Review of Jim Forest, At Play In The Lion’s Den: A Biography and Memoir of Daniel Berrigan
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This book is the biography of an intellectual who moved from orthodoxy (right belief) to orthopraxis (right practice). There have been such changes before, notably that of Karl Marx, who remarked that hitherto, philosophers had sought to understand the world, but the time had come to change it. Daniel Berrigan, an American Jesuit priest, could not have agreed more.
His time was the Vietnam War. Estimates vary as to the size of the casualties of that war. Wikipedia puts the total death toll at about 3,000,000. The North Vietnamese Army reckoned it lost 1,100, 000. An estimated 85,000 children were killed. America then possessed more wealth than the rest of the world combined. Daniel Berrigan and his brother, Philip, also a Catholic priest, thought that the USA was crushing a tiny South East Asian country.
Daniel Berrigan was awakened from his dogmatic slumbers by Dorothy Day, a Gandhi like figure, who had been working with colleagues in American slums for decades. She lived as though...