What do the gospels contribute to our understanding of nonviolent versus violent means of conflict resolution? Many biblical scholars contend that the gospels have little to say on this subject. Others seek answers in ethical principles found in Jesus's teachings, which may or may not be interpreted as accepting or rejecting violence. In Nonviolent Story Robert Beck proposes a new way of reading the Gospel of Mark, one that points to a challenging message of nonviolent resistance as reflected in the story of Jesus's life and ministry.
According to narrative analysis, the message of the Gospel is found in the structure of the story itself. Beck contends that the narrative form of Mark's gospel portrays Jesus as a protagonist who does not avoid conflict, but enters into it without himself resorting to violence. He thus serves as a model of the nonviolent resistance that inspired Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.
By using literary analysis to explore Mark's gospel, Beck opens up a "counter-story" that challenges the prevailing American cultural myth of "constructive violence." Beck uses the Western tales of Louis L'Amour as the narrative essence of this pop mythology--and the total opposite of the story told by Mark.
Endorsements & Reviews-
"A fresh new look at the good news of Gospel nonviolence . . . Provocative, insightful, stimulating, I highly recommend it." --John Dear, SJ, author, The God of Peace
"Exciting encouragement to all who struggle to overcome the viciousness that permeates the fabric of our society." --Jerome Murphy-O'Connor, OP
Robert R. Beck Ched Myers
A priest of the Dubuque Archdiocese, Robert Beck has been involved in peace and justice issues for a number of years, co-founding the ANAWIM Faith Resistance Community in Dubuque. He is currently professor of religious studies at Loras College. In addition to directing ministry formation and programs, Father Beck has authored an award-winning column on the lectionary, Sunday's Word.