Chapter

The Language of the Incandescent Heart: Daniel Berrigan's and Etty Hillesum's Responses to a Culture of Death

Anna J. Brown

in Faith, Resistance, and the Future

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780823239825
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780823239863 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fordham/9780823239825.003.0006
The Language of the Incandescent Heart: Daniel Berrigan's and Etty Hillesum's Responses to a Culture of Death

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How are Catholics to respond to a culture of death? This chapter answers this question by considering the life and thought of Berrigan and Etty Hillesum, a Dutch Jewish woman who died in Auschwitz. This chapter first considers the Church’s articulation of the culture of death in our contemporary world. It then biographically fleshes out the development of an awakened consciousness and conscience both in Berrigan and Hillesum. The chapter concludes with an exploration of their methods of non-violent resistance and peacemaking: the daily practice of prayer, the constant work of self-knowledge, and a commitment to life in community. Berrigan and Hillesum, by breathing new life into ancient practices, show us what non-violent revolutionary love looks like, hence their weighty challenge to Catholic social thought.

Keywords: Culture of death; Auschwitz; Non-violent resistance; Revolutionary love; Prayer; Community; Self-knowledge

Chapter.  9805 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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