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Jim Forest
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Jim Forest
Born(1941-11-02)November 2, 1941
DiedJanuary 13, 2022(2022-01-13) (aged 80)
MovementCatholic Worker Movement
  • Jean Morton (div. 1967)[1][2]
  • Linda Henry
    (m. 1967)
  • Nancy Flier (m. c. 1982)[3][4]
AwardsPeacemaker, St. Marcellus Award
Jim Forest (November 2, 1941 in Salt Lake City, Utah – January 13, 2022) was an American writer, Orthodox Christian lay theologian, educator, and peace activist.
1 Biography
2 Publications
3 See also
4 Citations
5 Sources
6 External links
As a young man, Forest served in the US Navy, working with a meteorology unit at the US Weather Bureau headquarters near Washington, DC. It was during this period that he became a Catholic. His military service ended with an early discharge on grounds of conscientious objection.
After leaving the navy, Forest joined the staff of the Catholic Worker community in Manhattan, working close with the founder, Dorothy Day, and for a time served as managing editor of the journal she edited, The Catholic Worker.
In 1964, while working as a journalist for the Staten Island Advance, in his spare time he co-founded the Catholic Peace Fellowship, working closely with Tom Cornell. This became a full-time job for both of them in 1965, a time that coincided with deepening US military engagement in Vietnam. The main focus of their work was counseling conscientious objectors.
In 1968, while Forest worked as Vietnam Program Coordinator of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, Jim and thirteen others, mainly Catholic clergy, broke into nine Milwaukee draft boards, removing and burning some of the files in a nearby park while holding a prayer service. Most members of the "Milwaukee Fourteen" served thirteen months in prison for their action.
In the late sixties and mid-seventies, Jim also worked with the Fellowship of Reconciliation, first as Vietnam Program coordinator and later as editor of Fellowship magazine. From 1977 through 1988, he was Secretary General of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation, work which brought him to the Netherlands. He received the Peacemaker Award from Notre Dame University's Institute for International Peace Studies and the St. Marcellus Award from the Catholic Peace Fellowship.
In 1988, Forest was received into the Eastern Orthodox Church. Since 1989, he has been international secretary of the Orthodox Peace Fellowship  as well as associate editor of its quarterly journal, In Communion. In 2017, he was ordained as Reader.
Jim had a long-term friendship with Thomas Merton, who dedicated a book to him, Faith and Violence. Jim also accompanied the famed Vietnamese Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh.
A journalist and writer, his books include Praying with Icons, Ladder of the Beatitudes, The Road to Emmaus: Pilgrimage as a Way of Life, Loving Our Enemies: Reflections on the Hardest Commandment, Eyes of Compassion: Learning from Thich Nhat Hanh, biographies of Thomas Merton (Living With Wisdom), Dorothy Day (All Is Grace) and Daniel Berrigan (At Play in the Lions' Den), and several children's books, including Saint Nicholas and the Nine Gold Coins, Saint George and the Dragon and Silent as a Stone: Mother Maria of Paris and the Trash Can Rescue. He also wrote a memoir, Writing Straight With Crooked Lines.
He and his wife Nancy, a translator and writer, lived in Alkmaar, the Netherlands.
Jim Forest died at Alkmaar on January 13, 2022, aged 80 years.
Loving Our Enemies: Reflections on the Hardest Commandment. Maryknoll, Orbis, 2014. (ISBN 978-1626980907)
All Is Grace: A Biography of Dorothy Day. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2011. (ISBN 978-1570759215)
Living with Wisdom: A Life of Thomas Merton. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2008. (ISBN 978-1570757549)
Road to Emmaus: Pilgrimage as a Way of Life. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2007. (ISBN 1570757313)
Forest, Jim (2004). The Wormwood File: E-Mail from Hell. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books. ISBN 1-57075-554-X. OCLC 54929440 – via Internet Archive.
Skobtsova, Maria (2003). Mother Maria Skobtsova: Essential Writings. Translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, introduction by Jim Forest. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books. ISBN 1-57075-436-5. OCLC 49610914 – via Internet Archive.
Confession: Doorway to Forgiveness. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2002. (ISBN 1570753865)
The Resurrection of the Church in Albania. World Council of Churches, 2002. (ISBN 2825413593)
Forest, Jim (1999). The Ladder of the Beatitudes. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books. ISBN 1-57075-245-1.
Praying with Icons. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1997. (ISBN 1570751129)
See also
List of peace activists
^ a b Merton 2011.
^ a b Pauli 2017, p. 33.
^ Forest & Forest 2012.
^ Hope College 1988, p. 2.
^ Forest.
^ Di Corpo 2020.
^ Cornell 2008.
^ Forest 2009.
^ Review of Living with Wisdom n.d.
^ Zuercher 2004.
^ Brussat & Brussat.
^ Sooy.
Brussat, Frederic; Brussat, Mary Ann. "Review of Living with Wisdom: A Life of Thomas Merton by Jim Forest". Spirituality & Practice. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
Brussat, Frederic; Brussat, Mary Ann. "Jim Forest". Living Spiritual Teachers Project. Spirituality & Practice. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
Cornell, Tom (2008). "The Chaplain's Dilemma: Can Pastors in the Military Serve God and Government?". America. Vol. 199 no. 16. New York. ISSN 0002-7049. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
Di Corpo, Ryan (April 24, 2020). "Review: Jim Forest's new memoir delves into his 'unusual conscience'". America. Vol. 222 no. 9. Retrieved September 20, 2021.
"Forest to Deliver Annual Muste Memorial Lecture". The Anchor. 101 (10). Holland, Michigan: Hope College. 1988. p. 2. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
Forest, Jim. "Getting from There to Here". In Communion. Orthodox Peace Fellowship. Archived from the original on September 2, 2009. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
Forest, Jim (2009) . "Looking Back on the Milwaukee 14". In Communion: Website of the Orthodox Peace Fellowship. Orthodox Peace Fellowship. Archived from the original on August 5, 2009. Retrieved June 10, 2013.
Forest, Jim; Forest, Nancy (2012). "Recollections of Thich Nhat Hanh: Being Peace". Satyagraha Foundation for Nonviolence Studies. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
Merton, Thomas (2011). Shannon, William H. (ed.). The Hidden Ground of Love: Letters. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 978-1-4299-6676-4.
Pauli, Benjamin J. (2017). "The Catholic Worker, Dorothy Day, and Exemplary Anarchism". In Christoyannopoulos, Alexandre; Adams, Matthew S. (eds.). Essays in Anarchism and Religion. Stockholm Studies in Comparative Religion. 1. Stockholm University Press. p. 33. doi:10.16993/bak. ISBN 978-91-7635-040-9.
Sooy, Nick. "Remembering Jim Forest". In Communion: Website of the Orthodox Peace Fellowship. Retrieved January 14, 2022.
Zuercher, Melanie (2004). "Seeing the Light". PeaceSigns. No. 9. Archived from the original on September 2, 2009. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
External links
Official website
A Short Biography of Jim Forest
Getting From there to Here, an autobiographical biographical essay by Jim Forest
Getting From there to Here,, website of the Orthodox Peace Fellowship
National libraries
France (data)
United States
Czech Republic
Faceted Application of Subject Terminology
Social Networks and Archival Context
SUDOC (France)
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