The Radical Compassion of Jesus
Experiments in Jesus-oriented principles and practices of reimagining and building a new world in the shell of the old.
“Cause us trouble Keith, but not too much trouble,” these were final words of advice from a bishop to a new curate the day before his ordination. This book is the result of much reflection on that advice. Keith Hebden, parish priest and spiritual activist brings action and theory together with ideas that are as practical, accessible and exciting as the activism they underwrite. Beginning with the conviction that Jesus was an activist who was deeply committed to community, this book seeks to explore ways in which each of us can challenge the unjust structures that keep us from realising our full and common humanity. Seeking Justice is a timely reminder of our need to face up to our personal ability to change the world we live in and the urgency of the task ahead.
REVIEWS & ENDORSEMENTS
- "I have known Keith Hebden for quite a few years. We live on opposite sides of the planet, so we don't get to talk much, but every time we get together we share notes about our journey towards a wholehearted love that seeks hard after justice. In Seeking Justice Keith gets to share his journey in the depth and the detail that we could never have in a single conversation. In Seeking Justice Keith helps us see the world through the eyes of a radical compassion that embraces beauty, rebels against brutality and commits itself resolutely to work slowly but surely to create a better future, In Seeking Justice Keith shares the way to engage in change with great care, so we can envisage what it would mean for us to do likewise". Dave Andrews, well known speaker, activist, author, and member of the Waiter's Union, Brisbane ~ Dave Andrews
- This book is as exciting as it is important - both profoundly spiritual and intensely practical, passionately calling us to seek and work for justice within our neighbourhood and all creation. With a single sweep Keith strips away the seemingly benign camouflage clothing our society to reveal its monstrous reality, then shows us how - with God’s strength - we can be part of building the new world within the shell of the old. ‘Seeking Justice’ is unashamedly Jesus focused, but draws wisdom from many faiths and beliefs. Filled with personal stories of activism that blaspheme the gods and powers of the status quo, it gives us the tools we need. This book inspires a creative imagination that is visceral and tactile in its peace building, without any hint of violence but saturated in the radical compassion of true love. If you long for change ‘Seeking Justice’ is for you.
Noel Moules is a thinker, teacher and activist for peace, justice and deep ecology. He is creator and director of the Workshop programme for applied spirituality and a founder member of the Anabaptist Network UK. He is the author of, ‘Fingerprints of Fire … Footprints of Peace’. ~ Noel Moules
- It is a dangerous book that dares to build a thesis on Jesus’ allusion to ‘binding the strong man’ in Mark 3 v27. It is about time that we in Britain had access to a ‘home grown’ dangerous book that makes the most of insights from American writers who have spotlighted the radical nature of Jesus’ performance. The countless examples and stories of resistance and action rooted in neighbourhoods up and down Britain makes for a story line that would grace many pages of the Sunday supplements – and no doubt cause consternation. Keith Hebden makes visible what has been happening ‘underground’ over the last decade. This book is an implicit celebration of what happens when we are able to read the Gospels in their fullness, not constrained by lectionaries and other limiters. Ian Frazer, now of the Iona Community wrote a wonderful book “Reinventing Theology as the People’s Work”, when he wrote it in 1980 it seems aspirational. The book that you now have in your hand suggests that the radicalness of the Gospels cannot remain domesticated when those who are being marginalised are able to learn from Jesus of Nazareth. The Gospels are dangerous and so is this book because it is now impossible to be content with institution-serving efforts at mission.
Ann Morisy is a community theologian and the author of the best-selling books Beyond the Good Samaritan and Journeying Out. She lectures widely and leads workshops, both in the UK and abroad. ~ Ann Morisy