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Geography of Faith

Underground Conversations on Religious, Political, and Social Change

Robert Coles and Daniel Berrigan

6 x 9, 208 pp, Quality Paperback


A classic of faith-based activism—updated for a new generation.

Why was Daniel Berrigan wanted by the FBI? Why did Robert Coles harbor a fugitive?

Listen in to the conversations between these two great teachers as they struggle with what it means to put your faith to the test. Discover how their story of challenging the status quo during a time of great political, religious, and social change is just as applicable to our lives today.

Thirty years ago, at the height of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War, Daniel Berrigan, a Jesuit priest, was wanted by the FBI for his nonviolent protest activities. He hid in the house of Robert Coles, who would later win the Pulitzer Prize. The two began a dialogue that encompasses a fascinating range of topics, from war, psychology, and violence, to social institutions, compassion, activism, and family life.

With this expanded, anniversary edition of a classic, new generations of readers can examine for themselves how spirituality is not only for ourselves, but often demands action and personal risk in the public arena.

New to this edition, Robert Coles offers historical perspective on this turbulent time and assesses the progress of faith-based activism in the years since. Daniel Berrigan challenges today’s activists in a new afterword.

Finally, a glossary of terms helps to clarify the key people, places, and movements that are often the subject of the Coles/Berrigan conversations.

"A celebration of hope between two thoughtful men that America can change."

Baltimore Evening Sun

"One of the most satisfying and provocative reading experiences."

The Progressive

"Dr. Coles believes that modern life and thought have been invaded by number-crunching, self-loving, concept-pushers whose limitations have diminished us all. Against this he pits the power of storytelling and a set of values that has a very large place for the mysterious, the ineffable, the sacred, the surprising—that which is generous and spontaneous and touched by what he would be comfortable calling grace."

New York Times

p"Berrigan assesses the state of society with a single word: ‘Awful. The attack on the environment, the military budget, the prospect of Star Wars, the general contempt for human life, the life of the planet—it’s a litany of crime,’ he said. ‘But I’m very heartened by the reaction of younger people and some of the issues they’re focusing on: the School of the Americas, sweatshops, reduction of debt, the farm workers. I have hope.’"

Hartford Courant (reporting from Berrigan’s recent 80th birthday party)

"[Coles’] generosity of vision … enables him to create a climate where words of great beauty and truthfulness can be spoken."

New York Times Book Review

"Since Dan Berrigan the draft-card burner, the missile smasher, the government gadfly, the poet of practice walked through my life, I have had to confront every issue … become a more real person than a plaster statue of a religion gone sour."

Joan Chittister

Daniel Berrigan, S.J., is a Catholic priest who was one of the most eloquent voices protesting the Vietnam War in the 1960s, and who has continued to be an outspoken activist against social injustice. He has been arrested more than fifty times and has spent many months in federal prisons. Berrigan is the author of numerous books, including (with Thich Nhat Hanh) The Raft Is Not the Shore: Conversations toward a Buddhist-Christian Awareness and is an accomplished poet. He lives in New York City.
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