Pre-Trip Reading: Witnesses to the Kingdom

Students going to El Salvador have been assigned a handful of books to read before the trip and after the trip, each requiring a brief written reaction piece. Here’s one of mine:

Witnesses to the Kingdom: Martyrs of El Salvador and the Crucified Peoples by Jon Sobrino

A figurehead of liberation theology, Jon Sobrino is a respected theologian who’s writing about those who have gone before him who engendered both his respect and represented something profound in their theology or what they represent theologically. He’s writing about martyrs.

Rather than tour through all of the stories Sobrino tells of martyrs, I want to address his writing style and philosophy because that is what intrigues me most as a writer. With all due respect to those who have died for a cause, all I can say about reading these stories is I was struck by how I’ve never even contemplated this sort of thing to be a part of my life. I don’t know anyone who has died for a cause and I don’t know what cause I believe strongly enough in to offer my life. I’ve heard it said many parents would die for their children though perhaps I need children in order to truly understand this idea. I’m still wrapping my head around the concept of martyrdom, even after reading the stories in Sobrino’s book, though something tells me it’s going to come up more than once on the trip. With that said, exploring why Sobrino’s writing style is so powerful definitely intrigues me and is inspirational in terms of my own desire to produce better writing.

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