David Gushee’s attempt to define and defend the concept of the sacredness of life is a welcome reminder of why it is so important that we not take for granted the protections that surround our lives and the lives of others. In this sprawling book, he discusses extensively subjects as wide ranging as the Crusades, colonialism, Christian anti-Semitism, Locke, Kant, Nietzsche and Nazi Germany, as well as contemporary issues such as abortion, capital punishment and the status of rights that may seem only indirectly related to the main subject of the book. The breadth of the book is not accidental but reflects the fundamental argument at its heart: that our sense that life is sacred is a historical achievement that must be sustained by the memory of a people.
Spring books. Richard Lischer on a book's life; Valerie Weaver-Zercher on Amish fiction; eight preachers on what else they read besides commentaries.
Lord have mercy
Apr 09, 2015
A. M. Stroud III, a former prosecutor in Louisiana, expresses regret for the role he played in sending Glenn Ford to death row in 1984. “I was 33 years old. I was arrogant, judgmental, narcissistic and very full of myself. I was not as interested in justice as I was in winning.” Stroud says he presented dubious evidence from a forensic pathologist, precluded black jurors from the trial (Ford, since exonerated, is black), and ignored the fact that the appointed defense attorney had never before tried a criminal or capital case. “I . . . hope that providence will have more mercy for me than I showed Glenn Ford,” Stroud said in a letter to the editor of the Times of Shreveport. “But, I’m also sobered by the realization that I certainly am not deserving of it” (ABA Journal, March 25).