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January 31, 2017

Book: Roots of Violence: Creating peace through spiritual reconciliation
Author: Krister Stendahl
Paraclete Press. Brewster. MA. Pp. 101

An Excerpt from the endorsement by Dr. Jesper Svartvik: Krister Stendahl Professor of Theology of Religions at Lund University and at the Swedish Theological Institute in Jerusalem.

This is a most remarkable book --- the viva vox of the legendary Krister Stendahl. In a world torn apart by religious strife, the lecture's cause and purpose are perhaps more relevant than ever before. The author scrutinizes the violent discourse of salvation looking for and finding a road less traveled by.

An Excerpt from the Book:

Now, in a world with an incredible escalation of violence and technology in the aid of violence, from the gas ovens to biological warfare, perhaps we should be extra careful to find a language that is not violent. I'm not referring to what we speak about. I'm referring to how we speak.

How do we speak? I know that the more adversarial I can make the game, the better speaker I seem to be, in the short range. The temptations of rhetoric are enormous. That's why people always said that liberal theology is easy to teach, but a dreary thing to preach. Barthian theology, on the other hand, is impossible to teach, but wonderful to preach, because it increases the adversarial dimension. You feel more powerful when you lambast. That's the fake prophet's temptation.

It isn't easy to be a prophet. The prophet of doom prays like mad that his prophecy not be true. Any prophet of doom who isn't praying like mad that it not happen is just on an ego trip.

Table of Contents:

Foreword: James Carroll

Preface: Brita Stendahl

Introduction: Rebecca Pugh

Salvation as Victory
Salvation as Nirvana
Salvation as Shalom

The Language of Violence and the Language of Peace


Dr. Marc Brettler
Imam Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi
Dr. Rebecca Pugh