Generous Orthodoxy  

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Something new in the world?

Jonathan Schell's most famous book, about nuclear holocaust, is The Fate of the Earth. A more recent one, however, The Unconquerable World, is one of a very small number of books which, for me, have been mind-altering. His subject is the rise of nonviolent resistance and "people's war" on the world stage in the 20th century. He begins with a trenchant analysis of war according to Clausewitz, whose views he believes are supportive of his conviction that the world is moving toward a new kind of struggle in which the power of ideas carried out under the leadership of people like Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Tutu, Lech Walesa, and others, cannot be stopped. (See previous Rumination about the Palestinians.)

Tienanmen Square is the great exception, but we cannot know what seeds still lie dormant underground, waiting for the breath of the Spirit. In the meantime, should we not all be praying that "an angel in the whirlwind" be directing this storm in Tehran? (Speaking of which, one of the other books that I count among the very few is John Howard Yoder's The Politics of Jesus.)