—Shelley Dennis, GDR Student

Drew faculty have been exceedingly busy over the past several years.  Not only have they been facilitating ministerial formation of Theological School students and shaping the scholarship of the doctoral candidates in the Graduate Division of Religion, but they have been prolific in their own scholarship as well.  An exhaustive list of every single publication of every single faculty member would be—well, exhausting—so, just to give you a small sample of their work, we are featuring books released by faculty over the past five years.  Kudos to all our faculty on their recent books!

 

S. Wesley Ariarajah. Your God, My God, Our God: Rethinking Christian Theology for Religious Plurality. Geneva, Switzerland: WCC Publications, 2012.

Your God My GodIn today’s religiously plural world, theologian S. Wesley Ariarajah believes that authentic Christian faith demands that we rethink central concepts of the Christian theological tradition. Ariarajah’s work is based on the conviction that some of the basic doctrinal formulations about God, Sin, Christ, Salvation, and Mission can in fact be rethought for our day, helping us to affirm deeply the Christian faith while still respecting other religious experiences in their distinctiveness. In this book, Ariarajah traces the biblical roots and theological developments of these doctrines, evaluates their coherence, and recommends new constructive options for a Christian theology of religions in the context of religious plurality.

 

 

Chris Boesel. Risking Proclamation, Respecting Difference: Christian Faith, Imperialistic Discourse, and Abraham. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2008.

Risking ProclamationThis important book poses the question of whether Christian proclamation can be made ethically safe for the Jewish neighbour. Boesel assesses two major approaches to a Christian theology of Judaism – those exemplified by Rosemary Radford Ruether and Karl Barth. This book makes a significant contribution to our understanding of systematics, ethics, and homiletics at the intersection of Jewish-Christian relations.

 


 

 

Chris Boesel and Catherine Keller, eds. Apophatic Bodies: Negative Theology, Incarnation, and Relationality. Transdisciplinary Theological Colloquia.  Fordham University Press, 2009.

Apophatic BodiesThe ancient doctrine of negative theology or apophasis—the attempt to describe God by speaking only of what cannot be said about the divine perfection and goodness—has taken on new life in the concern with language and its limits that preoccupies much postmodern philosophy, theology, and related disciplines. How does this mystical tradition intersect with the concern with material bodies that is simultaneously a focus in these areas? This volume pursues the unlikely conjunction of apophasis and the body, not for the cachet of the “cutting edge” but rather out of an ethical passion for the integrity of all creaturely bodies as they are caught up in various ideological mechanisms—religious, theological, political, economic—that threaten their dignity and material well-being. The contributors, a diverse collection of scholars in theology, philosophy, history, and biblical studies, rethink the relationship between the concrete tradition of negative theology and apophatic discourses widely construed. They further endeavor to link these to the theological theme of incarnation and more general issues of embodiment, sexuality, and cosmology. Along the way, they engage and deploy the resources of contextual and liberation theology, post-structuralism, postcolonialism, process thought, and feminism.

 

Chris Boesel and S. Wesley Ariarajah, eds. Divine Multiplicity: Trinities, Diversities, and the Nature of Relation. Transdisciplinary Theological Colloquia.  Fordham University Press, 2013.

Divine MultiplicitiesThe essays in this volume ask if and how Trinitarian and pluralist discourses can enter into fruitful conversation with one another. Can Trinitarian conceptions of divine multiplicity open the Christian tradition to more creative and affirming visions of creaturely identities, difference, and relationality—including the specific difference of religious plurality? Where might the triadic patterning evident in the Christian theological tradition have always exceeded the boundaries of Christian thought and experience? Can this help us to inhabit other religious traditions’ conceptions of divine and/or creaturely reality? The volume also interrogates the possibilities of various discourses on pluralism by putting them in a concrete pluralist context and asking to what extent pluralist discourse can collect within itself a convergent diversity of orthodox, heterodox, postcolonial, process, poststructuralist, liberationist, and feminist sensibilities while avoiding irruptions of conflict, competition, or the logic of mutual exclusion.

 

Virginia Burrus. Saving Shame: Martyrs, Saints, and Other Abject Subjects. Divinations: Rereading Late Ancient Religion. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008.

Saving ShameVirginia Burrus explores one of the strongest and most disturbing aspects of the Christian tradition, its excessive preoccupation with shame. While Christianity has frequently been implicated in the conversion of ancient Mediterranean cultures from shame- to guilt-based, and thus in the emergence of the modern West’s emphasis on guilt, Burrus seeks to recuperate the importance of shame for Christian culture. Focusing on late antiquity, she explores a range of fascinating phenomena, from the flamboyant performances of martyrs to the imagined abjection of Christ, from the self-humiliating disciplines of ascetics to the intimate disclosures of Augustine. Burrus argues that Christianity innovated less by replacing shame with guilt than by embracing shame. Indeed, the ancient Christians sacrificed honor but laid claim to their own shame with great energy, at once intensifying and transforming it. Public spectacles of martyrdom became the most visible means through which vulnerability to shame was converted into a defiant witness of identity; this was also where the sacrificial death of the self exemplified by Christ’s crucifixion was most explicitly appropriated by his followers.

 

Virginia Burrus, Mark D. Jordan, and Karmen MacKendrick. Seducing Augustine: Bodies, Desires, Confessions. New York: Fordham University Press, 2010.

Seducing AugustineAugustine’s Confessions is a text that seduces. But how often do its readers respond in kind? Here three scholars who share a longstanding fascination with sexuality and Christian discourse attempt to do just that. Where prior interpreters have been inclined either to defend or to criticize Augustine’s views, Virginia Burrus, Mark Jordan, and Karmen MacKendrick set out both to seduce and to be seduced by his text.Often ambivalent but always passionately engaged, their readings of the Confessions center on four sets of intertwined themes-secrecy and confession, asceticism and eroticism, constraint and freedom, and time and eternity. Rather than expose Augustine’s sexual history, they explore how the Confessions conjoins the erotic with the hidden, the imaginary, and the fictional. Rather than bemoan the repressiveness of his text, they uncover the complex relationship between seductive flesh and persuasive words that pervades all of its books. Rather than struggle to escape the control of the author, they embrace the painful pleasure of willed submission that lies at the erotic heart not only of the Confessions but also of Augustine’s broader understanding of sin and salvation.

 

Robert S. Corrington. Nature’s Sublime: An Essay in Aesthetic Naturalism. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2013.

Nature's SublimeNature’s Sublime uses a radical new form of phenomenology to probe into the deepest traits of the human process in its individual, social, religious, and aesthetic dimensions. Starting with the selving process the essay describes the role of signs and symbols in intra and interpersonal communication. At the heart of the human use of signs is a creative tension between religions symbols and the novel symbols created in the various arts. A contrast is made between natural communities, which flatten out and reject novel forms of semiosis, and communities of interpretation, which welcomes creative and enriched signs and symbols. The normative claim is made that religious sign/symbol systems have a tendency toward tribalism and violence, while the various spheres of the aesthetic are comparatively non-tribal, or even deliberatively anti-tribal. The concept/experience of beauty and the sublime is meant to replace that of religious revelation. The sublime is not merely an internal mode of attunement, contra Kant, but comes from the very depths of nature in the potencies of nature naturing.

 

Robert S. Corrington. A Semiotic Theory of Theology and Philosophy. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009.

Semiotic TheoryThe concern of this work is with developing an alternative to standard categories in theology and philosophy, especially in terms of how they deal with nature. Avoiding the polemics of much contemporary reflection on nature, it shows how we are connected to nature through the unconscious and its unique way of reading and processing signs. Suggestions are made for a post-Christian way of understanding religion. Finally, our connection with the infinite is described in detail, especially as it relates to the use of sign systems.

 

 

 

Morris L. Davis. The Methodist Unification: Christianity and the Politics of Race in the Jim Crow Era. Religion, Race, and Ethnicity Series. New York: New York University Press, 2008.

Methodist UnificationIn the early part of the twentieth century, Methodists were seen by many Americans as the most powerful Christian group in the country. Ulysses S. Grant is rumored to have said that during his presidency there were three major political parties in the U.S., if you counted the Methodists.The Methodist Unification focuses on the efforts among the Southern and Northern Methodist churches to create a unified national Methodist church, and how their plan for unification came to institutionalize racism and segregation in unprecedented ways. How did these Methodists conceive of what they had just formed as “united” when members in the church body were racially divided?

Moving the history of racial segregation among Christians beyond a simplistic narrative of racism, Morris L. Davis shows that Methodists in the early twentieth century — including high-profile African American clergy — were very much against racial equality, believing that mixing the races would lead to interracial marriages and threaten the social order of American society.The Methodist Unification illuminates the religious culture of Methodism, Methodists’ self-identification as the primary carriers of “American Christian Civilization,” and their influence on the crystallization of whiteness during the Jim Crow Era as a legal category and cultural symbol.

 

Kathy Black and Heather Murray Elkins, eds. Wising Up: Ritual Resources for Women of Faith in Their Journey of Aging. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2010.

Wising UpWising Up provides rituals and guidance for women as they age. It helps them make the often difficult life transitions wisely and in the context of their faith communities. Instead of focusing exclusively on time worn thresholds such as menopause, marriage and divorce, and dying, the book contains affirming rituals on: coming to terms with the changes in one’s body; learning to live with and depend on an item like a walker or a hearing aid; giving up one’s driver’s license; deciding how to give away one’s household contents; and being orphaned. In addition to the rituals-and guidelines on how to create one’s own rituals-the book contains a number of short stories, hymns, prayers, quotations, and poems to help ease women through the aging process.

 

 

Danna Nolan Fewell, Gary A. Phillips, and Yvonne Sherwood. Representing the Irreparable: The Shoah, the Bible, and the Art of Samuel Bak. Boston: Pucker Art Publications, 2008.

Samuel BakThe art of Samuel Bak depicts a world destroyed and yet provisionally pieced back together. Across nearly seven decades of artistic production Samuel Bak has explored and reworked a set of metaphors, a visual grammar and vocabulary, that ultimately privileges questions. Bak’s pictorial readings invite reconsideration of the Post-Reformation privileging of word over image, and of the Post-Enlightenment privileging of reason over experience. Bak preserves memory of the twentieth century ruination of Jewish life and culture by way of an artistic passion and precision that stubbornly announces the creativity of the human spirit.

 

 

 

Danna Nolan Fewell and Gary A. Phillips. Icon of Loss: The Haunting Child of Samuel Bak. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2009.

Icon of LossIn this examination of Samuel Bak’s most recent collection of paintings inspired by the little boy from the famous Stroop Report photo taken in the Warsaw Ghetto in April 1943, Gary A. Phillips and Danna Nolan Fewell consider the historical and visual implications of this iconic image and its contemporary evocations. A survivor of the Vilna liquidation and a child prodigy whose first exhibition was held in the Vilna Ghetto at age nine, Bak weaves together personal history and Jewish history to articulate an iconography of his Holocaust experience. Bak’s art preserves memory of the twentieth-century ruination of Jewish life and culture by way of an artistic passion and precision that stubbornly announces the creativity of the human spirit.

 

 

Danna Nolan Fewell and David Miller Gunn. Compromising Redemption: Relating Characters in the Book of Ruth. 2nd ed. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2009.

Compromising RedemptionWe are interested in subverting the notion of “type” when it comes to biblical characters. We prefer, instead, to see the characters in Ruth as complex people, not merely built around a single primary trait, like loyalty, altruism, or generosity. People may exhibit conflicting traits and are often different people. There is no reason why the same should not be true of literary characters. Accordingly we have tried not to define the “selves” of this narrative too tightly, and if we have overdetermined them, we recognize that as a fault. In short, the characters of this story have far more diverse possibilities of life in the minds of readers than we can ever give them. (From the Introduction.)

 

 

Catherine Keller. On the Mystery: Discerning Divinity in Process. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2008.

On the MysteryWith immediate impact and deep creativity, Catherine Keller offers this brief and unconventional introduction to theological thinking, especially as recast by process thought. Keller here takes up theology itself as a quest for religious authenticity. Through a marvelous combination of brilliant writing, story, reflection, and unabashed questioning of old shibboleths, Keller redeems theology from its dry and predictable categories to reveal what has always been at the heart of the theological enterprise: a personal search for intellectually honest and credible ways of making sense of the loving mystery that encompasses even our confounding times.

 

 

 

Catherine Keller and Laurel Schneider, eds. Polydoxy: Theology of Multiplicity and Relation. New York: Routledge, 2010.

PolydoxyReligious pluralism, the collapse of traditional religious institutions, and the growing impact of religious studies on believers have prompted widespread rethinking of what religion is. Polydoxy offers a brilliant and original theological response to this intellectual crisis by suggesting that there are multiple forms of right belief. Reacting against reductive or nostalgic theological tendencies, the chapters in this book by an impressive array of scholars take an exciting and creative approach to theology in the twenty-first century.

 

 

 

 

John B. Cobb, Jr., Richard Falk, and Catherine Keller, eds. Reason and Reenchantment: The Philosophical, Religious, and Political Thought of David Ray Griffin. Claremont, CA: Process Century Press, 2013.

David Ray GriffinEssays in philosophy, theology, religion, and politics explore the wide-ranging and groundbreaking thought of David Ray Griffin, the man who brought constructive postmodernism to China and has engaged millions in his multidisciplinary explorations of Whiteheadian philosophy.

 

 

 

 

 

Hyo-Dong Lee. Spirit, Qi, and the Multitude: A Comparative Theology for the Democracy of Creation. Transdisciplinary Theological Colloquia. New York: Fordham University Press, 2013.

Spirit Qi MultitudeWe live in an increasingly global, interconnected, and interdependent world, in which various forms of systemic imbalance in power have given birth to a growing demand for genuine pluralism and democracy. As befits a world so interconnected, this book presents a comparative theological and philosophical attempt to construct new underpinnings for the idea of democracy by bringing the Western concept of spirit into dialogue with the East Asian nondualistic and nonhierarchical notion of qi. The book follows the historical adventures of the idea of qi through some of its Confucian and Daoist textual histories in East Asia, mainly Laozi, Zhu Xi, Toegye, Nongmun, and Su-un, and compares them with analogous conceptualizations of the ultimate creative and spiritual power found in the intellectual constellations of Western and/or Christian thought—namely, Whitehead’s Creativity, Hegel’s Geist, Deleuze’s chaosmos, and Catherine Keller’s Tehom.

 

Stephen D. Moore. The Bible in Theory: Critical and Postcritical Essays. Resources for Biblical Study, 57. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2010.

The Bible in TheoryThe sixteen essays assembled in this volume, four of them co-authored, chart the successive phases of a professional life lived in the interstices of Bible and “theory.” Engaging such texts as the Song of Songs, 4 Maccabees, Mark, Luke-Acts, John, and Romans, and such themes as the quest for the historical Jesus, the essays simultaneously traverse postmodernism, deconstruction, New Historicism, autobiographical criticism, cultural studies, postcolonial studies, masculinity studies, queer theory, and “posttheory.” Individual essay introductions and periodic annotated bibliographies make the volume an advanced introduction to biblical literary criticism.

 

 

 

Stephen D. Moore and Yvonne Sherwood. The Invention of the Biblical Scholar: A Critical Manifesto. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2011.

Invention of Biblical ScholarWhat is a “biblical scholar”? Stephen D. Moore and Yvonne Sherwood provide a thoroughly defamiliarizing and frequently entertaining re–description of this peculiar academic species and its odd disciplinary habitat. The modern—and postmodern—biblical scholar, they argue, is a product of the Enlightenment. Even when a biblical scholar imagines that she is doing something else entirely (something confessional, theoretical, literary, or even postmodern), she is sustaining Enlightened modernity and its effects. This study poses questions for scholars across the humanities concerned with the question of the religious and the secular. It also poses pressing questions for scholars and students of biblical interpretation: What other forms might biblical criticism have taken? What untried forms might biblical criticism yet take?

 

 

Tom Thatcher and Stephen D. Moore, eds. Anatomies of Narrative Criticism: The Past, Present, and Futures of the Fourth Gospel as Literature. Resources for Biblical Study, 55. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2008.

Anatomies of Narrative CriticismReflecting on the twenty-fifth anniversary of Alan Culpepper’s milestone Anatomy of the Fourth Gospel (1983), Anatomies of Narrative Criticism explores current trends in the study of the Gospel of John as literature. The contributors to the volume represent a wide range of methodological approaches that all explore ways that contemporary readers generate meaning from John’s story of Jesus. The book includes an introduction to narrative-critical studies of John; essays on specific themes and passages that focus on interpretation of the text, history of research, hermeneutical approaches, and future trends in research; and, a reflective response from Alan Culpepper. Overall, the book seeks to trace the history and project the future of the study of the Bible as narrative.

 

 

Stephen D. Moore and Mayra Rivera, eds. Planetary Loves: Spivak, Postcoloniality, and Theology. Transdisciplinary Theological Colloquia. New York: Fordham University Press, 2010.

Planetary LovesPostcolonial theology has recently emerged as a site of intense intellectual and political energy and has taken its place in the interdisciplinary field of postcolonial studies. This volume is animated by the conviction that postcolonial theology is now ready for a second, deeper phase of engagement with postcolonial theory, one that moves beyond the general to the specific. No critic has been more emblematic of the challenging and contested field of postcolonial theory than Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak. In this volume, the product of a theological colloquium in which Spivak herself participated, theologians and biblical scholars engage with her thought in order to catalyze a diverse range of original theological and exegetical projects.

 

 

Kate Ott. Sex + Faith: Talking with Your Child from Birth to Adolescence. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2013.

Sex and FaithTalking with your child about sex can be scary! Sex + Faith helps parents incorporate their faith values with sexual information so they can answer questions, discuss sexuality at each stage of childhood, and show support of sexual differences. Section one explains how faith relates to sexuality and the essential role parents play in forming healthy, faithful, sexually educated children. The second section designates a chapter for four age groupings of children from infancy through high school. Each chapter explains the biological and developmental issues of the age, answers questions children tend to have, provides relevant Biblical and faith stories helpful to discuss with children of that age, and lists five to ten key educational issues for parents to keep in mind. Shaded text boxes are interspersed throughout the book with real life, practical questions that parents and children ask. Expertly written by Kate Ott, Sex + Faith is an easy to use reference guide for parents of kids of all ages.

 

Melanie L. Harris and Kate M. Ott, eds. Faith, Feminism, and Scholarship: The Next Generation. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.

Faith Feminism ScholarshipFaith, Feminism, and Scholarship engages third wave Womanist, Latina, Asian, Black and White feminists discussing their approaches to religious scholarship, teaching strategies, and participation in communal and social activism. The volume looks at major themes in feminist religious scholarship including our identities as scholars and activists, what lead us to ministry as scholars, and how our work is shaped by our faith commitments. The authors engage feminist and womanist theory, post-colonial thought, critical race theory, gender studies as well as using personal narrative to describe and enliven tensions in these theories and practice including pedagogical models of transformation.

 

 

Letty M. Russell. Just Hospitality: God’s Welcome in a World of Difference. Edited by J. Shannon Clarkson and Kate M. Ott. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2009.

Just HospitalityIn this book, theologian Letty Russell redefines the commonly held notion of hospitality as she challenges her readers to consider what it means to welcome the stranger. In doing so, she implores persons of faith to join the struggles for justice.

Rather than an act of limited, charitable welcome, Russell maintains that true hospitality is a process that requires partnership with the “other” in our divided world. The goal is “just hospitality,” that is, hospitality with justice. Russell draws on feminist and postcolonial thinking to show how we are colonized and colonizing, each of us bearing the marks of the history that formed us. With an insightful analysis of the power dynamics that stem from our differences and a constructive theological theory of difference itself, Russell proposes concrete strategies to create a more just practice of hospitality.

 

Carl E. Savage. Biblical Bethsaida: An Archaeological Study of the First Century. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2011.

Biblical BethsaidaIn his illuminating, well-researched book examining the site of Et-Tell, also known as Bethsaida, Carl E. Savage explores archaeological evidence to offer readers a portrait of the religious beliefs and practices of the community living near the north shore of the Sea of Galilee during the first century CE. In the study of the cultural and social matrix of the first century in the Galilee, scholars have commonly prioritized written sources over archaeological evidence because written sources seem to contribute more directly to an understanding of the religious beliefs and practices of a community. However, there exist many competing views of the landscape during that time due to the varying interpretations of the textual sources. Using archaeological data from Bethsaida itself, Savage investigates the material practices of Bethsaida’s ancient inhabitants, describing these practices as significant indicators of their sense of place both ideologically and geographically. He evaluates the historical plausibility of various social reconstructions for the region, and finds that the image that emerges of first-century Bethsaida is one similar to those of other Jewish communities in the Galilee.

 

Angella M. Pak Son. Spirituality of Joy: Moving beyond Dread and Duties. Seoul: Jeyoung Communications, 2013.

Spirituality of JoyWhat we are most hungry for today is joy and the vitality in provides in life. In response to this urgent need in our society where we often live as joyrefusers, this book offers a spirituality of joy by integrating phenomenological study of joy, biblical re-examination of joy, and psychological understanding of a joy-filled life. By reinterpreting the Sermon on the Mount and examining the life of Jesus, this book offers joy as the ultimate expression of our relationship to God and shows God to be the Ultimate Joyfinder. By consulting Heinz Kohut’s self psychology, it unpacks in layman’s terms the centrality of our relationship with God and others in becoming joy-available people. The foundation of the spirituality of joy is an understanding of both our failure to claim all the joys that God grants to us and our humble awareness of our inability to become joy-filled people without support from God and others. The spirituality of joy suggests contentment, clarity, consistency, and gratitude as its fruits and calls us to be joy finders for others.

 

Leonard Sweet. So Beautiful: Divine Design for Life and the Church. Colorado Springs: David C. Cook, 2009.

So BeautifulMore than 50 years ago scientists made a remarkable discovery, proclaiming, “We have found the secret of life … and it’s so pretty!” The secret was the discovery that life is helixical, two strands wound around a single axis—what most of us know today as the model for DNA. Over the course of his ministry, author Leonard Sweet has discovered that this divine design also informs God’s blueprint for the church. In this seminal work, he shares the woven strands that form the church: missional, relational, and incarnational. Sweet declares that this secret is not just pretty, but beautiful. In fact, So Beautiful! Using the poignant life of John Newton as a touchstone, Sweet calls for the re-union of these three essential, complementary strands of the Christian life. Far from a novel idea, Sweet shows how this structure is God’s original intent, and shares the simply beautiful design for His church.

 

Leonard Sweet. The Three Hardest Words in the World to Get Right. Colorado Springs: WaterBrook Multnomah, 2010.

Three simple words–“I love you”–cThree Hardest Wordsapture the heart of Jesus’ life and ministry. These three words form the bottom line and top drawer of all his teachings. And they remain the three hardest words in the world to get right. Two pronouns and a verb have never been so difficult to grasp, much less to practice. Popular culture has ruined love’s reputation by redefining it first as romance, and then as lust. But it’s not just the meaning of the word love that causes so much confusion. To fully understand love, we also need to find out who we are in God’s eyes and whom we are commanded to love. Following Jesus can be described as the daily practice of all three words: I. Love. You. There is nothing more rewarding, and nothing more risky. Join Leonard Sweet in this eye-opening, life-altering exploration of three simple, one-syllable words. After all, the lifestyle of love is the only life that Jesus calls you to live. There is nothing more challenging than adopting the three-word lifestyle of Jesus as your own.

 

Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola. Jesus Manifesto. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2010.

Jesus ManifestoJesus Manifesto presents a fresh unveiling of Jesus as not only Savior and Lord, but as so much more. It is a prophetic call to restore the supremacy and sovereignty of Christ in a world—and a church—that has lost sight of Him. Every revival and restoration in the church has been a rediscovery of some aspect of Christ in the process of answering the ultimate question that Jesus put to His disciples: “Who do you say that I am?”  Read this book and see your Lord like you’ve never seen Him before.

 

 

 

 

Leonard Sweet. Real Church in a Social Network World: From Facebook to Face-to-Face Faith. Colorado Springs: WaterBrook Multnomah, 2011.

Real ChurchThe explosion in social networking is perhaps the most visible expression of the human longing to know others and to be known. Is there a parallel in contemporary Christianity? The church posts a welcome sign outside, but has Christianity lost sight of reaching the current generation with the heart of the gospel? Drawing from years of Leonard Sweet’s paradigm-shifting analyses, Real Church in a Social-Network World delivers ahead-of-the-curve observations and insights into the intersection of the gospel and richer relationships in an ever-changing culture of TGIFers (those who connect using Twitter, Google, the iPhone, and Facebook).

 

 

 

Leonard Sweet. The Greatest Story Never Told: Revive Us Again. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2012.

Greatest StoryWhat makes a Methodist? How can we re-ignite the spark of genius that motivated such commitment in our cloud of witnesses? The essence of Methodism’s genius resides in two famous Wesleyan mantras: “heart strangely warmed” (inward experiences with a fire in the heart) and “the world is our parish” (outward experiences with waterfalls of cutting-edge intelligence). For Wesley, internal combustion, the former, led to external combustion, the latter. In the 18th century, Methodists in general (and in their younger years, the Wesley brothers themselves) were accused of being too “sexy.” What else could all those “love feasts” and “strangely warmed hearts” be about? Why else were all those women in positions of leadership?  With this book the author hopes to bring back to life some of Methodism’s sexiness so that our current reproduction crisis can be reversed.

  

 

Leonard Sweet. I Am a Follower: The Way, Truth, and Life of Following Jesus. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2012.

I am a Follower“Follow me.” These two words echo the heart-defining call of our Lord Jesus Christ to his disciples. Sadly, this life-changing invitation has lost much of its original meaning. Immersed in a society that worships success, we have succumbed to a trendy fixation with leadership. In I Am a Follower, author Leonard Sweet explains how Christians in a twenty-first-century corporate-obsessed culture have shifted away from a Jesus art of following toward a popularized form of leading.

 

 

 

 

Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola. Jesus: A Theography. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2012.

Jesus TheographyThe twenty-seven books of the New Testament are largely a commentary on the Old Testament, and each part of the Bible is a signpost to Jesus. Once this is properly understood, everything changes, including our own identities. In this magisterial work you will discover a Jesus who is larger, more glorious, and more challenging than most of us have ever imagined. Biographies of Jesus generally have been written by those trying to investigate the historical Jesus with little attention given to the grand narrative of Scripture. On the flip side, those interested in tracing the theology of Scripture are typically disinterested in historical Jesus studies. These two approaches have yet to converge…until now.

 

 

 

Leonard Sweet. Viral: How Social Networking Is Poised to Ignite Revival. Colorado Springs: WaterBrook Press, 2012.

ViralGod came to earth to invite us, personally, into a relationship. And while Christians at times downplay relationships, the social-media generation is completely sold on the idea. In Viral, Leonard Sweet says Christians need to learn about connecting with others from the experts—those who can’t seem to stop texting, IM-ing, tweeting, and updating their Facebook statuses. What would happen, he asks, if Christians devoted less attention to strategies and statistics and paid more attention to pursuing relationships?

 

 

 

 

Leonard Sweet. Nudge: Awakening Each Other to the God Who’s Already There. Colorado Springs: David C. Cook, 2010.

NudgeBrace yourself. This book is set to revolutionize your understanding of evangelism. And that revolution stands to affect not just your everyday habits, including encounters you have with other people. It will impact the very roots of your faith, the range of your mission and the limits of your freedom. In the tradition of The Gospel According to Starbucks, this groundbreaking book dares to ask: Instead of “bringing people to Jesus, how about joining Jesus in what he is already doing?” Author Leonard Sweet challenges you to use all five senses to interact with God and others. Nudge will remind you that for God to do something through us, God must be doing something in us.

 

 

 

Nancy Lynne Westfield, ed. Being Black, Teaching Black: Black Politics and Pedagogy in Religious Studies. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2008.

Being Black Teaching BlackIn this volume a group of eminent African American scholars of religious and theological studies examine the problems and prospects of black scholarship in the theological academy. They assess the role that prominent black scholars have played in transforming the study and teaching of religion and theology, the need for a more thorough-going incorporation of the fruits of black scholarship into the mainstream of the academic study of religion, and the challenges and opportunities of bringing black art, black intellectual thought, and black culture into predominantly white classrooms and institutions.

 

 

 

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