This review refers to the paperback book published in 2011
Richard Rohr joined the Franciscans in 1961 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1970, the same year he earned a master's degree in theology. In 1971 he founded the New Jerusalem Community in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1987 he established the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he serves as founding director, dividing his time between local work and preaching and teaching around the world. The center is designed as a place of discernment and growth for activists and those interested in social service ministries.
Rohr is best known for his audio and video tapes, CDs, books, and articles. His themes include Scripture as liberation, integration of action and contemplation, community building, peace and justice, and eco-spirituality. His latest work, Breathing Under Water, is based on a series of talks Rohr gave 25 years ago connecting the Gospel to the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. He begins with two connections: (1) what we now label "addiction" can be compared to what the bible called "sin" (2) sin, like addiction, may be viewed as a disease rather than something that is punishable and displeasing to God. He expands the commonly held idea of addiction to something broader and also hidden. He suggests that individuals today are addicted to our own way of doing things, our own defenses, and our own way of thinking and processing reality.
The book is formatted in twelve chapters, corresponding to the AA steps. Each chapter opens with the text of the step being addressed and relevant quotations from Scripture. Rohr often holds up elements in established religion, yes, Catholic too, that seem not to contribute to the necessary healing. At the same time, he does not condemn those practices, but suggests ways in which they might be altered to comply more fully with the healing message of Jesus.
For more information on the center, and a list of services and resources, search the Internet for Center for Action and Contemplation.