Desmond Tutu has become one of the greatest moral voices of our time. In his new book, God is Not A Christian, an essential collection of his most historic speeches and writings, we witness his unique career of provoking the powerful and confronting the world in order to protect the oppressed, the poor, and the victims of injustice.
Tutu first won renown for his courageous opposition to apartheid in South Africa, but his ministry soon took on international dimensions. Rooted in his faith and in the values embodied in the African spirit of ubuntu, Tutu’s uncompromising vision of a shared humanity has compelled him to speak out, even in the face of violent opposition and virulent criticism, against political injustice and oppression, religious fundamentalism, and the persecution of minorities.
Arranged by theme and introduced with insight and historical context by Tutu biographer John Allen, God is Not a Christian: and Other Provocations (HarperOne, May 2011; ISBN 978–0–06–187462–8; $23.99) takes readers from the violent clashes in South Africa over Apartheid to the healing work of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee; from Trafalgar Square after the fall of the Berlin Wall to a nationally broadcast address commemorating the legacy of Nelson Mandela; from Dublin, Ireland’s Christ Church Cathedral to a basketball stadium in Luanda, Angola. Whether exploring democracy in Africa, the genocide in Rwanda, black theology, the inclusion of gays and lesbians in the church, or the plight of Palestinians, Tutu’s truth is clear and voice unflinching.
In a world of suffering and conflict, where human laws all too often clash with the law of God, Tutu’s hopeful, timeless messages become more needed and powerful with each passing year. The strength of principle found in this collection can inspire younger generations of every stripe to pick up Tutu’s mantle. GOD IS NOT A CHRISTIAN invites us to participate, to engage the spirit of ubuntu, because “without us, God has no eyes; without us, God has no ears; without us God has no arms or hands. God relies on us.”
Desmond Mpilo Tutu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his efforts to end apartheid in South Africa. In 1986, he was elected Archbishop of Cape Town, the highest position in the Anglican Church in Southern Africa, and in 2009 he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor. Tutu serves as Chairman of the Elders, a group of global leaders who campaign for justice and human rights worldwide.
John Allen is the managing editor of allAfrica.com and has served as director of communications of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The author of the Tutu biography Rabble-Rouser for Peace, he lives in Cape Town.