We popularly think of prophecy as a prediction of future events. Ancient Hebrew prophets spoke in the present tense, and with good reason. They envisioned a God who was vitally interested in their own generation. To honor the ever-freshness of the divine Word, we tried to present all prophecy in this book in the present tense, with an eye to our generation.
We may not worry about Assyria and Babylon so much these days (though our relations with their present-day geographical counterparts, Iran and Iraq, are worth losing sleep over!) But the greater matter of choosing between a mindset of isolationism mixed with war, or friendship and peace, is still very relevant. Will we continue to insist that religion is one thing, and politics another? Or will we ever grant that, in a world where all are God’s children, God cares very much about the fate of every one of us?
Isaiah was, to use his own phrase, a "prince of peace." His worldview remains the most radically universal in the Hebrew Scriptures and is still rebuffed by many of us not yet willing to imagine that God loves our enemies as much as God loves us. We pray for the day when the peaceable kingdom will be more than a prophet’s lovely daydream. That kingdom must live first in us, heart by heart by heart.
Alice Camille is a nationally known author, religious educator, and parish retreat leader. She received her Master of Divinity degree from the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley, where she also served as adjunct faculty in ministry formation, preaching and proclamation. Alice has worked in parishes and campus ministry, supervised a shelter program for homeless women, and been active in ecumenical settings.
Alice writes the popular monthly commentary, "Exploring the Sunday Readings," and contributes to "Living With Christ" (Twenty-Third Publications). She collaborates on the homily series, "Prepare the Word," and offers daily reflections for "Take Five For Faith" and a regular column for VISION Vocation Network (all from TrueQuest Communications). She is the regular "Testaments" columnist for US CATHOLIC magazine. Her articles have also appeared in CareNotes, Catholic Digest, Catholic Update, CHURCH, Every Day Catholic, Finding God, GIA Quarterly, God's Word Today, In Good Faith/De Buena Fe, The Liguorian, St. Anthony Messenger, This Sunday's Scripture, Today's Liturgy and Today's Parish. Alice has worked with teams at Brown-ROA, Harcourt, Hi-Time/Pflaum, and RCL Benziger developing catechetical materials for use in parochial schools.
Her writing has earned numerous awards from the Catholic Press Association, the Associated Church Press, and the interfaith Religion Communicators Council. Alice currently works as a full-time writer and speaker, and leads a Bible study at her home parish in the Southwest. She takes God seriously, and religion with a sense of humor.
Sarah Evelyn Showalter
Sarah Showalter grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and is the eldest of four children. She attended Edinboro University of Pennsylvania where she received a BS in Art Education with a minor in Art History. After graduation, she accepted a position working for the Department of Defense Education Activity teaching US military children overseas. During this time she travelled to countries all over Asia including: China, Japan, Cambodia, South Korea and Vietnam. While living and teaching in South Korea she made a trip to China with her future co-author Alice Camille. It was there that they developed the idea that would eventually become, “Animals of the Bible from A-Z.” She worked on the book in the evenings after she returned home from her teaching job.
After completing the book, Sarah pursued a Master's Degree in Information Science and Learning Technologies from the University of Missouri. She was awarded the degree in May 2008. She then returned to the United States to marry her college sweetheart Toygar Ayla.