£11.01
  • RRP: £11.19
  • You Save: £0.18 (2%)
FREE Delivery in the UK.
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.
Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
Divine Rebels: American C... has been added to your Basket
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Divine Rebels: American Christian Activists for Social Justice Paperback – May 2011

1 customer review

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
£11.01
£6.66 £8.46
£11.01 FREE Delivery in the UK. Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.



Product details

  • Paperback: 305 pages
  • Publisher: Lawrence Hill Books (May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1569762643
  • ISBN-13: 978-1569762646
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.8 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,742,963 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

Divine Rebels "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 don't see themselves simply performing goo... Full description

Inside This Book

(Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
Search inside this book:

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
1
4 star
0
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See the customer review
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Anita Patel on 10 May 2011
Format: Paperback
`Religion kills', religion `is a form of mental illness', `religion poisons everything' - these are some of the hyperbolic slogans put forward by the popular New Atheist movement over the last decade. However, in this meticulously researched and refreshing debut, Deena Guzder helps counter the reductionist polemic of Dawkins, Harris and Hitchens by revealing the underreported story of progressive Christian activists in America. For secular liberals and foreign onlookers, it can often appear that `Christian activism' comprises solely of attacking abortion clinics or rallying against gay marriage - yet the voices of the religious left are often drowned out by the louder, more confrontational right as well as ignored by progressive atheists. Nevertheless, these compassionate campaigners, motivated by their faith, have pushed for social progress throughout US history, rather than hindering it - aiding Native Americans, confronting slavery and supporting gender equality movements.

Guzder profiles ten more recent individuals who, instead of proselytising, "hope to serve as God's hands and feet rather than as his mouthpiece" and who "bear no resemblance to parochial, hierarchical and exclusionary fundamentalists obsessed with determining who descends to hell." From those who achieved their vision, such as Jim Zwerg and SueZann Bosler, to those who are continuing their struggle, such as John Dear and Charlotte Keys - the famous and less well known examples selected by Guzder embody their religious convictions, disavow violence and remain inspiring examples of humility, commitment and sacrifice.

These stimulating stories have helped me to mature beyond the black-and-white rhetoric of the somewhat combative form of atheism I once held.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 10 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
An inspiring read for secular and religious liberals alike 10 May 2011
By Anita Patel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
`Religion kills', religion `is a form of mental illness', `religion poisons everything' - these are some of the hyperbolic slogans put forward by the popular New Atheist movement over the last decade. However, in this meticulously researched and refreshing debut, Deena Guzder helps counter the reductionist polemic of Dawkins, Harris and Hitchens by revealing the under-reported story of progressive Christian activists in America. For secular liberals and foreign onlookers, it can often appear that `Christian activism' comprises solely of attacking abortion clinics or rallying against gay marriage - yet the voices of the religious left are often drowned out by the louder, more confrontational right as well as ignored by progressive atheists. Nevertheless, these compassionate campaigners, motivated by their faith, have pushed for social progress throughout US history, rather than hindering it - aiding Native Americans, confronting slavery and supporting gender equality movements.

Guzder profiles ten more recent individuals who, instead of proselytising, "hope to serve as God's hands and feet rather than as his mouthpiece" and who "bear no resemblance to parochial, hierarchical and exclusionary fundamentalists obsessed with determining who descends to hell." From those who achieved their vision, such as Jim Zwerg and SueZann Bosler, to those who are continuing their struggle, such as John Dear and Charlotte Keys - the famous and less well known examples selected by Guzder embody their religious convictions, disavow violence and remain inspiring examples of humility, commitment and sacrifice.

These stimulating stories have helped me to mature beyond the black-and-white rhetoric of the somewhat combative form of atheism I once held. By highlighting the common ground between both religious and secular leftists, this well-timed book will appeal to readers of both persuasions and hopefully help encourage them to unite against inequality, militarism, discrimination and join together in favour of social justice and a better future for all.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Very challenging to me as an atheist 12 Oct. 2011
By David Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Mine is a militant brand of atheism. Richard Dawkins is my favorite and I am quick to rise to the debate when religion gets involved. This book was so difficult for me because it riveted me with accounts of religious activists that I couldn't help but greatly admire. The first chapter alone made me almost cry on the subway. Twice. After spending literal weeks thinking about it, I've boiled down the intellectual change this book forced me to take.

50 years ago if you asked an American, "How do you feel about black people?" You would have gotten a lot of sweeping generalizations. Martin Luther King, Jr. taught us that the only correct answer is, "It depends on the black person." Two months ago if you asked me how I felt about religious people I would have said, "A few are alright, but I think they're a little nuts." I now appreciate that the only correct answer is, "It depends on the religious person."

In fact, let's talk about religion being the opiate of the masses. How do you feel about amphetamine addicts? Well, in theory, it seems like a bad idea. But Erdosh, a hugely important titan of mathematics, was only capable of being the brilliant man he was while he was on amphetamines. I wonder if a lot of titans of social justice are only capable of doing what they do because of their religious beliefs.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
expertly written rallying call 5 Aug. 2011
By Tim Goodman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Forget all you thought you knew of Christian direct action - this is the People's History of religious activism. The author outlines 10 people who've effected change by being God's hands rather than his megaphone - ordinary folks who are Christians first and Americans second. People who embraced the over-arching message of scripture rather than manipulate obscure, cherry-picked verses to justify the status quo.

How can vandalising nuclear warheads be effective compared to international diplomacy? How have Christians justified breaking the law and avoided taxes? What would drive someone to set themselves alight and is it still considered non-violence? Where in the Bible does it encourage today's Christians to become eco-warriors? ...The chapters in this book mostly comprise of excellent story-telling but, rather than nodding along the (agnostic) author also challenges her subjects. As a rationalist and atheist myself, I'd be left with many questions after each profile were it not for the writer's journalistic edge. And it is this informed objectivity that - as other reviewers noted - makes this book a rallying call for progressive secularists to unite with their religious progressive counterparts.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
A book in sore need of an editor... 30 Dec. 2011
By Rebel Girl - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
As someone who know about most of the people profiled in this book and knows a couple of them personally, I really wish I could heartily endorse it. I can't. The book is marred by so many errors in the small stuff that I came to feel I would have to fact check everything. Many of these errors are things any good editor should (would?) have caught. A sample:

Incorrect usage/spelling: On p. 99 we read "Seeking to qualm the refugees' fears of outsiders..."...err...that should be "quell" or "calm", not this hybrid, non-existent verb. This is followed on p. 100 by writing that Jim Corbett could provide "legal council". Perhaps someone could provide the author, a self-professed graduate from one of the nation's top journalism schools, Columbia University, with remedial English? Spell-check is not a substitute for old-fashioned editing.

Inconsistencies: One of the first things that leaped to my attention (perhaps because of this author's obsession with close, but not always accurate, physical description) is that the color of Fr. Roy Bourgeois' eyes changes from "blue as lapis lazuli" on p. 67 to "dove-gray" by p. 88. Prison might do that to a man, but to me it just smacks of careless "cut and paste" journalism. The author's physical descriptions are picturesque but not always correct. Mons. Oscar Romero is described as wearing "aviator glasses" (p. 65). He didn't. The late archbishop's glasses are part of the permanent collection at the Pacifist Living History Museum and can be seen on its website. On p. 138, the late Brazilian archbishop, Dom Helder Camara is described as "stocky", whereas those of us who met Camara in his later years would hardly attribute such an adjective to the diminutive and somewhat physically frail cleric.

Misleading phrases: On p. 47, Catholic Worker founder Dorothy Day is described as having traded her bohemian lifestyle for a "nun's vows". Those of us who know who Dorothy was, appreciate that this is just a metaphor but others will search in vain to find which Catholic congregation took this rabble-rouser into its ranks.

Hyperbolic statements: The Students for a Democratic Society "canonized" [Rev. Dan] Berrigan as their personal messiah, saw themselves as his disciples,..." (p.50)? Oh, please...Fr. Dan is near and dear to many of us in the peace movement but I doubt the secular SDS, as much as it respected him, felt quite that degree of fervor for him. This hyperbolic statement is closely followed by the inaccurate assertion on p.51 Dan Berrigan "overlooked" the plight of the boat people in his antiwar zeal. That is simply not true. Fr. Berrigan has always been very close to Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh and both have been distraught by the suffering of the refugees fleeing Vietnam.

Moving to macro level, many of the chapters suffer from disorganization and repetitiveness that make them confusing. I frequently found myself wondering if perhaps I had lost my place in the book and was inadvertently rereading a passage I had already read. And, although it is churlish to criticize a book for what it isn't, I have to wonder about the author's choice of people to profile. Eight of her ten "Divine Rebels" are male and all but eco-activist Charlotte Keys are white. Even the Civil Rights Movement and the Freedom Riders are represented by a white man, Jim Zwerg. I don't wish to detract from Zwerg's heroism and self-sacrifice, but were there no African Americans inspired by the gospel to live their Christian faith to sacrificial lengths during that era?

One might argue that these are little things compared to the overall inspirational nature of the book but my problem is: If I can't trust you to be accurate in the details about those I DO know about, how can I trust that this book is giving me accurate information about those I DON'T know about? Peace movement colleagues will undoubtedly be upset that I am suppressing sales of this book, a portion of the royalties of which will go to the Fellowship of Reconciliation, a worthy organization that I fully support. My recommendation still is: Skip this book, donate what you would have spent on it directly to FOR, and then go straight to the sources: Dan Berrigan's autobiography, "To Dwell in Peace", John Dear's "A Persistent Peace", Shane Claiborne's "The Irresistible Revolution", any of the many fine recent DVDs about the Freedom Riders, etc...
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Best Book You'll Read This Year! 21 Jun. 2011
By gleefan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is the best book I've read this year thus far. The best for believers and non-believers alike. Deena Guzder's insightful interviews, prodigious research and engaging style are all in the service of saving Christianity from its current position in the talon-grip of the Religious Right and the elitist scorn of the Intellectual Left. The subjects in this book are no less irrational or absurd in their beliefs than an agnostic's view of today's believers (Guzder does not sentimentalize them) but the crucial difference is that they lived, dedicated and (in some cases) sacrificed their lives for the real moral virtues of Christianity (anti-war, anti-poverty, anti-bigotry). Like Howard Zinn, Guzder starts not from a grand, abstract political platform looking down on these people, but rather she's down there with them looking up, searching for the Maker that inspired such irrational beauty. In the end, Guzder has done for progressive readers what the Chessire cat did for Alice: she has left an indelible impression.
Were these reviews helpful? Let us know


Feedback