“Christ plays in ten thousand places,” wrote Gerard Manley Hopkins, “Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his.” Sadly, we can also say that Christ suffers in ten thousand places, is crucified in ten thousand places; lovely limbs contorted in pain, fear and anguish in lovely eyes (not his) down through the centuries even at this very moment in dark, lonely, scary places all over the world. In this timely and penetrating work, John Neafsey explores the relation between the torture and agonising passion of Christ and the ongoing practice of torture in our world. Ranging from practical questions (what constitutes torture? why are people tortured? how, in the wake of 9/11 did our own country come to justify torture?), Neafsey explores the psychological and spiritual impact of torture on its victims, as well as the effect on the torturers. Finally, he explores the possibilities for healing and redemption, especially the challenge for all of us to become more deeply human by awakening from what Jon Sobrino calls “the sleep of inhumanity.”
John Neafsey is a clinical psychologist and senior lecturer in the department of theology, Loyola University Chicago. He is the author of A Sacred Voice is Calling: Personal Vocation and Social Conscience, which won a Catholic Press Association Book Award.