Rage and Resistance: A Theological Reflection on the Montreal Massacre

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Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Press, 2007 - Religion - 145 pages
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On December 6, 1989, a man armed with a semi-automatic rifle entered an engineering school in Montreal and murdered fourteen women before killing himself. Responses to what has come to be known as “The Montreal Massacre” varied, from the initial shock and mourning and efforts to “make sense” of the tragedy to an outpouring of writing, art, conferences, and political lobbying. Rage and Resistance: A Theological Reflection on the Montreal Massacre examines, from a theological perspective, how the massacre was “taken up” by the media, experts, politicians, and a variety of individuals and groups.

A practical exercise in Canadian contextual theology, Rage and Resistance analyzes responses to a tragic historical event by engaging with the work of theologian Gregory Baum and sociologist Dorothy Smith. Baum articulates the theological imperative to address the context in which our lives are embedded, calling for critical social analysis in order to understand, and possibly convert, social evil; Smith takes the standpoint of women as a determinate position from which society may be known.

If one of the tasks of theology is to articulate and clarify the struggles in which we are engaged—to name our reality, both the forces that oppress and the possibilities for resistance and healing—this book takes on that task by focusing on an event indelibly etched into the minds of many Canadians. It analyzes some of the artistic, memorializing, and activist responses as manifestations of a spirituality of resistance and urges ever greater resistance to violence against women.


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Roughing It in the Bush
1 Mapping a Way Through
2 How Does It Happen to Us as It Does?
3 The Stubborn Particulars of Grace
4 What Shall We Tell Our Bright and Shining Daughters?
Look Again
Violence against Women and Girls
Selected Bibliography

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About the author (2007)

Theresa O’Donovan is an associate professor in the Department of Religious Studies and Philosophy at Brescia University College in London, Ontario. Experiences teaching in Sierra Leone and Nicaragua provided the impetus that led her to theological studies. Her interests include issues of violence against women, contextual theologies, and politically oriented spiritualities.

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