Subtitled: Discernment and Resistance in a World of Domination
"One of the most pressing questions facing the world today is, How can we oppose evil without creating new evils and being made evil ourselves?
"It is my conviction that any attempt to face the problem of evil in society from a New Testament perspective must be bound up with an understanding of what the Bible calls the “Principalities and Powers.” I am also convinced that no social ethic can be constructed on New Testament grounds without recognition of the role of these Powers in sustaining and subverting human life.
"My thesis is that what people in the world of the Bible experience and called “Principalities and Powers” was in fact real. They were discerning the actual spirituality at the center of the political, economic, and cultural institutions of their day. The spiritual aspect of the Powers is not simply a “personification” of institutional qualities that would exist whether they were personified or not. On the contrary, the spirituality of an institution exists as a real aspect of the institution even when it is not perceived as such. Institutions have an actual spiritual ethos, and we neglect this aspect of institutional life to our peril." -- from the Introduction
CRITICAL ACCLAIM FOR ENGAGING THE POWERS:
"In this magnificent finale to this trilogy, Walter Wink engages the Powers with brilliant exegesis and a profoundly creative nonviolence, revealing the way to the Powers' and our own transformation. Wink on the Powers is a classic resource for activist and scholar alike." - JAMES W. DOUGLASS, Ground Zero Community
"This book provides an intellectual, historical, and scriptural basis for the truth of Christian nonviolence. It will be an inspiration to many people, and particularly helpful to those who have come into nonviolence intuitively, or through a painful experience." - MAIREAD (CORRIGAN) MAGUIRE, Nobel Peace Laureate, Northern Ireland
"In his remarkable trilogy on the principalities and powers, Walter Wink has biblically verified what more and more of us have come to realize intuitively; namely, that underneath and within the social, economic, and political crisis we face, there are profoundly spiritual realities which must be confronted. In this newest and final volume Wink offers keen insight into how the 'powers' may not only be exposed but actually engaged and resisted. His reflections on the meaning of prayer, both in our lives and in our world, are some of the best I have ever seen. Building on the work of earlier pioneers like William Stringfellow, Wink presents us with the sobering and illuminating truth that movements for social change will simply never succeed unless they come to terms with the existence and pervasive presence of the structural and spiritual forces the Bible refers to as principalities and powers. And there is no better treatment of the biblical and contemporary meaning of the powers than Walter Wink's." -- JIM WALLIS, Sojourners
"Sheer grace, that Engaging the Powers should come forth at this time when world leaders have captured the language of 'new world order' and are consolidating the power to enforce a dominating vision of geopolitical reality. How faith confronts these worldly schemes and what conscientious Christians can do to bear faithful and effective witness to a higher order is the prophetic gift of insight found in these pages." -- JAMES FORBES, Senior Minister, Riverside Church, New York City
"Engaging the Powers is a courageous, scholarly, and yet intensely personal attempt to help us better understand the problem of evil. In this third volume of his encyclopedic work on the forces he calls 'the powers,' Wink provides an incisive analysis that repeatedly shows the centrality of gender equity to a world of partnership and peace. And he powerfully challenges us to change the social institutions that throughout recorded history, all too often in the name of God and good, have abetted so much demonic energy, and to reconceptualize theology so it may serve as a tool for personal and social transformation." -- Riane Eisler, author, The Chalice and the Blade
"The Quaker, E!ton Trueblood, once commented to the effect, 'You can accept Jesus; you can reject Jesus; but you cannot reasonably ignore him.' To agree with everything in this book might be to betray your own power of discernment. To deliberately ignore it would be to betray your very humanity." -- M. SCOTT PECK, author, The Road Less Traveled and People of the Lie
"Engaging the Powers forcefully drives home one of the impelling truths of our era: the real battle against the evil in today's world is a spiritual battle. Walter Wink, with exceptional moral and intellectual force, convinces us that the weapons for this battle are not carnal, such as our habitual employment of domination and violence, but rather they are spiritual, among the most effective being prayer. I could not agree more that 'History belongs to the intercessors.'" ---- C. PETER WAGNER, Professor of Church Growth, Fuller Theological Seminary
"In the third volume of his trilogy on the powers Walter Wink prompts us to reconsider the impoverished character of so much of our theology. In a wide-ranging study with a plethora of insights on familiar biblical texts he reminds us of Christianity's counter-cultural message and the practice it demands. It is a salutary message for any who would capitulate to the spirit of the age and find that they are in thrall to the Powers." -PROFESSOR CHRISTOPHER ROWLAND, Oxford University
"Delivering more than he promised in his first two volumes, this proves to be the most profound in Wink's trek towards the cultural and personal interior. This book does for the last generation of this century what Barth's Commentary on Romans did for the first. This is a major contribution, not just to scholarship, but to the planet." - ARTHUR J. DEWEY, Xavier University
"In this extraordinary and seminal book, Walter Wink applies trenchant New Testament scholarship to the growing phenomenon of 'people power' uprisings and nonviolent movements across the planet. The result is a challenging examination of just war theories and violent liberation struggles from which the revolutionary power of Jesus' 'third way' is demonstrated in a fresh and bold way." -- RICHARD DEATS, Fellowship of Reconciliation
"A masterwork. Combines skillful biblical exegesis with prodigious knowledge of our modern world to produce a radically new understanding of Christianity as victory over the Powers that dominate and enslave." -- ROBERT T. FORTNA, Vassar College
"God has blessed the writing of this book. It has been a turning point in my understanding." -- BISHOP STEPHEN VERNEY, The Abbey, Sutton Courtenay, England
"This is the most important and exciting theological work to emerge in a generation. It will have a profound effect on Christian thinking well into the next century. Whether the institutional churches will be able to take it fully on board is an open question. If they cannot, we are in for a new Dark Age." --- CHARLES ELLIOTT, Cambridge University
"A stirring and important work! This is Wink at his best--provocative, insightful, always challenging and prodding with good exegesis, argument, and analysis. You're not among the living if you have no arguments of your own with the author, but you'll be much the poorer if you fail to join him where he excels in this volume: engaging the Powers, and ourselves in the process." -- LARRY L. RASMUSSEN, Union Theological Seminary, New York City
"No one else has produced such a far-reaching, comprehensive, and incisive understanding of 'the powers' as they are disclosed in biblical literature, and no one else has articulated their significance for today through such relevant interpretation. Wink's book should be read by all Christians and especially by pastors and divinity students as they lead congregants into a more penetrating understanding of the contemporary world. It is ideally suited for adult Bible study." -- HERMAN J. WAETJEN, The Christian Century
"For years now Wink has been relentlessly Naming, Unmasking, and now Engaging those artful spiritual dodgers, the principalities and powers .... One grows lighthearted amid the riches. His social and political analysis of the braggadacio, the sheer, horrid 'normalizing' of domination and death in America in the '90s, is devastating. The exegesis of Revelation 13 is masterfully to the point of our social and political derangement. But there is more, and better: a solid hope of liberation .... Extraordinary work." -- DAN BERRIGAN, Pax Christi
"It is without doubt the most crucial work on the theology of nonviolence and its role in overcoming the powers of domination that has been written in this century." -- BISHOP PETER STOREY, Methodist Church of South Africa
"The best and most important book I have read in a long time .... He argues persuasively that violence 'and not Christianity, is the real religion of America.'" -- JACK NELSON-PALLMEYER, Sojourners
"The most exciting and most important book on theology of our time, perhaps all time." - DAVID RAY GRIFFIN, Claremont School of Theology
WALTER WINK, widely known lecturer and author, is Professor of Biblical Interpretation at Auburn Theological Seminary, New York. His other Fortress Press books include The Bible in Human Transformation (1973) and the previous two books in the Powers series, Naming the Powers: The Language of Power in the New Testament (1984) and Unmasking the Powers: The Invisible Forces that Determine Human Existence (1986).
Please see the Powers Trilogy for a special package price on all three volumes.