Archives For Albert Nolan

 

A Brief Review of

Hope In An Age of Despair.
Albert Nolan.

Paperback: Orbis Books, 2009.
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Reviewed by R. Dean Hudgens.

Fr. Albert Nolan has been an important figure in South African liberation theology for several decades.  A twenty-fifth anniversary edition of his book Jesus Before Christianity was published in 2001.  This smaller volume (edited and introduced by Stan Muyebe) brings together articles, essays, and homilies from a variety of sources.  It represents a helpful introduction to Nolan’s life and work and contains a “selected bibliography” of his writings dating back to 1976.  Nolan has been a notable leader in the Catholic church and the Dominican Order in South Africa during the difficult years of apartheid and beyond.  He chose to remain there even when offered a distinguished ecclesiastical position in Rome.  He was a primary contributor to the 1985 Kairos Document which protested South African apartheid policy and provoked much attention around the world.  Nolan’s liberation theology is strongly christocentric in theory and mystical-prophetic in practice.  This collection provides a very wholistic perspective on his work as Nolan addresses the biblical basis for justice, the need for a life of prayer and contemplation, and the concrete spiritual and physical needs that continue to be manifest in South Africa today.  Speaking from a situation that once seemed so thoroughly without hope; a situation in which for so long the world saw the church at its oppressive worst; Nolan continues to speak with a unique authority as a representative of a faith-filled and courageous church, that has demonstrated the gospel at it’s liberating and reconciling best.  This is not a great book, but it comes from a great man with a great faith and an enduring hope.