Gustavo Parajón, This Peacemaker’s Story Is Circling the World

As the biography of Gustavo Parajón circles the world, Baptist World Alliance President Tomás Mackey (center) was reading the book while attending a global gathering of church leaders. (Photo by BWA Executive Director Elijah Brown)

Prayers for the Carter Family

THIS WEEK, everyone involved in the global effort to publish Healing the World: Gustavo Parajón, Public Health and Peacemaking Pioneer is sharing news about the timeliness of Parajón’s story. As his inspiring biography spreads around the world, the entire team of collaborators on this publishing project (from the UK to the US and Latin America) is praying for former President Jimmy Carter and his family, since Carter played such a crucial role in Parajón’s life and the former president recently endorsed Parajón’s memoir. Please, share this story with friends this week.

Co-author Daniel Buttry explains that connection between Carter and Parajón:

During the Civil War in Nicaragua (also known as the Contra War), Jimmy Carter went to Nicaragua to establish a Habitat for Humanity project there. CEPAD, the ecumenical relief agency founded by Gustavo Parajón and other Protestant church leaders, became Habitat’s Nicaraguan partner. Gustavo was the main person President Carter worked with. Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter sometimes were guests in their home for dinner or breakfast. Gustavo visited the Carters in Plains, preaching at the Baptist Church there.

Jimmy Carter saw the peace and reconciliation work Gustavo was doing in Nicaragua, which is detailed in Healing the World. Because of the deep community connections, the courage, and the creativity Carter saw in Parajon, Carter nominated Gustavo Parajon for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Then, as this book about Parajón was nearing publication, Carter sent the following endorsement:

“While other members of Nicaragua’s National Reconciliation Commission, afraid of being captured, remained safely in the capital city, Gustavo Parajón went into his country’s conflict zones, explaining, ‘I was afraid of not doing what God asked of me.’ I’m grateful for this detailed chronicle that preserves and spreads his remarkable legacy.”

On February 18, 2023, the Carter Center announced that following a “series of short hospital stays,” Carter decided to “spend his remaining time at home with his family” in Plains to “receive hospice care instead of additional medical intervention.”


Dr. David Gushee on the Importance of ‘Introducing Christian Ethics’ in an era of ‘Global Killers’

Q&A: How does ‘Christian Ethics’ translate into a ‘guide for daily living’?

Click the cover to visit the book’s Amazon page.

A year ago this week, only four days after Russia invaded Ukraine with the blessing of the Russian Orthodox church, our publishing house released Dr. David Gushee’s magnum opus: Introducing Christian Ethics: Core Convictions for Christians Today, which currently is available with a striking new blue cover via Amazon in Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle and Audible audio.

Our magazine headline that week, one year ago, was: With Christianity in crisis, Dr. David Gushee’s ‘Introducing Christian Ethics’ lays out a faithful path forward.

Soon, Russia began rattling its nuclear sabers, millions of new refugees were moving across Europe, global fears rose and many of us became more aware than we were before of threats that Gushee describes as “global killers”—threats to our future as a planet.

To mark the one-year anniversary of this timely book, Read The Spirit Editor David Crumm sat down with Dr. Gushee for this Question and Answer session.

QUESTION: What feedback have you heard from readers of Introducing Christian Ethics over the past year?

ANSWER: I continue to hear very encouraging things from readers. For example, Shane Claiborne sent me a new endorsement as we reached the one-year anniversary of the book.

QUESTION: We got a copy of Shane’s endorsement at the publishing house and we’ll add it to our conversation right here. He wrote:

Honestly, David Gushee is one of the most important voices on morality in our generation. I keep this book on my top bookshelf and it never gathers dust. David is one of the most wise, comprehensive, kind people I know. I could not more highly recommend Introducing Christian Ethics, especially in this current age where morality, truth, history and the future are all in jeopardy. It’s gold—actually, it’s even better than gold.

In relatively few words, Shane managed to hit on several of the key points readers are making about this book, didn’t he?

ANSWER: Yes, he did and that was very kind of Shane. He sums up a lot of the things we’re hearing from readers around the world.

First, readers tell us that this book is accessible and readable in a way that they’re not used to seeing in academic writing. I’ve also heard a lot of appreciation for the balanced presentation of the field as a whole—readers are pleased that they do not find just one perspective on these questions. And, I’ve heard from readers who appreciate learning more about Howard Thurman’s approach to the teachings of Jesus.

A Deep Dive into the Nature of Truth

QUESTION: We’re hearing those same things at the publishing house, but I would say that one of the most urgent questions readers are raising concerns the nature of truth itself. Did you expect to have to write about that so prominently in this book?

ANSWER: You’re right, this book takes a deep dive into the meaning and importance of truth. People realize that we are living in an era when truth is challenged, threatened, contested in ways that are new to those of us who have been around for a while. We have not seen this kind of manipulation of words, disinformation, misinformation—and now we have fewer if any agreed-upon arbiters of what is true. When I first began working in Christian ethics years ago, these were not the kinds of central issues they are now.

I also have heard from readers who appreciate the way I name Donald trump as having abused the truth in his presidency—and he continues to do so even now. I do not hold back or try to write in generalities about this. I feel strongly that his name needs to be named if we are going to be at all honest about what we’re dealing with right now.

The value of the truth, the significance of the truth, matters if we are going to maintain truthfulness as a laudatory character quality that we want to inculcate in our children and in our churches. That used to be taken for granted, but now people boldly tell bald-faced lies if they feel it can benefit them—and there do not appear to be substantial consequences for doing so.

In this new book, I get deeply into the question of truth—in fact more deeply than anything I have written before.

A ‘Magnum Opus’ with the emphasis of audio and video

QUESTION: We also are hearing from readers who are impressed that this is a uniquely multi-media book with options to read the text—or to listen to the audio or watch the video version with the click of a QR code. That’s something new for you, isn’t it?

ANSWER: Yes, and I am so pleased that we were able to put all of that content, including the audio and video, into the book without jacking up the price until it’s not affordable to most readers.

People tell me that they like to hear me read the book or to see me on video, if they choose to use those links. Hearing me or seeing me that way gives readers a better sense of my convictions, my passions, as I was writing these chapters. Most readers still want an ink-on-paper version of a book like this, so they can mark it up and add notes and so on. But, in this case, they also have those multimedia options.

It’s been fun, even in my own family. My grandson Jonah thinks it’s wonderful that he can click on a code and hear me, or see me.

QUESTION: Those multi-media options seemed important to all of us as we worked with you in developing this book. After all, this book has been described as your magnum opus—a major work summing up your decades of teaching. Do you agree?

ANSWER: Yes, but it’s more than a summation. One way to think about this book is that it represents an extended meditation on my own prior thought, including my earlier book Kingdom Ethics, which many readers also have on their shelves, as well as my other books.

If people already know my work, they will find in these pages a fresh engagement with that work over the decades. I graduated 30 years ago with my phD, which is a nice round number as a point to think back on three decades of work. So, it’s not just a summation. There’s fresh reflection here on all that has come before.

The Centrality of the Holocaust in Christian Ethics

QUESTION: Some of your reflections have changed, over time. But some of the major themes in your life’s work remain constant. For example, you continue to lift up the importance of minority voices. And you continue to emphasize the remembrance of past crimes and injustices—the Holocaust comes to mind. That’s central to your own life story, right?

ANSWER: I was born in Germany in 1962. There were war criminals and survivors walking the streets of Frankfurt when I was a baby. The centrality of the Holocaust to understanding Christianity and God’s relationship to the world is so clear to me that it surprises me to see how students I am working with today do not see the Holocaust as such a central issue in their studies. It’s as if the salience of the Holocaust is fading in our culture and in academia. I feel my generation has a sacred responsibility to keep this memory alive.

My dissertation was on Christians who rescued Jews in the Holocaust and that was significant in setting a trajectory for me. The Holocaust comes up in this book periodically because it’s a feature of all of my work.

QUESTION: You also emphasize the importance of our individual points of view—the lenses of our individual lives—even as we try to reach out to build bridges with minority communities. You’re talking about the importance of Black scholars like Howard Thurman and the importance of remembering Christian guilt in the Holocaust, but we’re well aware as readers that you are neither Black nor Jewish yourself.

Why is that question of personal perspective so important?

ANSWER: I am increasingly aware of the white Christian-centered world in which I was educated and into which I emerged. Now, I’m much more aware than I was years ago at the structural problems that European-American-colonial-White Christianity has caused. I’m more aware of the sins and the damage caused by this community out of which I come. The only hope for redemption, I think, lies in consciously trying to move outside of that world so we can listen to those who have been trampled on by our forebears. We must listen to those who have been on the margins and whose lives and voices have not mattered to the dominant groups. By situating Howard Thurman early in this new book, for example, I’m saying: I want us to read and think about Christian ethics through the experiences of people like Howard.

Why is ‘Introducing Christian Ethics’ a ‘guide for life’?

QUESTION: You have described Introducing Christian Ethics as a “guide for life.” At first glance, this looks more like a textbook than what we might think of as a daily “guide.” How are you hoping this book can guide everyday readers?

ANSWER: I think that we live in a time of a great deal of moral confusion and moral conflict. We are less and less clear about even the most basic things that have helped to structure Christian moral thinking—and that’s true whether we are “Christian,” “ex-Christian,” “Evangelical” or “ex-Evangelical.”

In this book, I take the reader on a journey through a series of questions: What is ethics? What is morality? Why is morality important? Is there any substance and solidity to our moral beliefs? How do we know what we know? How do we deal with the inevitable moral differences between people?

Confronting an Aggressive and Unjust War

QUESTION: Let’s talk about differences between Christians. Right now, for example, the head of a major branch of Christianity—the Russian Orthodox Church—has aligned himself completely with the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The global consensus on Christian ethics clearly is divided, isn’t it?

ANSWER: That question illustrates the importance of thinking about differences we may encounter in Christian ethics, but I do not think the Christian world really is divided on the question of the Russian invasion. What this example illustrates is the problem of leaders who sometimes are not trustworthy. My reading of the Patriarch of Russia is that his loyalty to his country and to his president is outweighing his clarity of thought that ought to be there when he thinks about this war. This is an aggressive war against a country that the world recognizes as an independent nation. I would say that 99.99 percent of all Christian ethicists and Christian leaders in the world understand this to be an aggressive and unjust war.

One of the things my colleague Glen Stassen helped me to see—and this point is included in Introducing Christian Ethics—is that it’s quite a struggle to think clearly faithfully and biblically in a Jesus kind of way when our own interests are at stake and our own loyalties are implicated. If our own family members are involved in something, we’re not going to think about it in the same way as someone whose family is not at the heart of it.

What are ‘Global Killers’?

QUESTION: Considering all the ethical issues you cover in this book, which ones would you place at the top of a list of “Most Urgent” issues today?

ANSWER: That’s a difficult question to answer because so many of these issues relate to daily headlines we all are reading from around the world.

So, I’m going to answer that question by grouping some issues together under what I would call “Global Killers.” By that I mean that “most urgent” are threats to the survival of human life—and planetary life as a whole. So, that puts global environmental challenges at the top of my list and the potential use of weapons of mass destruction from nuclear to chemical and biological weapons. There are more weapons of mass destruction now in the hands of dangerous leaders than ever before.

In responding to these “Global Killers,” we must affirm that life is God’s gift. This planet is God’s—and we humans have been entrusted with stewardship responsibilities.

Right now, we are wondering: Will our positive and creative potential prevail over our negative and destructive potential? A lot of pessimistic scholars today are saying that humanity is suicidal and even homicidal in terms of our treatment of God’s creation.

QUESTION: And yet you remain optimistic. This ultimately is a hope-filled book, isn’t it?

ANSWER: As a Christian, I have to believe that God is alive, that Jesus is not finished with us, that the Holy Spirit still moves—and that humanity and the church can continue to learn new things.

In fact, a good example of that is the way I describe how our tradition can be open to new insights in my earlier book, Changing Our Mind.

Care to Read More?

FOLLOW DR. GUSHEE’S WORK through our ongoing coverage at Read the Spirit weekly magazine. Click on the “get updates” link in the upper-right corner of our website to sign up for free weekly email updates. Don’t worry—you also can cancel those emails anytime. When Dr. Gushee has important new columns, new public appearances and even new books, our magazine will let you know.

ORDER YOU OWN COPY of Introducing Christian Ethics from Amazon now.

ON AMAZON, you’ll also find Dr. Gushee’s earlier best seller, Changing Our Mind.



In a world of conflict, Dr. Gustavo Parajón shows us a better way to live

Click on the cover to visit the book’s Amazon page.

Editor of Read the Spirit magazine

In an era when a Russian dictator can declare a war that kills thousands—and when angry political factions around the world routinely touch off deadly violence—millions of us are wondering:

Is there a better way to live?

Indeed, there is: We can look to the life of Gustavo Parajón (1935-2011), a Nicaraguan doctor and pastor who became so well known around the world for his peacemaking efforts that U2’s Bono once disguised himself so that he could quietly slip into a gathering of people listening to one of Parajón’s talks in the UK.

The distinctive nature of Parajón’s message transcended any particular political issue or public health challenge he was facing, say the co-authors of a new biography Healing the World—Gustavo Parajón, Public Health and Peacemaking PioneerWhat drew other global peacemakers to Parajón’s circle—from Bono to former U.S. President Jimmy Carter—was the deep well of faith-based compassion they found in Parajón. As he worked on public health and peacemaking projects, Parajón unfailingly found hope in each person he met—even when those people were men pointing guns at him.

“Dr. Parajón always saw the possibilities in each person he met,” said Damaris Albuquerque, co-author of the new biographyShe spoke with us for this article by Zoom from Nicaragua, where she carries on Dr. Parajón’s nonprofit work. “It was when he looked into the lives of the people he met that he started to find the ways that each person could join with him in service.

“When he met a person, he always began with questions about them, their families and the work that they did. He had a phenomenal memory for people and he cared about them so deeply that, when he met them again, he could immediately begin asking about their families and their work. As he talked with people about their lives, he would make connections—connections with other people and connections with the stories he loved from the Bible. As he talked with people, he knew the Bible so well that he could draw on the wisdom from so many different stories! Soon, the people he was talking with found themselves agreeing to do things in service to the community that they never expected they could do.

“When others saw this happening, they were inspired, too. Even people who at first seemed to be enemies—they saw he was showing them a different way to work with others, a different way of living. His calm voice and the way he cared for each person—even his enemies—won them over.”

Daniel Buttry, who served for many years as the international peace trainer for American Baptist Churches, said that he partnered with Damaris on researching and writing this book because Parajón was one of his most influential mentors.

“I did not know him as well as Damaris, because she worked with him on a daily basis for years, but the moment I did encounter him, he became my mentor, too. There was so much he taught me from the way he lived his life, the way he talked about his faith and the way he worked with others. When I took on this new global role for American Baptist Churches in 2003, I came to this new challenge after years of working in more traditional approaches to peacemaking: from writing letters, organizing petitions and lobbying Congress to protesting in the streets.

“Gustavo showed me possibilities that we were not really seeing in the world, where civilian initiatives like the ones Gustavo undertook had not been viewed as an effective way of pursuing change,” Dan said. “When I took on this new work for American Baptist Churches, Gustavo was a mentor to me in the possibilities of nongovernmental players opening avenues for peace talks that had not existed before.”

Leadership Lessons from the life of Dr. Gustavo Parajón

One of he major take-aways in the new biography is this leadership model that Dan and Damaris describe of an ordinary person—who is not an official governmental leader—stepping up as a community leader or even, in Parajón’s case, as a national catalyst for change.  Throughout his life, Parajón worked as a local pastor and a physician on a mission to pioneer public health outreach to the neediest corners of his country—doing all of that despite warring factions that more than once endangered his life.

To illustrate some of the leadership lessons readers will find as they explore Parajón’s life in Healing the World, Damaris summarizes just a few of them this way:

  • Treating each new challenge as one might examine a medical case: first describing the situation and the desired outcome, then the action plan and carefully observing what happens as this plan unfolds.
  • Never giving people advice without, first, helping the person to look for the solution.
  • Starting meetings by asking the participants to help describe the situation and the desired outcome.
  • Paying attention to personal details, including knowing each person’s name and something about their family or personal situation.
  • Remembering people, their names and their relationships.
  • Reminding people of our shared sources of wisdom, as he did when talking about stories from the Bible that illustrated a key message.

And those are just a few of the dozens of take-aways in this inspiring story of Parajón’s life.

“The best words I can think of to describe him are: pioneer and visionary,” said Damaris. “He saw potential in people who he knew could carry on this mission he had started. He was a connector and an enabler, but he also had this way of seeing what was possible in the world—even in the worst of times.”

That’s why all of us can benefit from reading about Parajón’s life, Dan said. One of the greatest lessons from his remarkable life is that “he was not full of himself—he was full of what God was doing in the world and he always was trying to share the possibilities that he could see so clearly. And, right now, that certainly is something we all could use in our world.”


Care to Learn More?

GET THE BOOK—Visit Amazon and buy your own copy of Healing the World—Gustavo Parajón, Public Health and Peacemaking PioneerThe book also is available from Barnes & Noble, from and from many other online retailers.

ENJOY THESE VIDEOS (and share them with friends)—To spark interest among your friends, congregation, nonprofit or small group, consider sharing the link to this story, as well as some of the following short videos:

READ A REVIEW BY BILL TAMMEUSVeteran journalist Bill Tammeus published an early review of Healing the World and said, in part:

Gustavo Parajón’s life can serve as a reminder to many of us citizens of the U.S. that there’s a bigger world beyond our borders and that throughout that world we can find amazing people doing amazing things. … And his story can encourage others to devote their lives to being a healing presence in the world, whether or not they are physicians. … This is a story that needed to be told, and one that can help shape young lives today.



In an era when hateful lies parade as truths, we need to read Lewis Baldwin’s ‘The Arc of Truth—The Thinking of Martin Luther King Jr.’

Martin Luther King, Jr., speaking against the Vietnam War, St. Paul Campus, University of Minnesota. Photo is used courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society and Wikimedia Commons.

Marking the Meaning of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday

Editor of Read the Spirit magazine

Click on the cover to visit the book’s Amazon page.

In a world where flat-out lies are celebrated as “alternative truths” and a rising tide of racist and antisemitic myths are paraded as “a matter of opinion” by certain celebrities—we all should read and share with friends: The Arc of Truth—The Thinking of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by Lewis V. Baldwin.

In an interview about this new book with Dr. Baldwin—Vanderbilt University professor emeritus of religious studies—he said, “Most of us know that Dr. King is a towering figure, a complex figure, who expressed ideas and translated them into a movement to empower and liberate humanity. For 40-some years, I have been researching, teaching and writing on Dr. King’s roots, his message, his work and his legacy. Through those years, I have become ever more convinced of the need for all rational and moral humans to be involved in this human struggle to empower people that he worked so hard to develop. Even now, so long after his passing, he can serve as a resource for all of us who are trying to reclaim a truth-telling culture.”

In the powerfully prophetic concluding section of his new book, Dr. Baldwin zeroes in on the urgency he feels in sharing King’s message as an antidote to social and political conservatives “with a callous disregard to truth and and humanity itself.”

Here’s just one passage from his book’s final chapter, describing Donald Trump’s four years as president:

Trump’s America encouraged an absence of concern for the weak, the destitute, and the vulnerable that we we have not seen since the King years—a spirit of sheer heartlessness and lack of empathy that is seemingly limitless, inexcusable in modern times, and really unfathomable. This became painfully real in policies aimed at immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers, and especially the children among them.

What outrages Dr. Baldwin even more than these attitudes and policies themselves is the effort by Trump himself and many other conservative political activists to claim King’s legacy as their own.

In our interview, I asked him about the pointed attack he wages in that section of his book. Dr. Baldwin said, “You are reading me correctly about that. The main thing I’m concerned about is how Dr. King’s legacy is being hijacked by forces on the Right in the service of a conservative social agenda that the Right wants to impose on America. For example, voices on the Right have been claiming for years that Dr. King would be opposed to Affirmative Action.

“Some voices on the Right are even claiming that, if Dr. King were alive today, he would be a Republican. And that’s problematic. This distorts Dr. King’s legacy and what he means for America today. This falls into the pattern of lies that are toxic as we seek to operate in a functioning democracy. It’s part of an anti-truth-telling culture that is dangerous because, as Dr. King tells us: Truth is foundational to the workings of democracy.”

‘Speaking Truth To Us In the Here and Now’

That final prophetic section of Dr. Baldwin’s book builds on the first five chapters that examine King’s life-long passion to see, understand and speak the truth about injustice in America—and eventually about injustice in communities around the world. In those five chapters, Dr. Baldwin’s scholarly case about Dr. King’s passion for Truth—with a capital T—is what adds such urgency to his application of King’s principles in today’s world. It’s that deeply researched effort “to speak truth to power” in this new book that has drawn so many powerful endorsements.

One of them comes from Susannah Heschel, the award-winning scholar and author who is the daughter of Dr. King’s ally Abraham Joshua Heschel. About Dr. Baldwin’s new book, she writes:

Dr. King was a prophet who came to save our country, and Baldwin captures his spirit and his voice, ringing loud and clear, to arouse, inspire, and unite us. He brings Dr. King to our present era, speaking truth to us in the here and now, as we face rising white nationalism and cope with ongoing systemic racism and government mendacity. This book is extraordinary!

Racism as a Worldwide Phenomenon

Dr. Baldwin’s message in this new book is as broad as Dr. King’s vision became over the four decades he had before he was cut down at age 39 in 1968.

In a final passage in his book, Dr. Baldwin writes in a cadence that recalls the crescendos of some of Dr. King’s own sermons:

Truth marches on because nothing can stop or defeat it. It marches on because it is imbued with the power and spirit of no surrender. It marches on because it has a date with destiny. It marches on in this post-truth era with the people of all races who raise the banner of Black Lives Matter, with women who comprise the Me Too crusade, with youngsters involved in the March for Our Lives against gun violence, with those who struggle against voter suppression and intimidation, and with those who refuse to bow to Trumpism, post-truthism, or any other form of spiritual and moral perversion and anti-democracy. It marches on with those who honor and celebrate King’s legacy not simply with words but also with deeds that change lives, structures, and institutions for the better. Truth marches on because only truth can have the last word in history.

As our interview drew to a close, I asked Dr. Baldwin how he hopes his new book will affect the lives of readers.

“First, I hope they would come away from this book with a better understanding of Dr. King because, right now, so much is being said about him that is untrue,” he said. “I am very concerned about this effort to hijack his memory by people on the Right trying to promote a conservative social agenda.

“Second, I hope that readers agree that Dr. King is meaningful for our time. There is a timelessness to the messages he brought us about truth telling. As we recognize him as a celebrated national hero, we need to listen to his message. We all need to join in an effort to reclaim a culture of truth if we hope to preserve our best moral and spiritual foundations.”


Care to read more about Dr. King from Dr. Baldwin?

After our main interview, Dr. Baldwin agreed to talk about the central themes in some of his other books about Dr. King.

There Is a Balm in Gilead: The Cultural Roots of Martin Luther King Jr.

To Make the Wounded Whole: The Cultural Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

“These two books together are foundational in the trajectory of my scholarship on Dr. King,” Dr. Baldwin said. “I began in The Roots to establish that he was first and foremost a man of the Black South and was shaped by the religion and other aspects of culture in the South. Then, To Make the Wounded Whole is a companion to that first book—looking at how his cultural legacy has been passed down to subsequent generations of activists in the Black community.”

The Voice of Conscience: The Church in the Mind of Martin Luther King, Jr. 

“Then, if you want to fully understand Dr. King, you have to understand his churchmanship,” Dr. Baldwin said. “He was first and foremost a clergyman with deep roots in the church. He talked more about the church in the 1950s and 1960s than any other subject. Throughout that period of his life, the church was the primary topic of his essays, his books and his talks. He had a vision that the church should lead in bringing about the fulness of the beloved community that he talked so much about.”

Dr. Baldwin also helped to produce two volumes in the Beacon Press 11-volume King Legacy series:

“Thou, Dear God”—Prayers That Open Hearts and Spirits

“In a Single Garment of Destiny”—A Global Vision of Justice  

Thou Dear God is a collection of 68 prayers by Dr. King falling into different categories,” Dr. Baldwin said. “Overall, that book falls into the spirituality genre in King studies. It’s an important book because we need to be clear that he was first a spiritual leader. I tried to convey that through my commentaries on these prayers.

“Then A Single Garment falls into the globalization genre in King studies. This book makes it clear that Dr. King was a global figure as well. He called himself a citizen of the world. He spoke as a citizen of the world who felt he had to talk about Vietnam and South Africa and antisemitism. If you don’t understand how he understood himself as a global figure, then you don’t understand Dr. King.”




Bill Tammeus reviews Gustavo Parajón biography: ‘A story that can help shape young lives today’

Thanks to veteran journalist Bill Tammeus for his pre-publication review of Healing the World: Gustavo Parajón, Public Health and Peacemaking Pioneer, which will be released worldwide on January 24, 2023.

His review appears in “The Book Corner” in Bill’s January 4 column. When you visit that web page, you’ll first find Bill’s timely call for all of us to support Holocaust education—considering the alarming rise in antisemitic incidents around the world. Then, as you scroll down, you’ll find The Book Corner review of Healing the World. Bill writes, in part:

Gustavo Parajón’s life can serve as a reminder to many of us citizens of the U.S. that there’s a bigger world beyond our borders and that throughout that world we can find amazing people doing amazing things. … And his story can encourage others to devote their lives to being a healing presence in the world, whether or not they are physicians. … This is a story that needed to be told, and one that can help shape young lives today.

Care to read more?

Inspired by Bill’s call for activism against bigotry? For more on combatting the rising tide of hate crimes—order a copy of Bill’s Love, Loss and Endurance: A 9/11 Story of Resilience and Hope in an Age of Anxiety, which includes practical advice about unplugging extremism.

AND—please order your copy of Healing the World now and Amazon will ship it to you on the launch date. Click on the book cover below:

From City Pulse: MSU journalism class breaks barriers through books

MSU School of Journalism Bias Busters team working on a book.

Our community of writers and readers was pleased, as January 2023 dawned, to read coverage of MSU Professor Joe Grimm’s Bias Busters team in the mid-Michigan-based news journal called City Pulse.

The profile of the Bias Busters was especially appreciated because it was prepared by Bill Castanier, Director of the Historical Society of Greater Lansing. Thanks Bill!

Bill’s story begins:

When Joe Grimm arrived on Michigan State University’s campus in 2013 as a visiting editor-in-residence, he had an idea for a new journalism class based on a project he had worked on in his career as an editor and reader advocate for the Detroit Free Press. While there, Grimm confronted racial biases and stereotyping of the Arab-American and Muslim populations of Detroit. Working with other journalists and the aforementioned communities, he published an in-house guide that answered questions about this group of people. Based on his experiences, he created a class called “Bias Busters” at MSU, which began to look at the stereotypes surrounding other groups, including the LGBTQ+ community, veterans, Indian-Americans and Native Americans.

Click here to visit the City Pulse website and read the entire article.

Want to See the Bias Busters’ Array of Books?

Click here to see Amazon’s index of all 20 books.

NOTE: Although that Amazon display defaults to the Kindle versions, all of the books are available in affordable paperback editions as well.


The life of Gustavo Parajón shows us how to multiply the power of justice.

How one crucial phone call spurred a movement

Our world desperately needs to learn from peacemakers! Just look at the global headlines, each morning, and you’ll agree: There must be a better way to live together.

That’s why—to start this new year—our publishing house is launching: Healing the World—Gustavo Parajón, Public Health and Peacemaking Pioneer. In this inspiring, true biography, readers will meet this seemingly ordinary fellow who stepped into situations that the most courageous warrior would fear—except that Gustavo Parajón was armed with his faith in his God-given talent to defuse confrontation with empathy.

Each week through January 2023, our Read The Spirit online magazine will be publishing inspiring true stories from Gustavo’s life. In this short video, the book’s co-author Daniel Buttry tells about one such moment in which a seemingly small intervention by Gustavo spurred people toward courageous action.