Friday, 24 March 2017

Texting Dad

My Dad has an ancient phone, which only does calls and text messages. From time to time, we exchange text messages - often when I'm on holiday. Some of these seemed worth sharing…

  • Simon
  • Dad

Prague (Sept 2011)
  • Arrived in Praha! Have I got everything? Luggage - check! Guide book - check! Currency - Czech! All OK then...
  • If you made friends with the barman and played chess with him,  would he end up as your Czech Mate?
  • P.S. Thanks for sending your Czech Liszt earlier, but wasn't he Hungarian?
  • Hope all is well and you are having a good day - Just Czeching!
  • I assume that after your online passport date error, you had no problem at Luton Czech-in?
  • Q.  Why did the person from Prague make an appointment with the doctor?  
  • For a Czech up?
  • When are you Czeching out of the hotel, why not ask if it is OK to pay by Czech.
  • Q.  Do you know why it takes ages to do your shopping in a Praha supermarket?  A. Because there is always a queue at the Czech-out!
  • Having had a Czech-ered few days (not really! Had a lovely time) it is good to Czech in to England. Now for a time czech ... One hour out! S

Spain (March 2012)
  • Got here OK. Hotel lovely, hire car nice, weather completely balmy!
  • Hello Muder, Hello Fader, We have made it, To Granada! Paid twice with plastic, Which sounds quite drastic, But it turns out the Alhambra is fantastic.
  • Can't get enough of these Spanish castles. They're sooo Moorish!
  • Gibraltar ROCKS!
  • The 1527 Gibraltar earthquake: Rock AND Roll
  • As the Fab 4 nearly once said: Back in the UK, Back in the UK, Back in the UKOK!

Battle (March 2012)
  • Hear you are stuck in battle! Has your coach got an arrow in its headlight? S
  • Moral  -  if you are going into Battle take an extra cohort or at least a squadron. Or a  battery
  • Was your Battlery flat?

Brussels  (Sept 2012)
  • Brussels bustles!
  • Belgian's waffle!
  • The hotel gym: muscles from Brussles!
  • EEK! An E.E.C.
  • In the spring, Brussels sprouts.
  • 24/7 confectioners: Belgians choc' late!
  • Belgian beer's bloody brilliant! But beware, Brussels' bistros buy boldly brewed beverages.
  • #Brugeshasaniceburg.
  • Carillon up the Belfry!
  • Visions of the future c1958, @ @omium.

Snow (Jan 2013)
  • Don't worry if your photos come out in black and white
  • Why?
  • Why? Cos neither Dunton, Bessels, Borough, or Green Street, are living up to their names. Don't tell me there snow snow  in London
  • Snow!!! Snow!! Snow! S'no joke!

Slovenia (July 2013)
  • Luvly-jubljana
  • Ljubljana Tjubljana Threebljana Four
  • This lake is Bleddy brilliant!
  • Today I visited 3 countries in 3 seconds, and was chased through an electric fence by an angry cow! (Of the bovine ilk, one end moo, the other milk).

Florence & Pisa (Sept 2013)
  • We're here! Easy-Pisa!
  • Michelangelo painted tiny cherubs, or petit putti, as I call them.
  • Pitti Palace cherubs: Pitti Putti!
  • Sad cherubs: Pity Putti
  • Try to handle one. Is it quite soft?
  • Yes! Putti Putty
  • Cherubic flatbread: Pitta Putti
  • Cherub that used to be called Simon before renamed by Jesus: Peter Putti
  • I was going to consider visiting Florence, but you are putti - ng me off.
  • Cherubic cherubs: Pretty Putti
  • Cherub sandwich: Putti Patty
  • Cherubic crazy golf: Putting Putti
  • Strokable cherubs: Petting Putti
  • Small minded cherubs: petty putti
  • Raving cherubs: Party Putti
  • Toilet-training cherubs: potty Putti

Barcelona (March 2014)
  • Barcelona: beautiful. Gaudi: genius. Catholic cathedrals: putting the 'mental' in ornamental.
  • All Barcelona cathedrals do effectively favour Gaudi. However I just know, lately, many normal older people queued really slowly to understand very wierd xciting yellow zigzags.
  • The long tall pointy things on top of the cathedrals are very inspiring.
  • We jope you jave a jappy joliday.

Dubrovnik (March 2015)
  • Hellfire & Dalmatian! I feel a week of Croatianism coming on.
  • St Sebastian's leg: A gory leg Allegory.
  • Is that history, or just his story?

Wimbledon (July 2016)
  • Ace!
  • How the deuce did you get there?
  • A tactical advantage?
  • Balls, I'm running out of puns!
  • It was a coach pick up but then it was ... A set down!
  • Well de-served.

  • Bored d'eau? Well drink wine then!
  • Beware the Chateau - it's water from cats!

Where Am I?
  • I can see the River Medway and Grain Power Station.
  • Southend? Shoeburyneess? Canvey Island? Basildon even?
  • Shoeburyness!
  • They say that the best thing about Shoeburyness is that you can see the River Medway and Grain Power Station.
  • I have been to Dunge, Black, Self-ritious, Inver, many times to Happy, to Loch, Drunken, Serious-ill, occasionally to Sad, Silly  and Pointless, but NEVER to Shoebury!

Date Texts
  • I cleaned my teeth today at 06.07 08/09/10
  • Yesterday I had lunch at 12.34:56.7 8/9/10
  • Hi, I just celebrated 20:10 20/10 2010!
  • 11.01, 01/11/10
  • It is now 11:11:11 11/11/11
  • It is now 12.34:56.78 9/10/11
  • Later, it will be 20.12 20/12 2012
  • Now! 12.12 12/12/12
  • Now!!!  21.02 21/12/2012
  • Today is 9.11.13.  I cant work out when will be the next day when the date will consist of 3 consecutive odd numbers
  • It must be March 1st 2105. That is nearly 92 years away!
  • It will soon be 08.09:10 11/12/13
  • You beat me to it by an hour and a half
  • Seconds count!
  • 14.13:12 11/12/13
  • 13.12:13 13/12/13
  • Today is the feast of the Annunciation. So repeat after me, slowly and clearly, "HA-PPY BIRTH-DAY LIZ" [25 March 2015]
  • 21 June 2015: Happy Fathers' Equinox! [Dad's birthday is 21 March]
  • Today's date is 2²/2³/2⁴ [4 / 8 / 16]
  • Today is a palindrome day: 6/10/2016
  • Today I have been married for EXACTLY half of my life. [29/10/16]

Monday, 13 March 2017

Praying for peace in the midst of pain

Prayers of Intercession inspired by Lamentations 2
2017 03 12

Loving God whose embrace enfolds all pain, suffering, loss, and grief; we come to you today with hearts heavy at the state of the world. From the local and personalised traumas of our own lives and those whom we love, to the national and international scandals of inequality, injustice, and political violence. From terrorism to ‘just warfare’, we assert that whenever one human takes physical action against another, we are very far from your kingdom of justice and peace.

So forgive us when we cry ‘peace, peace’ when there is no peace. Forgive us when we turn away, turn off, and ignore the suffering of others whether it is on our own doorstep, in our own community, or on the other side of the world. Give us a renewed commitment to the humanity we hold in common with others, and a renewed insight into the darkness that lurks in our own souls also. May we never be complacent enough to think that it could never happen here, that it could never happen to me, that I could never do that to another.

Rather, may we be ever alert to the evil that prowls our world seeking agency to act, whispering lies into human hearts, and setting one against another. May sin be exposed to the light of truth, not painted over or hidden from view.

So we pray now for our city: the beautiful, joyful, prosperous, compelling city of London. We express before you our love for and commitment to this diverse conglomeration of humanity, and because of this we turn our thoughts to those who suffer in our midst. We pray for those who do not have enough money to make ends meet – those on benefits or working multiple low-paid jobs. We think of those who have to choose between heating and food, because they cannot afford both; and of those who are indebted to lenders who threaten and extort to get their interest. We pray for those who cannot afford housing, and who live in overcrowded conditions, or in hostels, or on the streets; and we pray for those who have come here as refugees, seeking a new life in a strange new city and finding that it is neither easy nor straightforward to do so. And so we commit to you the efforts of those who are seeking to make this city a better place, and we think particularly of those schools, universities, synagogues, mosques, and churches which make up the London Citizens movement. May we, together, be able to achieve what none of us could do on our own.

But we also lift our prayers beyond the horizon of our own city, and we pray for countries torn apart by war and decimated by oppression. We think of Syria, Iran, Palestine, Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan, and Nigeria. We hear the words of the United Nations Humanitarian Chief, that ‘we stand at a critical point in history’, and we commit ourselves and our resources to the service of your kingdom of justice and peace. We pray for all those seeking a resolution to war, and alleviation of famine.

And in all this, as with so much else that is on our hearts, we ask for your peace, courage, and love. May peace prevail, may we have courage to act, and in all things may love triumph. In the name of Jesus Christ, who endured the cross for the sake of the whole world. Amen.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

The Politics of Power

A Sermon preached at St Paul’s Cathedral

Sung Eucharist for the first Sunday in Lent, 
11.30am, Sunday 5th March 2017

Matthew 4.1-11

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The fabled Delta-blues guitarist Robert Johnson died in 1938, aged only 27,
            after a troubled life wandering the Mississippi wilderness
            eking out a living as an itinerant musician.

Probably his most famous song is the brilliant ‘Sweet Home Chicago’,
            but more notorious is his song ‘Cross Road Blues’,
            which came to define his mythology.

The song opens with him on his knees at a crossroads,
            pleading with for salvation;
but as the sun sets and no help arrives, he says of himself,
            ‘I believe to my soul, now, poor Bob is sinkin’ down’.

And so the myth began,
            of how ‘poor Bob Johnson’ met the Devil at the crossroads,
                        and sold his soul in exchange
                        for his supposedly supernatural abilities on the guitar.

It was a bargain struck in the grand tradition of the Germanic Faust legend,
            whose own pact with the devil cost him his soul
            in exchange for unlimited pleasure and power.

And the human story, from Adam and Eve onwards,
            is littered with examples
of those who have exchanged their own integrity
            for knowledge, power, or success.

And so we come to the fateful meeting
            between Jesus and the Devil
            at the crossroads of history.

It was, I suppose, the ultimate moment of temptation.
            The offer of unlimited power and influence,
                        wealth and adoration,
            to use as Jesus sees fit.

Who in their right minds could refuse such a deal?

I wonder if you ever have those moments when you think to yourself,
            ‘If I ruled the world, things would be very different!’

I know I do…

In fact, I’ve got a little list of Executive Orders
            ready to be issued immediately.

Number One:
            All doors to public rest-rooms must henceforth open outwards;
            so I don’t have to touch the door handle on my way out.

Number Two:
            All tables in restaurants must henceforth
                        have only three, evenly spaced, legs;
            because then, according to the milking stool principle,
                        I will never have to sit at a wobbly table again.

I admit I may not be setting my sights all that high here,
            but I thought I’d learn a lesson from President Trump,
            and start with some easy wins.

So what would you do, I wonder, if you ruled the world?
            Would you end war?
                        Abolish poverty?
                                    Solve climate change?

I’m sure all of us are so very aware that,
            in so many ways, from the global to the trivial,
            the world is not the way the world should be.

But the question remains of what to do about it?
            How do we change the world?

I’m not aware that any one of us, any time soon,
            is going to be granted absolute executive power,
so even my daydreams about doors and tables are an irrelevance,
            let alone our grander hopes for addressing the bigger problems.

But the fact remains that I’m still one of those people
            who wants to leave the world better,
                        or at least not worse, then when I arrived.

So how do we change the world for good?

Well, I think that if the story
            of Jesus and the Devil in the wilderness
                        were to offer us only one insight,
            it would be that seizing absolute power is not the answer.

We may make our Faustian bargains,
            we may even strike the ultimate deal with the Devil,
            and rise to a position of supreme power;
but the cost to our soul will always rob that power
            of its capacity to effect lasting change for good,
            because the power will have come from the wrong place.

Power born of ambition
            will never truly serve the common good.

And so Jesus declined Satan’s offer
            of all the kingdoms of the world for him to rule over,
because he knew the terrible price that such power would exact.

But there is more wisdom on offer here
            than just the rejection of imposed imperial power,
because in his rejection of the Devil,
            Jesus rewrote the script
            of how power can be used to effect change in the world.

Jesus moves the game away from the desire
            to have power over people,
to a new place
            of seeking to share power with people.

It turns out that the alternative to taking power over others
            is not them having power over you.

Rather, there emerges in the life of Jesus a new way:
            the way of power shared,
                        the way of power through collaboration,
                                    power through community.

The empowering of the disempowered,
            and the raising up of the weak,
consistently lie at the heart of the ministry of Jesus.

And far from offering an example of unalloyed weakness,
            his life creates the possibility of a new way of being human,
            where the rules of using power to effect change are re-written.

Until this moment, power over others
            often appeared to be the only option.

But Jesus calls followers to work with him
            to expose the lie of the false narratives
            by which societies construct themselves.

You see, power over others is Satan’s great deception.
We are deceived, if we come to believe
            that our desires are God’s desires;
            and that in doing our will, we are doing God’s will.

Such distortion of desire will always open the door to hell,
            because it displaces God from the centre of creation,
                        replacing him with an idol made in our own image,
                        through which we exercise our power over others.

Jesus knew that it is relational power
            that will be the game-changer, as well as the world-changer.

Because power held in relationship
            is never about ‘me’, and ‘my desires’;
            it is always about the other.

Selfless power, as seen in the life of Jesus,
            is what makes the real difference.

Jesus consistently gave away power,
            seeking to build others up
            rather than asking them to worship him.

And the church that he calls into being
            is, or at least should be, the supreme example
            of a collaborative community of shared power,
against which not even hell itself can triumph.

Jesus does not want to change the world on his own,
            but in relationship with others;
and so, it seems to me, that those who follow Jesus
            should follow his example.

The church of Christ should never seek power over others,
            no matter how pure we may think our motives to be;
and I would suggest that those times
            where Christianity has done its deals with power
                        to get its message heard more widely,
            have resulted in a dilution of the radical message
                        of the one who came to expose
                                    the lure of power over others
                                    for the insidious lie that it is.

So when we find ourselves at our own crossroads of temptation,
            or abandoned in the wilderness of our deepest need;
when we face our own moments of crisis and decision,
            I wonder what choices will we make?

Can we, I wonder, be so shaped by our engagement with the story of Christ,
            that our natural inclination will be to follow his path
                        of rejecting power over others.

Can we embrace the new way of being human
            that he opens before us?

In the name of Christ, and for his sake,
            we are called to live and work collaboratively,
                        across all borders and boundaries;
            we are called to find allies in unexpected places,
                        to treat the other as our brother or sister,
            and to share together in the mystery
                        that is power held through powerlessness,
            for the transformation of the world for good.


Saturday, 4 March 2017

A Baptism of Non Conformity

Trinity College Bristol and Bristol Baptist College
Academic Awards Ceremony  4th March 2017

Matthew 3.13-17 Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him.  14 John would have prevented him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?"  15 But Jesus answered him, "Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness." Then he consented.  16 And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.  17 And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased."

When I received the invitation to speak
            at today’s Academic Awards Celebration,
I was asked what passage I would like to preach on.

And so I found myself picturing the congregation:
            theologically educated graduates
                        of the finest theological colleges the West of England has to offer,
            together with their proud and supportive family and friends.

And I thought to myself,
            ‘I know, I’ll preach on Baptism, what could possibly go wrong?
            ‘Surely with all of our study, and our careful commitment to ecumenism,
                        the founding rite of the Christian church
                        offers safe ground on which to stand
                        on an occasions such as this?’

Well, we’ll see.

But before we turn to our engagement with our passage from Matthew’s gospel,
            I would just like to observe that I seem to be having
            something of what I would call an ‘Ecumenical Week’.

On Tuesday, the church where I serve in London, Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church,
            hosted an evening with Archbishop Rowan Williams
                        in conversation with Professor Mona Siddiqui
            on the future of Christian-Muslim relationships.

Then, on Wednesday, I was participating in the service of Ashing
            at King’s College London, where I am the Baptist Chaplain.
Those of us getting our fingers dirty included:
            a Roman Catholic lay woman, and Orthodox priest,
            a Baptist minister, and an Anglican vicar.
And whilst there as joy in the ecumenism of the moment,
            there was also sadness in our shared recognition
            that we have so broken the body of Christ
            that we are unable to share in communion together.

And then, tomorrow, and I’m trying to say this without sounding too smug,
            I shall be preaching at the 11.30 sung Eucharist at St Paul’s Cathedral.
            A truly remarkable act of ecumenical inclusion by the Canon Chancellor.
But do you know what has been worrying me most about tomorrow morning?
            It’s not what I shall say, it’s what I shall wear!
The instructions I received indicated robes ‘according to the season’!
            (whatever that means!!!)
But I can’t wear those, because I am not an Anglican priest,
            and my baptism has not been confirmed by a Bishop.
It’s that brokenness again,
            that lies at the heart of all our efforts for unity.

In the end I simply wrote to St Paul’s and said that I was happy
            to wear whatever they deemed appropriate
            for Baptist minister to wear in their pulpit,
and they have suggested a black academic gown:
            recognising my training,
            but not, of course, my baptism and ordination.

And so we come to Matthew’s account of the Baptism of Jesus.

At the heart of our reading today from Matthew’s gospel
            is something of a mystery,
and it’s a mystery that has puzzled people
            from John the Baptist himself,
            to the biblical scholars of our own time.

And the mystery is this:
            Why does Jesus come to John for baptism?
            What was Jesus thinking when he came to John for baptism?

Was it a baptism of repentance for sins committed?
            If it was, then this is somewhat out of step
                        with the dominant Christian teaching
                        that Jesus was sinless and had no need of repentance?

Was it a baptism of solidarity with sinners,
            with Jesus simply standing alongside those who did need to repent?
Possibly, although it’s not clear why baptism by John is necessary for this,
            unless it is simply to underline
            what has already happened at the incarnation.

If this is a question that puzzles modern readers,
            we can take some comfort from the fact
            that it also seemed to puzzle John himself.
We’re told that John initially tried to prevent Jesus from being baptised,
            asking instead that Jesus should baptise him.
But Jesus argued back by saying, somewhat enigmatically,
            ‘Let it be so for now,
            for it is proper for us in this way to fulfil all righteousness.’ (v.15)

And here we find our first clue,
            as we begin to grapple with the mystery of Jesus’ baptism.

Jesus is baptised by John to ‘fulfil all righteousness’.

The Jewish insight was that because God is righteous,
            so his people are to be righteous in their behaviour.

Or, to put it another way,
            ‘Righteousness’ was considered a visible sign
                        in the life of God’s people,
            confirming their status as members of God’s covenant community.

How did you know whether you were part of God’s people?
            You knew because of righteousness.
            It was a sign of the covenant

So when people departed from righteous living,
            when they worshipped other gods,
            or failed to keep the commands of the Lord,
they were considered to be breaking the covenant,
            and the ancient Jewish prophets, such as Elijah,
                        would call them to repentance,
                        to a turning back to righteousness,
            and to a rediscovery of life lived in covenant relationship
                        with the God of righteousness.

From John the Baptist’s perspective,
            the society of his day had departed from the covenant;
                        it had lost its focus on righteousness,
                        and needed to turn, to repent, and to start living differently.

So the baptism of John was a rallying call
            for all those who wanted to join him
                        in his rejection of society;
            it was a baptism of turning away,
                        a baptism of abandonment of the dominant values
                        of his society and religion.
It was a baptism that marked a commitment
            to live life in a very different way
            from that which the world was demanding.

In the midst of all the pressures to conform,
            be they ideological pressures,
                        theological pressures,
                                    or sociological pressures,
John invited people to turn away from an unrighteous society
            and to turn towards a new way of living.

He called them to enter into the life of a new kingdom,
            where God was once again the focus of existence,
and behaviour was determined by obedience to God,
            not conformity to the status quo.

By this reading,
            John’s baptism was a radical and non-conformist baptism.
It was an outward sign of an inward commitment
            to rejection of an unrighteous society,
and a turning towards an alternative,
            God-focussed, way of being.

So, when Jesus came to be baptised by John,
            ‘to fulfil all righteousness’,
he was aligning himself with the non-conformist and radical nature
            of John’s challenge to first century Jewish society.

It wasn’t a baptism for the forgiveness of his personal sins,
            rather, it was an act of public repudiation of conformity.

It was a rejection of the compromises
            by which his inherited religious tradition
            had entered into its uneasy alliance with the powers that be,
and it was an act of commitment to the recovery
            of the true meaning of the covenant
            as the in-breaking of God’s justice and righteousness on the earth.

The challenge which John brought to the world
            of first-century, second Temple Judaism,
is a challenge that echoes down the millennia to us as well.

It is a relevant challenge to us, because humans,
            be they first or twenty-first century humans,
have a tendency to compromise,
            a tendency to set aside righteousness,
and a tendency to then justify that compromise
            as necessary, pragmatic, or expedient.

‘It’s just the way the world is’, we tell ourselves.
            ‘We can’t change it, so we might as well join it’, we say.

We conform, and then we try to justify our conformity,
            as we try to justify ourselves,
by making the same move in our own time
            that John challenged in the first century
            with his baptism of repentance.

The baptism of Jesus at the hands of John
            was an expression of his commitment
                        to a radical, non-conformist alternative.

Jesus’ baptism was him consciously and publicly aligning himself
            with the radical revolution of the Kingdom of God,
                        where compromise is rejected,
                        and conformity confounded.

In many ways, in our various traditions,
            we have lost the political significance of baptism;
and yet Jesus’ baptism at the hands of John
            points to a profoundly and radically politicised act.

The days when Baptism into the established church
            marked a child’s political allegiance to the state
            are long gone from these shores;
as are the days when those dissenting from that church
            on a conviction regarding believers’ Baptism
            were to be regarded as heretical or traitorous.

But nonetheless baptism is, or should be, more than a symbol
            of our personal forgiveness
            and of our identification with Christ in his death and resurrection.
It is also a sign of our entry
            into a radical, revolutionary, and counter-cultural lifestyle
                        that rejects the status quo of conformity
            and yearns, longs, and lives for a world transformed,
                        a world re-imagined, a world reconfigured.

Baptism is the initiatory act
            of the convicted revolutionaries
            of the in-breaking kingdom of God

It is a rejection of conformist religion,
            and it is something people take upon themselves
            to mark their membership of, and entering into,
                        a radical new way of living.

To be baptised in any of our traditions
            is to be baptised according to the pattern of Christ,
into an alternative kingdom,
            the kingdom of righteousness and justice.
And it’s this kingdom that is coming into being through Christ,
            the servant who is also the son of God.

The emperors of Rome may have claimed the term ‘son of God’ for themselves
            to legitimate their own rule over the world,
but the voice from heaven, the voice of God
            proclaims Jesus, and Jesus alone,
            as the legitimate son of God.

The earth is the Lord’s and Jesus is his son,
            and all other powers and principalities are merely false pretenders.
Their claims to divine sonship are illegitimate attempts
            to assume a throne and a kingdom
            that does not belong to them.

And so we are back to the political ramifications
            of the baptism of Jesus in the wilderness.

Just as the people of Israel made their exodus from the empire of Egypt
            through the wilderness to promised land;
just as the prophet of the exiles
            proclaimed the hope of a second exile from Babylon;
so Christ, in whom Israel and covenant are fulfilled,
            initiates the third and final exodus
                        from all the corrupt and evil empires of the world,
            as people follow Jesus through the waters of baptism
                        into the new world of justice and righteousness
                        that is the kingdom of God.

Jesus not only identifies himself with John’s radical rejection of conformity,
            but he is proclaimed the personification of Israel,
                        and commissioned as the rightful holder
                        of all power in heaven and on earth.

But, and here is the radical theological insight:
            he holds that power as a servant, not as an emperor.

This is where politics and theology and ministry collide.

Those of us who are set aside through ordination to ministry
            among the churches of our different traditions
do so as servants and not as masters:
            we are not emperors of our churches,
            because we serve the one who came to serve others.

Jesus, the son of God, saves the world not through conquest,
            but through suffering.
He brings new life through death,
            and hope into the darkness.
Because his kingdom is a kingdom of justice and righteousness,
            and it is breaking in upon the earth
            as others catch the vision, and join the movement.

And so Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan,
            to be baptised by him.
And he calls us to follow his example,
            and to join him in his radical and non-conformist vision

            for the transformation of the world.