Polebridge Press, 200?
Reviewed by Rev Dr Noel Park, a retired minister within the Nambour congregation
Some years ago the program “Spring and Fall” on ABC TV included an episode devoted to the work of the late Fr Ted Kennedy at the Redfern Catholic church in Sydney. Kennedy had made the presbytery available to indigenous men and woman from the area and referred to himself as a “guest” in the old house. One of Kennedy’s statements was that if we wish to know Christ we must go to the place where the poor are.
A very similar theme underlies the writing of Professor Jack Hill. He has produced a book which could well be used in discussion groups as well as for informative reading. Each chapter concludes with questions and ‘talking points’ which tease out the issues raised in that chapter.
Professor Hill sets out to take the statements attributed to the historical Jesus and to set them within a contemporary life setting. He uses many of his own experiences, such as his years in South Africa and in Jamaica, as well as in post 9-11 USA, to create images of real life in the post modern age. This process raises many important issues about the “Christian” response to poverty, racial discrimination and disadvantage in contemporary society.
Whether or not this book achieves the cover claim of “Joining the dots between what Jesus said long ago and what we experience today –” is up to each reader to decide. For me it certainly made me stretch my thinking in that regard.
Hill’s search for reconnection in our modern society may be something of a modern version of Buber’s “I-Thou” but it would facilitate some extremely valuable discussion in local study groups or workshops
Ethics in the Global Village is a book worthy of a place on bookshelves of all Christians who take a serious interest in the ethics of community, social status or international relations.