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Snyder's new book confronts divisions

Jan 12, 2021
T. Richard Snyder, PhD, and his new book, "A Future Without Walls: Confronting Our Divisions."

On Jan. 6 the world was witness to the unimaginable: the storming of the United States’ Capitol by enraged and disaffected people demanding that the results of the presidential election be investigated or even overturned. Long after the current President has left the office, the rage and distrust will continue. We are a nation divided. These terrifying events have caused many to wonder who we are and what we can do to end the unraveling.

"A Future Without Walls: Confronting Our Divisions" by T. Richard Snyder, PhD, is essential reading for those who long for an end to the nightmare and who hope for a new era.

"A Future Without Walls" is born of Snyder’s half-century of commitment to social justice and weaves analysis, personal story and paths forward throughout. The insurrection of Jan. 6 is not an aberration but rather a logical outcome to the dividing of our people into good and evil, them and us, and privileged and oppressed. It is both a lamentation for the tragedy of our polarization and a clarion call for justice. The book analyses the entangled connections between the roots, forms and consequences of those divisions, sets forth the moral imperative to embrace rather than exclude, and offers concrete actions to help dismantle the walls and create a hopeful future.

The book is a significant attempt to answer why we are polarized and to discover ways to overcome the dividing walls of hostility. The struggle for justice and healing is complex: both personal and structural. It involves resistance to the social structures that foster “othering” as well as exploring our own complicity and need to partner with those who have been treated as “other.”

Snyder said, “I am horrified, but not surprised, by the violent consequences of our divisions. However, despite the tragedy of this moment there are steps we can take as individuals, communities and society that can help bring us together. But, in order to act effectively, we must try to understand why we are so divided. If we do, we will not find perfection but we can find some healing.”

Snyder is Professor Emeritus of Theology and Ethics and former academic dean at New York Theological Seminary, and upon retiring to Maine served for two years as academic dean of Bangor Theological Seminary and founded the Restorative Justice Project of the Midcoast and co-founded the Restorative Justice Institute of Maine. A former resident of both Northport and Camden, he and his wife currently live in Topsham.

"A Future Without Walls: Confronting Our Divisions" will be released by Fortress Press on Jan. 19 and is available at Fortresspress.com, Amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and Kindle; or contact your local bookstore.

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