Category Archives: Articles

Exiles all: Going “all in” on immigration reform

Bearings Online 10 August 2017 You know the headlines: Globalization. Jobs lost, jobs gained. Immigrants. Muslims. Nationalist resurgence both in the United States and other countries. Calls to “build that wall.” Charges of xenophobia. Outsourcing that hurts “us” and sweatshops … Continue reading

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Just war? Enough already

Commonweal 16 June 2017, pp. 9-14 A question for sports fans: What would you make of a coach who drills his team exclusively on last-minute desperation plays, while neglecting the basics? What would you make of players whose whole mindset … Continue reading

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Playing the long game

Bearings Online 5 May 2017 Long before President Barack Obama and hundreds of pundits popularized the notion of “playing the long game” in seeking societal change, a 1917 editorial in the Times Literary Supplement stated: “The long game is the … Continue reading

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Pacifism in action [an interview with Gerald Schlabach]

U.S. Catholic February 2017 Gerald Schlabach first started thinking about peace and violence in the mid-1980s. He and his wife worked for the Mennonite Central Committee in Nicaragua during a time of ongoing civil revolution. A member of the Mennonite … Continue reading

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Abortion & social justice:
“prolife progressive” is not an oxymoron

Commonweal 6 January 2017 It should be easy to be a prolife progressive. If we could somehow start from scratch and map out political alliances and coalitions according to the logic of people’s stated values, social-justice advocacy would coalesce with … Continue reading

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Pope Francis’s peacebuilding pedagogy:
A commentary on his 2017 World Day of Peace message

It is not too soon to anticipate the challenge of “reception.” All signs suggest that Pope Francis’s 2017 World Day of Peace (WDP) message represents only an initial response to the appeal for clearer teaching on gospel nonviolence issued at … Continue reading

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The virtue of staying put:
What the “Benedict option” forgets about Benedictines

Commonweal  16 September 2016 In recent years the term “Benedict Option” has been circulating in certain sectors of the U.S. Catholic Church. For a Benedictine oblate such as myself, this should be a welcome development. After all, the charism of … Continue reading

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What if we win? Nonviolence and the challenge of governance

Advance paper for Pax Christi International / Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace conference, Rome, April 2016: “Nonviolence and Just Peace: Contributing to the Catholic Understanding of and Commitment to Nonviolence” Gerald W. Schlabach And what if you win? As I … Continue reading

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The glamour of evil: look beyond surface to find authentic joy

America magazine 8 February 2016 In the Roman Catholic rite for the baptism of adults, as well as in the ritual for the renewal of baptismal promises, a striking question confronts us: “Do you reject the glamour of evil?” The … Continue reading

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Evangelizing as a people of peace:
Paul’s clue, John Paul’s globalism, Francis’s principles

Abstract: To judge from some of its wildest critics and enthusiasts alike, Gaudium et spes and its friendly engagement with the modern world would almost seem to have made the Church as a body superfluous.  The Council fathers certainly called … Continue reading

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Paul’s clue, John Paul’s globalism, Francis’s principles

What is marriage now? A Pauline case for same-sex marriage

Amid endless debates concerning same-sex relationships and same-sex marriage, one biblical passage is often curiously absent. In 1 Corinthians 7, Paul reflects on the merits of married and single life. If unmarried persons struggle with sexual self-control, he says, they … Continue reading

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Christian peace theology:
internal critique and interfaith dialogue

On March 1 I spoke at two break-out sessions on the topic of “Christian Peace Theology: Internal Critique and Interfaith Dialogue” at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum, Faith and Peace Day, in Minneapolis.  Here’s what I said I would do: … Continue reading

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“Confessional” nonviolence and the unity of the Church:
Can Christians square the circle?

Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics 34, no. 1 (2014): 125-44. Abstract: Both within and among churches that have traditionally held to just war teaching, various formulas in the last 50 years have allowed for the recognition that Christian pacifism is … Continue reading

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Can Christians square the circle?

Must Christian pacifists reject police force?

Abstract: Chapter 5 in A Faith not Worth Fighting for: Addressing Commonly Asked Questions About Christian Nonviolence, eds Tripp York and Justin Bronson Barringer, The Peaceable Kingdom Series, no. 1 (Eugene OR: Cascade Books, 2012). Click here to download or … Continue reading

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Meeting in exile

Historic peace churches and the emerging peace church catholic Journal of Religion, Conflict and Peace Volume 1. Issue 1, Fall 2007. First presented as a lecture for Presentation Sisters’ Peace Studies Forum, 23 January 2004, Fargo ND. For the three “historic peace … Continue reading

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You converted to what?

One Mennonite’s journey Commonweal, June 1, 2007 At Pentecost 2004, I made a small yet formidable step in my life of Christian discipleship. Having considered myself a “Catholic Mennonite” for years, I entered into full communion with the Roman Church and became what I think of … Continue reading

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Just policing:
how war could cease to be a church-dividing issue

Abstract: Might Christians who have long been divided along just-war and pacifist lines agree some day that just policing—and only just policing—is legitimate? In an essay first written as a resource for the first international dialogue between Mennonites and Roman Catholics, the author … Continue reading

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how war could cease to be a church-dividing issue

Just policing, not war

America magazine July 7, 2003 Virtually every Christian tradition is trying to have it both ways on war. Twenty years ago the U.S. bishops published The Challenge of Peace, which explicitly paired just war and pacifism as legitimate Christian responses to … Continue reading

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The Christian witness in the earthly city

John H. Yoder as Augustinian Interlocutor Presented at conference on “Assessing the Theological Legacy of John Howard Yoder,” University of Notre Dame, 7-9 March 2002 For final published version see chapter 11 in Ollenburger and Gerber Koontz, eds., A Mind Patient … Continue reading

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