Daniel Berrigan

Priest; Academic; Peace Activist; Poet

Daniel Berrigan

Daniel Berrigan, SJ is an American Catholic priest, academic, peace activist, and poet. Berrigan joined a Jesuit seminary immediately after graduating high school, and gained his ordination in 1952. After teaching theology at the Jesuit Brooklyn Preparatory School from 1954 to 1957, Berrigan went on to obtain a professorship in New Testament studies at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York.

In 1968, Berrigan traveled to Hanoi, Vietnam with fellow peace activist Howard Zinn to receive the first three prisoners of war released by the North Vietnamese since the start of U.S. bombing of North Vietnam. Later that year, Berrigan was arrested along with fellow Catholic protesters and sentenced to three years in prison for burning draft cards in a draft board parking lot, using homemade napalm. Berrigan briefly went into hiding, and was put on the FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list, but he was subsequently apprehended and served his sentence. In 1980, Berrigan was again arrested along with his brother Phillip and six other founding members of the Plowshares Movement, for illegally trespassing on a Nuclear Missile facility in Pennsylvania.

Berrigan has written a number of books, including one cowritten with Buddhist peace activist Thich Nhat Hahn. He is still involved with the Plowshares Movement.

Last Updated: September 11, 2017