The Common Good

Table of Contents

Cover Story

A sign of transformation in a world that isn't working.


Feminist theology seeks unity in diversity
Bruce Cockburn's songs of subversion


Labor Day: Justice. Workers. Solidarity. Sweat of the brow. Sixteen tons and what do you get? Another day older and deeper in debt. Or...Picnics. Beaches. Hot dogs. TV telethons.
Imagine the situation if Jimmy Carter had not gone to North Korea this summer, and if Kim Il Sung’s death had come in the midst of a still-escalating crisis.
Four women sit, faces buried deeply in their hands, visibly anguished.
Indonesia’s brutal 19-year occupation of East Timor has caused the deaths of one-third of the island’s population—some 200,000 people—and shows no sign of letting up soon.
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I’m not sure why I turned on the television that Friday
night. Mountains stand between me and most airwaves, and my old
TV set tunes into only two channels.

It’s hot. The yard needs mowing—the grass is so tall
I have to wear rubber boots in the morning dew.

Rufina Amaya is one of the few survivors of the 1981 massacre in the Salvadoran village of El Mozote.

As I yelled at Melissa and Gabriel for disobeying, a terrible contradiction flashed before me, but I beat it down, intent on winning this battle of wits.

People don’t always say what they mean (I meant to say
that). And this past summer brought several examples of the daily
"little white lies" we tell each other.

Culture Watch

The civil rights struggle goes Cuban
1994 thus far has been a momentous summer.
When gangs become family.
The value of continuing dialogue.
The truth of one's own life.
The blues met modernism.


In September the ordered world of Proverbs and James is read against the cross of Mark’s world.
The value of a faith-based community in children’s lives cannot be overestimated.
One congregation's environmental program.
"I am mooring my rowboat at the dock of the island called God." —Anne Sexton The Awful Rowing Toward God
Every so often, movements and communities, churches and societies (and individuals), need to pause and assess who they are and how to move forward. Hard questions must be asked.

Between the Lines