Jacqueline Bussie: Silence and Love without Limits (Episode 43)

Sometimes we do not encounter silence so much as silence encounters us — whether we want it to or not. Today we have a conversation with Dr. Jacqueline Bussie, author of Love Without Limits: Jesus’ Radical Vision for Love with No Exceptions.

Dr. Jacqueline Bussie. Photo by Rachel Kabukala

Dr. Bussie teaches religion, theology, and interfaith studies classes at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, where she also serves as the Director of the Forum on Faith and Life.

“There is something that I think we have to be more authentic about within our faith traditions… and that is the silence of God and the way that is not always pretty.” — Dr. Jacqueline Bussie

A book about love may not sound very radical — but when the book’s original publisher wanted to edit or remove sections it deemed too controversial, Jacqueline faced a dilemma: either accept the publisher’s demands, or lose the publication contract. It was an experience of having her voiced silenced, all because she wanted to affirm the radical nature of true Christian love — a love with no boundaries and no exceptions. Thankfully, a new publisher was quickly found willing to take over the task of publishing the book — without silencing Jacqueline’s voice or her commitment to love without limits. But she received a crash course in how vulnerable we all are, to being silenced by those who wield greater power.

“Writing is prayer.” — Dr. Jacqueline Bussie

We recorded this episode of the podcast while Jacqueline was attending the Parlaiment of World Religions in Toronto, where she was one of the presenters. But she made time in her schedule to Skype with the Encountering Silence team, not only to discuss the remarkable story of her encounter with a silence that threatened to silence her, but she also explores more how silence has been part of her story in more life-affirming ways as well.

Some of the resources and authors we mention in this episode:

Episode 43: Silence and Love without Limits: A Conversation with Jacqueline Bussie
Hosted by: Kevin Johnson
With: Cassidy Hall, Carl McColman
Guest: Dr. Jacqueline Bussie
Date Recorded: November 5, 2018

Appreciating healthy silence at a writer’s retreat in Wyoming
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Carl McColman
Author of Befriending Silence, The Big Book of Christian Mysticism, Answering the Contemplative Call, and other books. Retreat leader. Speaker. Professed Lay Cistercian.