A LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER, ROBERT ELLSBERG - April 2017
Lately I have been reflecting on the challenge set forth by the French writer, Albert Camus, in a speech he delivered at a Dominican monastery after World War II. Camus was a famous unbeliever, and yet he never despaired of finding common cause with believers in the struggle against evil, cruelty, and injustice. “What the world expects of Christians,” he wrote, “is that Christians should speak out, loud and clear, and that they should voice their condemnation [of evil] in such a way that never a doubt could rise in the heart of the simplest person....”
Such women and men, who “spoke up clearly and paid up personally” as Camus put it, are not difficult to name. A great compilation of their stories, from St. Francis and Sojourner Truth to Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Oscar Romero, and Dorothy Day appears in Cloud of Witnesses, edited by Jim Wallis and Joyce Hollyday. Another Orbis classic, Peace is the Way, edited by Walter Wink, collects writings by great apostles of nonviolence, from A.J. Muste and Mahatma Gandhi, to Daniel Berrigan and Cesar Chavez. Modern Spiritual Masters presents the writings of twelve great spiritual writers, including Henri Nouwen, Thomas Merton, and Mother Teresa, who showed the connection between “contemplation and compassion” so essential to Christian disciples today.