Righteous rage

The Enigma of Anger: Essays on a Sometimes Deadly Sin. By Garret Keizer. Jossey-Bass, 363 pp., $22.95

Provocative, thoughtful and supremely useful, this book is a brave expedition to a place most of us would rather not go, the seat of our anger. Keizer is attempting nothing less than to restore anger to its proper place within Christian tradition as a God-given gift for combatting injustice and evil, a gift that turns into sin when we use it for any other purpose. I found the book to be a healthy and much-needed antidote to a slew of cultural orthodoxies: that we can "rise above" anger; that it's a "problem" to be solved, or talked out in therapy; that it is "always tied to an objective cause," and if we can just eliminate or escape from that cause, we can be at peace. These comfortable lies, Keizer asserts, are nothing less than a denial of our essential humanity as created in the image of God.

 

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