Paul Engler
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Paul Engler: The Mess Calls for Community

Season 4, Episode 7 of Messy Jesus Business podcast, hosted by Sister Julia Walsh.

“We have to acknowledge that social change is collective action.”
-Paul Engler



In this episode of Messy Jesus Business podcast, Sister Julia Walsh talks with Paul Engler, author, activist and community organizer. They discuss his call to the work, and how meditation and mystical experiences transformed him. They explore the integration of spiritual life and social justice work, and–in spite of the dominant culture’s focus on individualism–how community is necessary to bring about social change.

“Individual action isn’t what actually creates change, and people pretending it is isn’t healthy,” Paul explains. “We have to acknowledge that social change is collective action.”

Paul also explains how capitalism is at odds with the Gospel. “My Jesus is a revolutionary, mystical Jesus. The kingdom of God was his metaphor of challenging the powers and principalities of us living with unconditional love, and using that force that is in opposition to consumer capitalism; that’s in opposition to the state; that’s in opposition to all the different ways in which we get coerced to do horrible, selfish things.”

Sister Julia and Paul also talk about nonviolent revolutionary resistance, the influence of money and power, and the importance of recognizing and resisting the sway of dominant culture. 


Paul Engler is founding director of the Center for the Working Poor, based in Los Angeles. He has worked as an organizer in the immigrant rights, global justice, and labor movements. Paul is one of the founders of the Momentum Training, which educates hundreds of activists each year in the principles of momentum-driven mobilization. Along with his brother, he is the author of This is An Uprising: How Nonviolent Revolt is Shaping the 21st Century. 

Contemplative Moment for this episode is Matthew 6:19-24.

MESSY JESUS BUSINESS is produced and hosted by Sister Julia Walsh, and edited by Charish Badzinski.

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Twitter: @messyjesusbiz


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