Stringfellow, in Dissenter in a Great Society, is not concerned with partisan politics but applies the standards of biblical prophetism to current attitudes to poverty and property, the continuing war between the races, protest movements, and the search for commitment. As Nat Hentoff said in The Nation, "Stringfellow is no liberal. He is a radically relevant Christian - an extremely rare species." He argues that to be a Christian is to be truly human - radically involved in the conflicts and controversies of society. He advocates no naive social gospel, but dares to speak of the liturgy as a political event, and exposes the pietists, pharisees, and do-gooders who betray the idea of Christian involvement. Mary McCarthy has written, "Stringfellow has been prompted by a spirit that is like the ghost of Simone Weil."
Endorsements & Reviews-
Introducing the Dissent Trilogy by William Stringfellow Dissenter in a Great Society Suspect Tenderness The Politics of Spirituality
"Because Stringfellow's critique was radically biblical and biblically radical, he was no party-line dissenter. If one marks the current three volumes by their historical moments, they can be identified as responses to incumbent political administrations. Dissenter in a Great Society (1966) illuminates the Lyndon Johnson era. Suspect Tenderness (1971) critiques the Nixon regime. And Politics of Spirituality (1984), in many ways Stringfellow's culminating little opus, responds to the blasphemies of the Reagan administration."
Bill Wylie-Kellermann (from the series foreword)
"These books burn with a holy fervor. They are graced with costly hope; what is impossible in the public arena can be done up close, with a few by a few. There could exist communities of non-betrayal. Its members would gather, open the bible, then scatter to their work. Freed from lust after power or prestige, they would keep the Word of God in a time when few keep any word at all. Keeping the Word, that was the point. Do it then!"
Daniel Berrigan (from the series introduction)
William Stringfellow was a practicing attorney and a prominent Episcopalian layman, who frequently contributed to legal and theological journals. After his graduation from Harvard Law School, he practiced some years in the East Harlem neighborhood in New York City. He was a visiting lecturer at several law schools and lectured at theological seminaries across the country.