Theology Quotes: Eric H.F. Law

It's cool when you get a chance to read work for school by someone you've actually interacted with in real life.  This semester I'm reading an oldie but goodie by Eric H.F. Law for my class on spirituality and leadership, 1993's The Wolf Shall Dwell with the Lamb: A Spirituality for Leadership in a Multicultural Community.

I've never met Eric Law, but I did work with him a little in my role as editor of A Matter of Spirit, the quarterly journal of the Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center in Seattle. In that role, I had the unique opportunity to cold call (or cold email as the case may be) lots of folks, from Richard Rohr to Michael Crosby to Elaine Prevallet to Frida Berrigan (Catholic theology/religious life/peace activist nerds will know who those folks are). The conversation went something like this: "I'm the editor of a journal for a peace and justice center in Seattle. We've got an upcoming issue on X and think that you would be uniquely positioned to break open the topic for our readers." Then, assuming they were still on board, I'd give them a very short time line, an outline of what we were looking for, and break the news that this would be pro bono. I was often amazed at the gracious response and genuine desire to move the conversation forward with our readers. (Sometimes of course my cold calls/emails went into a black hole where they were never to be seen again).

This is a long way of saying that I had one of these interactions once upon a time with Eric Law. Except that he exceeded my expectations.  Not only was he gracious and genuinely desired to break open the key elements of culture and diversity for our readers, he surprised me. You see, his article was due the day after our nation executed it's target killing/assassination of a certain big name terrorist. Fear of the big bad wolf was replaced by college students partying in the streets. It was a strange moment, if you recall. Anyway, that morning I had an email from Eric Law. He asked for an extension, not because his article wasn't finished (it was), but because given this change of events he knew he had to approach it differently. Two days later, he sent me this article: Fear: Conqueror, Exploiter, and Miner.  Not only was the article amazing, I was impressed by his integrity, honesty, and commitment to this little side project for a small non-profit in Seattle.

Back to my homework. I spent a bit of time this afternoon reading his chapter on the need for leaders in multicultural community to be engaged in power analysis. It really struck a chord and is something I want to spend more time reflecting upon (and trying on). So I thought I'd share it with you, my bloggy friends!

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