaska Anchorage
Rose Marie Berger, poetry editor at Sojourners magazine, is author of Syllables of the Perfect Word (2004) and Who Killed Donte Manning? The Story of an American Neighborhood (2010), co-author with Janet Gottschalk of Drawn By God, and co-editor with Joseph Ross of Cut Loose the Body: An Anthology of Poems on Torture and Fernando Botero's Abu Ghraib Paintings (2007). She was raised in the American River watershed, in traditional Miwok territory and now lives in the Anacostia Watershed, in traditional Piscataway territory. She holds an MFA in poetry from Stonecoast at the University of Southern Maine in Portland.
'Advancing Nonviolence and just peace in the church and the world' is the fruit of a global, participatory process facilitated from 2017-2018 by the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative (CNI), a project of Pax Christi International, to deepen Catholic understanding of and commitment to Gospel nonviolence.
This book includes biblical, theological, ethical, pastoral and strategic resources that might serve as a contribution to Catholic thought on nonviolence. It details how:
Nonviolence is a core Gospel value, constitutive of the life of faith.
Nonviolence is essential to transforming violence and injustice
Nonviolence is a universal ethic
Nonviolence is a necessary foundation for culture of peace.
Drawn from the conference and presented here are contributions by many of the participants, including Lisa Sowle Cahill, Terrence J. Rynne, John Dear, Ken Butigan, Rose Marie Berger, and Maria J. Stephan, among others. Together they advance the conversation about the practice of nonviolence in a violent world, Jesus and nonviolence, traditional Catholic teaching on nonviolence, and reflections on the future of Catholic teaching. The book concludes with Pope Francis's historic Message for World Peace Day in 2017.