506 Book Reviews / International Journal of Public Theology 5 (2011) 489–507 John Dear, Put Down Your Sword: Answering the Gospel Call to Creative Nonviolence (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 2008), pp. vii + 191, $16.00, ISBN 978-0- 8028-6357-7 (pbk). In Put Down Your Sword, Dear draws together themes from his earlier works into a brief inspirational volume. Through theological reﬂection on the lives and teachings of several ‘saints’ of non-violence, as well as on his life experiences, Dear makes a compel- ling case for a global, interfaith practice of non-violence. The book opens with a series of chapters exploring the ‘commandments of non- violence’. The only explicit commandment considered here is Jesus’ command in Gethsemene to ‘put down your sword’. Yet Dear takes the Beatitudes, the concept of a non-violent God, the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the resurrection as similar imperatives to peace that arise from Christ’s life and teachings. Interfaith non-violent practice is the ﬁnal duty examined in this section of the book, which sees Dear reﬂecting on his leadership of the American branch of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, when he col- laborated with non-violent practitioners from a variety of traditions. Dear suggests that they all
International Journal of Public Theology – Brill
Published: May 19, 2011
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