Imagine No Religion by Blase Bonpane
The Autobiography of Blase Bonpane

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Synopsis

This is the personal story of the life of Blase Bonpane, a vanguard practitioner of liberation theology and a former Maryknoll priest.

In the wake of the Second Vatican Council 1962-1965 many religious people, especially those serving in Latin America, began to understand a spirituality that transcended sectarianism. Having come from an upwardly mobile Italian American family marked by Southern Italian anti-clericalism, Blase was accustomed to hearing his parents express real differences with their institutional church. He went into the seminary despite the avid protests of his parents.

Blase’s odyssey takes us from his high school and college years, through his service in Guatemala during a violent revolution, to his expulsion from that country for “subversion.” After receiving gag order from the Church, which he could not in good conscience accept, Blase met with the editorial board of the Washington Post and released all of the material he had regarding the U.S. military presence in Guatemala. This action led to his separation from the Maryknoll Fathers.

Blase accepted a teaching post at UCLA. While serving in academia, he met the former Maryknoll Sister Theresa Killeen, who had served in Southern Chile. They married in 1970. Their adventures include working directly with Cesar Chavez at his headquarters in La Paz, California, building solidarity with the Central American Revolution, forming the Office of the Americas, working in the forefront of the international movement for justice and peace, and raising two children.

Blase worked on the ground for international peace in Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Honduras, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Cuba, Japan and Iraq. He led the U.S. contingent of the International March for Peace in Central America from Panama to Mexico in 1985-1986.

 

About Blase Bonpane

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Blase Bonpane is the director of the Office of the Americas. He has served on the faculties of UCLA and California State University Northridge. His articles have been published internationally, and he has worked as a contributor to the Los Angeles Times and The New York Times. Blase previously served as a Maryknoll Missioner in Guatemala during the revolutionary conflict of the 1960s. As a result of his work in peasant organization, he was expelled from that country in 1967. On his return to the United States, Blase and his family lived at the headquarters of United Farm Workers with Cesar Chavez, where he was editor of UFW publications. He is host of the weekly radio program World Focus on Pacifica Radio (KPFK, Los Angeles). Blase previously hosted the program World Focus on Time/Warner TV Educational and Public Access Channels. He was named “the most underrated humanist of the decade” by the Los Angeles Weekly. In 2006, he was awarded the Distinguished Peace Leadership Award by the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. His previous books include: Civilization is Possible (Red Hen Press, 2008); Common Sense for the Twenty-first Century (2004); Guerrillas of Peace: On the Air (2000); and Guerrillas of Peace: Liberation Theology and the Central American Revolution (iUniverse, 2000, 3rd edition).
 
Published January 1, 2012 by Red Hen Press. 240 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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“As is the case of Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan, the Central American Wars were pure and simple state terrorism on the part of our country.” Despite a heavy emphasis on the story of his activism, Bonpane always comes back to issues of religion, addressing his belief in liberation theology and i...

Aug 28 2011 | Read Full Review of Imagine No Religion: The Auto...

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