Book Release: Unsettling the Word: Biblical Experiments in Decolonization

I’m so pleased to have an Bible reflection in Unsettling the Word, this beautiful and totally unique collection, edited by Steve Heinrichs.–Rose Berger














Can we make the Bible a nonviolent weapon for decolonization? Check out Unsettling the Word.

For generations, the Bible has been employed by settler colonial societies as a weapon to dispossess Indigenous and racialized peoples of their lands, cultures, and spiritualities. Given this devastating legacy, many want nothing to do with it. But is it possible for the exploited and their allies to reclaim the Bible from the dominant powers? Can we make it an instrument for justice in the cause of the oppressed? Even a nonviolent weapon toward decolonization?

In Unsettling the Word, over 60 Indigenous and Settler authors come together to wrestle with the Scriptures, re-reading and re-imagining the ancient text for the sake of reparative futures.

Created by Mennonite Church Canada’s Indigenous-Settler Relations program, Unsettling the Word is intended to nurture courageous conversations with the Bible, our current settler colonial contexts, and the Church’s call to costly peacemaking. (Comes with a study guide for groups.)

Order from Commonword.

On Becoming a Human Being

merton-jean-jacketCatholic monk, writer, mystic, and activist Thomas Merton plays with the concept that we become a “member of the human race” over the course of a life time. A concept that has great resonance for me.

It reminds me of John’s gospel (1:12-13): We are given authority to become children of God. (See Wes Howard-Brook’s great treatise on John titled Becoming Children of God: John’s Gospel and Radical Discipleship).

Merton writes:

Coming to the monastery has been, for me, exactly the right kind of withdrawal. It has given me perspective. It has taught me how to live. And now I owe everyone else in the world a share of that life. My first duty is to start, for the first time, to live as a member of the human race which is no more (and no less) ridiculous that I am myself. And my first human act is the recognition of how much I owe everybody else.–Thomas Merton

From Entering the Silence ( Journals, Volume 2) edited by Jonathan Montaldo (HarperSanFrancisco, 1997, p. 451).