A Reflection on the Life of Desmond Tutu

Reporting Africa

Selected reporting, first published on allAfrica.com


Books on Desmond Tutu Now Published in Eight Languages

“For decades Desmond Tutu has been a moral icon – a voice of principle, an unrelenting champion of justice, and a dedicated peacemaker. He is an outspoken voice for freedom and justice in countries across the globe.” – President Barack Obama.

John Allen’s two latest books, the biography of Desmond Tutu published as “Rabble-Rouser for Peace” and the collection of Tutu speeches, writings and sermons published under the title “God is not a Christian” are now contracted to appear in eight languages.

“Rabble-Rouser” – published in separate Commonwealth and North American English editions in 2006 – is also available in Chinese, Danish, Dutch, German and Swedish.

“God is not a Christian” – published in English, also in separate North American and Commonwealth editions, in 2011  – has since been published in German, Portuguese (in the Brazilian market), Danish and Spanish.

The author’s preface to “God is not a Christian” outlines the rationale for the collection:

“If the reasons for Desmond Tutu becoming one of the world’s most prominent advocates of faith-based social justice and religious tolerance can be reduced to a single, succinct statement, it is this: his fierce and uncompromising determination to tell the truth as he sees it…

“Watching him exercise his ministry over the course of thirty-five years, whether in the streets and stadiums of South Africa—rallying people’s morale with stirring rhetoric, channeling anger in creative directions, and defusing violence—or in closed meetings with dictators, Western leaders, or Zionists angry at his identification with the Palestinians, I came to see that it is when he is faced with the toughest, most challenging situations that he is at his best.

“It is when he is called upon to deliver his most unpopular messages—sometimes to his opponents, at other times to his supporters—that he articulates his values, his ideals, and his faith most powerfully and persuasively.”