Reviews on Resources for Biblical and Theological Studies

Heagle. Justice Rising (2010)

Written By: Paulson Pulikottil - Mar• 15•11

Heagle, John H. Justice Rising. The Emerging Biblical Vision (Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 2010). ISBN: 978-1-57075-884-3

This book is the fruit of more than 42 years of experience of the author as a pastor, professor and campus minister. The book identifies fear and violence in response to it as the main issue that our times. The right way to respond to violence in our society  is not with vilonece but being transformed by a vision of justice that the Bible offers. Heagle offers us a  “critical, historical, and theological evolution of the meaning of biblical justice and peacemaking.”
He accepts the fact that there is violence in the Judaeo-Christian scriptures but there is also an emerging ethical consciousness which moves from retributive justice to restorative and transformative justice. This means that violence was a form of justice making for the primitive people but this does not mean that it should be so for our days.
The first few chapters prepares the ground as the author discusses the reasons for the presence of various forms of injustice in our modern consciousness and the wrong notions of jutice that prevail. He then sketches the evolution of this new biblical conscious beginning with the Sinai covenant, through the changing role of the Redeemer, the Servant of the Lord in Isaiah to the self-giving mission of Jesus Christ. This vision of emerging consciousness of justice sketched so vividly for us in this book is captured by its title, “Justice Rising. The Emerging Biblical Vision.”
The book moves on from this theoretical description of the evolution of this notion of justice to our contemporary world. Heagle challenges us to come to a change of heart and attitudes as we understand this unfolding vision of justice and peace making. This change in our thinking and our behaving has to take place at the level of our religious institutions as well.
In a world where fear of violence guides our daily life and this fear leading us to justify or use violence as a means of securing justice for ourselves and our communities, this book is an altar call to repent.

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