Recommended Books:

If Not Empire, What? A Survey of the Bible, by Berry Friesen and John Stoner, is an impressive piece of solid work. They go through the entire Bible book by book, looking for what it has to say about Empire and its alternatives. Empire is the logic of this world: people can be dominated for the benefit of those who wield violence most effectively.

Empire creates the appearance of peace and security. If nearly everyone collaborates within the system it imposes, there is quiet—save for those few who are crucified/lynched/disappeared/targeted, and the occasional mass slaughter. Friesen and Stoner reveal the Bible's extensive and detailed portrayal of Empire as public enemy number one. They call attention to the Bible's exposure of our worship of the beast—we believe that violence is the sole effective rejoinder to violence, and we base our hope of security on our government's military capabilities. Friesen and Stoner highlight the scripture's insistence on an alternate way to organize society and provide security, a way owing nothing to violence. Their eye-opening book is a quality resource for group study.

Paradoxy: Creating Christian Community Beyond Us and Them, by Ken Howard, rector of St. Nicholas Episcopal Church, MD.

The Dignity of Difference by Jonathan Sacks, retired Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, London.

Recommended Sites:

The Center for Interfaith Engagement at Eastern Mennonite University