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Prayer and the world—a healthy intersection

From the March 2007 issue of The Christian Science Journal

Lord, Have Mercy
By Claire E. Wolfteich
240 pp. San Francisco:
Jossey-Bass, $21.95 (hc).

TWO EXTREMES: A Christian monastery in the hinterlands of central France practices quiet meditation as a means of achieving tangible reconciliation. A hemisphere away, a South African pastor—a man of considerable religious and political clout—vehemently urges Christians to pray for the collapse of a proapartheid government.

Two questions: Does the cloistered monastery's approach of inward meditation—an arguably passive activity—pale in its effectiveness to bring about needed change in an unjust world? Does the anti-apartheid pastor, on the other hand, overstep the bounds of humble prayer by resorting to a hectoring, soapbox-style of preachiness?

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