Synopses & Reviews
Divine Rebels chronicles the extraordinary efforts of American Christian activists who agitate for a world free of racism, patriarchy, bigotry, retribution, ecocide, torture, poverty, and militarism.
While pundits speak of the Religious Right,” this is the underreported story of American Christians who are progressive because they are religious. They dont see themselves simply performing good work, but Godly work. They believe in a community based on ethics, a world with infinite potential for improvement, and an inclusive God of love. These rabble-rousers are small in number, and their efficacy is best measured on the margins, but they are part and parcel of an American tradition that began with the nations earliest Quaker abolitionists.
By profiling social justice activists on the frontlines of the Christian Left” since the 1960s, Divine Rebels articulates a forward-thinking, faith-based alternative to both the conservative drone warping religion as well as the political lefts alienating cynicism.
"Independent journalist Deena Guzder has reported from the front lines of international human rights crises in Pakistan, Iran, and India. Now, her first book chronicles the U.S. Christian human rights movements from 1960 to the present. While many commentators focus on the religious right as a social force, Guzder's accessible and engaging account highlights Americans whose politics are progressive precisely 'because they are religious.' The biographies of 10 nonviolent activists open a window on American Christianity's tradition as a catalyst for progressive social change. Profiles include Quaker Jim Corbett, an Arizona rancher who sparked the 1980s Sanctuary movement by providing haven for Central American war refugees; Pentecostal preacher and environmental activist Charlotte Keys, founder of Jesus People Against Pollution, who is fighting chemical dumping near her rural Mississippi home; and the more famous Daniel Berrigan, a Jesuit priest who burned Selective Service draft files in 1968 as an antiwar protest. Guzder's first-person reporting animates her prose without obscuring her subject. By steering her fact-based writing away from the polemical, this Zoroastrian-raised writer provides a fine introduction to those who call themselves 'social justice Christians.' (May)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Divine Rebels offers a much-needed corrective to the wrathful voices on the Religious Right by showcasing the underreported heroism of politically progressive Christians who reject power and privilege in favor of compassion and reconciliation." Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking
"With a journalists eye for the interesting and an historians attention to context, Deena Guzder tells the under-reported story of Americas faith-based social justice movement after Martin Luther King, Jr. These are the lives of people Ive learned from, people I love. What a gift to read their stories told so well."Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, author, activist, and new monastic
"[A] learned, readable, and immensely important work of history, journalism, and advocacy." Samuel G. Freedman, author of Upon This Rock
In an effort to reclaim the fundamental principles of Christianity, moving it away from religious right-wing politics and towards the teachings of Jesus, the American Christian activists profiled in this book agitate for a society free from racism, patriarchy, bigotry, retribution, ecocide, torture, poverty, and militarism. These activists view their faith as a personal commitment with public implications; their world consists of people of religious faith protecting the weak and safeguarding the sacred. Recounting social justice activists on the frontlines of the Christian Left since the 1950sincluding Daniel Berrigan, Roy Bourgeois, and SueZann Boslerthis book articulates their faith-based alternative to the mainstream conservative religious agenda and liberal cynicism and describes a long-standing American tradition, which began with the nation's earliest Quaker abolitionists.
About the Author
Deena Guzder is a journalist whose work has appeared in Common Dreams, Mother Jones, Ms. Magazine, National Geographic, Time, and the Washington Post. She lives in New York. Shane Claiborne is a prominent author and activist. His bestselling books include The Irresistible Revolution and Jesus for President. He lives in Philadelphia. Roger S. Gottlieb is a professor of philosophy at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and the author of A Greener Faith and Engaging Voices: Tales of Morality and Meaning in an Age of Global Warming. He lives in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts.