Political Science

Department Spotlight

Whitworth Alumna’s New Book Analyzes James Douglass’s Theology of Nonviolence

Karin Holsinger Sherman, a 1998 alumna of Whitworth University, analyzes the work of James Douglass and his explorations of nonviolence and Christian discipleship in her new book, A Question of Being: The Integration of Resistance and Contemplation in James Douglass's Theology of Nonviolence (Wipf and Stock Publishers), which was released in July 2007.

James Douglass's writings have been recognized as among the most challenging and inspiring explorations of nonviolence and Christian discipleship in the last century. Throughout his career, Douglass has argued forcefully for the integration of contemplation and resistance, theology and cultural critique, spirituality and prophetic involvement. His work has inspired many of the key figures in recent debates regarding just war, Christian nonviolence, and radical discipleship.

In A Question of Being, the first book-length treatment published on Douglass's writings, Holsinger Sherman provides an introduction to and engagement with this important body of work through an exploration into its contextual history, influences, and main themes. Holsinger Sherman argues that these themes work together to create an “ontology of nonviolence,” an ontology that integrates the forces of resistance and contemplation so important to Douglass.

"Finally, the first serious study of the groundbreaking theology of James Douglass, one of the world's most influential theologians and activists," wrote John Dear, author of The God of Peace: Toward a Theology of Nonviolence, in a review of Holsinger Sherman's book. "This book will be a great help to everyone interested in the Gospel journey of peace and nonviolence, and the coming of a new world without war, poverty or nuclear weapons."

Douglass and his wife, Shelley, are co-founders of the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action in Poulsbo, Wash., and Mary’s House, a Catholic Worker house of hospitality in Birmingham, Ala. He is currently writing three books on the assassinations of the Kennedys, Malcom X, and King in the 1960s.

Holsinger Sherman graduated from Whitworth with a double-major in peace studies and French. She received her master’s degree in Christian spirituality from the Graduate Theology Union in Berkeley, Calif. Holsinger Sherman and her husband currently reside in Cambridge, England.

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