Crucified People

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In light of Christ's passion, a psychologist and theologian struggles to understand and respond to the practice of torture and the sufferings of the "crucified people."

In this timely and soul-searching work, John Neafsey explores the relation between Christ's passion and the ongoing practice of torture in our world,  Drawing on his own experience in treating victims of torture, Neafsey explores the psychological and spiritual impact of this abuse on its victims, and on the torturers, as well.  This theme opens into a wider reflection on those Ignacio Ellacuria called "the crucified peoples of history."  When we see Christ in these victims, spiritual discernment must be joined by social analysis and action.  What have we done to put these people on the cross?  What must we do to take them down?  Finally, Neafsey explores the possibilities for healing and redemption, especially the challenge for all of us to become more deeply human by awakening from what Jon Sobrino calls "the sleep of inhumanity."

"Part of the beauty of this book is the connection Neafsey makes between Jesus who was crucified as a historical figure and the experience of huge numbers of tortured poor people across the world.  Most of all, he extends a warm and compassionate embrace not only to those who have been tortured but implicitly to those like himself who care for them." --Father Michael Lapsley, SSM, Institute for Healing of Memories, Cape Town, South Africa

"Out of his own deep faith, open spirit, and clinical experience working with torture victims, Neafsey invites us to put ourselves where God is, with the millions of crucified people.  This book is both analytically incisive and inspiring, the best succinct book I know of on torture and how to heal it." --William T. Cavanaugh, DePaul University

John Neafsey is a clinical psychologist in private practice and a member of the staff at the Heartland Alliance Marjorie Kovler Center, a treatment program for survivors of torture in Chicago.  He is a member of the Collegeville Institute Seminar on Vocation across the Lifespan.  He is the author of A Sacred Voice is Calling, Personal Vocation and Social Conscience, which won two Catholic Press Association Book Awards.

Book Details

Crucified People
The Suffering of the Tortured in Today's World
John Neafsey
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Crucified People Table of Contents 74 Kb
Neafsey’s careful consideration of suffering, and especially torture, is a necessary theological and spiritual treatment of the subject that accomplishes a number of very important objectives. Through a blend of modern psychology, Ignatian spirituality, and liberation theology, Neafsey makes an irrefutable contribution to theological reflection on suffering.... I recommend this book for undergraduate and graduate theology courses dealing with suffering and spirituality or Christology.
This is a very powerful book. It is small but mighty.... [It is] a great book for political science and history classes for the consciousness raising that it provides as well as for religion classes because of its underlying basis in faith.
Crucified People is a sobering work on a subject that deserves more thought and prayer.
This book elegantly brings together results from psycho-social research and excerpts from personal stories and understandings. It provides a basic overview of the aspects of torture and post-trama. Therefore, I see this book as being of benefit for both undergraduate and graduate students from the disciplines of psychology, social work, anthropology, sociology, conflict-resolution/peace education, as well as for students in the health professions.
" . . . most of all Neafsey explores possibilities for healing and redemption, especially the challenge for readers to become more deeply human by awakening from what Jon Sobrino calls 'the sleep of inhumanity.'"
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