How close do we dare to get to Jesus Sermon on the Mount? It s widely considered the key to understanding who Jesus was and what mission he strove to fulfill. For two millennia, countless people have wrestled to apply it, from Augustine to Luther to Tolstoy to Gandhi. Alongside much wisdom, there has been much evasion, prompting Jewish theologian Pinchas Lapide s tart comment: The history of the impact of the Sermon on the Mount can largely be described in terms of an attempt to domesticate everything in it that is shocking, demanding, and uncompromising, and render it harmless. There s good reason for this: Jesus teaching is deeply disruptive. It demands a top-to-bottom reordering of life, work, and social relations, starting with radical economic sharing, nonresistance and love of enemies, lifelong marriage, and unconditional forgiveness.
This issue of "Plough Quarterly" focuses on people willing to get their hands dirty living out the Sermon on the Mount. Their ranks include Dorothy Day, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, John Wesley, Henri Nouwen, Mother Teresa, and others you ll meet in these pages. Their insights are not to be consumed passively. Rather, they should inspire and equip each of us to roll up our sleeves and get to work.
Bold, hope-filled, and down-to-earth, "Plough Quarterly" features thought-provoking articles, commentary, interviews, short fiction, book reviews, poetry and artwork to inspire everyday faith and action. Each issue brings together essential voices from many traditions to give you fresh insights on a core theme such as peacemaking, biblical justice, children and family, building community, man and woman, nature and the environment, nonviolence, or simple living. Starting from the conviction that the teachings and example of Jesus can transform and renew our world, it aims to apply them to all aspects of life, seeking common ground with all people of goodwill regardless of creed."