cover art
184 pp., 6 x 9
ISBN: 9781626167254 (1626167257)

184 pp., 6 x 9
ISBN: 9781626167261 (1626167265)

ISBN: 9781626167278

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February 2020
LC: 2019005026



Nonviolent Politics and the Resurrection of the Dead
Kyle B.T. Lambelet

¡Presente! develops a lived theology of nonviolence through an extended case study of the movement to close the School of the Americas (also known as the SOA or WHINSEC). It analyzes how the presence of the dead—a presence proclaimed at the annual vigil of the School of the Americas Watch—shapes a distinctive, transnational, nonviolent movement. The book argues that such a messianic political theology devolves into neither violence nor sectarianism but generates practical reasoning. By developing this messianism in dialogue with the SOA Watch movement, the work contributes to the field of political theology by exploring the political implications of the resurrection of the dead. It contributes to studies of strategic nonviolence and civil resistance by demonstrating how religious and moral dynamics remain an essential part of such struggles.

Kyle B. T. Lambelet is a Louisville Postdoctoral Fellow at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. He has a PhD in Theology and Peace Studies from the University of Notre Dame. His work has been published in Political Theology, the Journal of Religious Ethics, Peace Review, and the Journal of the American Academy of Religion. This is his first book.

"In our cynical and morally impoverished times, Kyle B. T. Lambelet demonstrates that non-violent political action is effective because it is moral. ¡Presente! is a deeply researched, cogently analyzed work that shows how a religiously motivated social movement emerging from the left can make a difference. It offers much to think about and a ray of hope."—Lesley Gill, Professor, Department of Anthropolgy, Vanderbilt University

"Lambelet develops a compelling analysis of the history and practice of the movement that emerged to make visible the School of the Americas (SOA) at Fort Benning in Georgia...through his account, Lambelet challenges the ways both secularist social theorists and Christian theologians have understood nonviolence by setting out a political theology of nonviolent direct action that locates it as a tradition of practical wisdom grounded in a messianic horizon which can, nevertheless, include numerous religious and non-religious beliefs and practices. In doing so, Lambelet makes a signal contribution to the growing literature at the intersection of Christian ethics, ethnography, and political theology."—Luke Bretherton, Professor of Theological Ethics, Sr Fellow Kenan Institute for Ethics, Duke University