Archives For Augustine


Here are a few new book releases from this week that are worth checking out:

(Where possible, we have also tried to include a review/interview related to the book…)

   [easyazon_image align=”center” height=”500″ identifier=”0830844821″ locale=”US” src=”” tag=”douloschristo-20″ width=”338″]

[easyazon_link identifier=”0830844821″ locale=”US” tag=”douloschristo-20″]The Myth of Equality: Uncovering the Roots of Injustice and Privilege[/easyazon_link]

Ken Wytsma

Watch the book trailer video


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[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”333″ identifier=”1472925270″ locale=”US” src=”” tag=”douloschristo-20″ width=”208″]In honor of the Feast Day of St. Augustine on this coming Sunday (Aug. 28), here is an excerpt from the excellent new book…

On Augustine
Rowan Williams

Hardback: Bloomsbury Continuum, 2016
Buy now:  [ [easyazon_link identifier=”1472925270″ locale=”US” tag=”douloschristo-20″]Amazon[/easyazon_link] ]  [ [easyazon_link identifier=”B01CG3Q9MG” locale=”US” tag=”douloschristo-20″]Kindle[/easyazon_link] ]


*** Three Poems by St. Augustine *** 

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Poems for All Saints Day!

November 1, 2014


Poems - St. Francis

I’ve been on a poetry kick recently, so I thought it would be fun to comb our archives for poems by and about saints…

Here are the poems that I found:

*** Also, Recommended Stories of the Saints

Vachel Lindsay

Would I might wake St. Francis in you all,
Brother of birds and trees, God’s Troubadour,
Blinded with weeping for the sad and poor;
Our wealth undone, all strict Franciscan men,
Come, let us chant the canticle again
Of mother earth and the enduring sun.
God make each soul the lonely leper’s slave;
God make us saints, and brave.


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Here are seven essential classics of the Christian faith that are available as FREE Kindle ebooks!!!
(Download them all now…)

If you don’t have a Kindle, these can be read on your iPad or smartphone using the free Kindle reading app

Together these seven books cover a wide swath of historical Christian theology and practice.  I’ve added at the end seven additional titles that broaden the scope of this survey and are available for 99cents each.

Use the comments below to tell us how you have been impacted by one or more of these classics…

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In our continuing effort to fund the work of The Englewood Review, we offer you the opportunity to buy bargain theology books from CBD that we think of are interest.

Buying books this way is a win / win / win proposition. You get great books for a great price, CBD gets the sale and we get an excellent referral fee from CBD.

This week’s Bargains:

231217: Mandate to Difference: An Invitation to the Contemporary Church Mandate to Difference: An Invitation to the Contemporary Church

By Walter Brueggemann / Westminster John Knox Press

$5.99 – Save 70%!!!

What role should the church play in the world today? This is the question esteemed theologian Walter Brueggeman strives to answer in his work Mandate to Difference: An Invitation to the Contemporary Church. His most recent collection of essays calls the church to “set itself in tension with the rest of the world.” Instead of drawing inward, Brueggemann asks the church to publicly choose a different way—to “courageously defy political polarization, consumerism, and militarism.” By demonstrating a different way, the church can lead the world forward “and adversaries can be turned to allies and to friends.”Brueggeman is the William Marcellus McPheeters Professor Emeritus of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, Georgia.

829541DA: Tell It Slant: A Conversation on the Language of Jesus in His Stories & Prayers - Slightly Imperfect Tell It Slant: A Conversation on the Language of Jesus in His Stories & Prayers – Slightly Imperfect

By Eugene H. Peterson / Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. / Hardback

$6.99 – Save 71%!!!

2009 Christianity Today Book Award of Merit in Spirituality

Just as God used words both to create the world and to give us commandments, we too use words for many different purposes. In fact, we use the same language to talk to each other and to talk to God. Can our everyday speech, then, be just as important as the words and prayers we hear from the pulpit? Eugene Peterson unequivocally says “Yes!”

Tell It Slant explores how Jesus used language—he was earthy, not abstract; metaphorical, not dogmatic. His was not a direct language of information or instruction but an indirect, oblique language requiring a participating imagination—“slant” language. In order to witness and teach accurately in Jesus’ name, then, it is important for us to use language the way he did.

027373DA: Creed Without Chaos: Exploring Theology in the Writings of Dorothy L. Sayers Creed Without Chaos: Exploring Theology in the Writings of Dorothy L. Sayers

By Laura K. Simmons / Baker

$5.99 – Save 75%!!!

This elegant and accessible book takes an in-depth look at the life and thought of the brilliant, yet little-known theologian, Dorothy L. Sayers. Author Laura K. Simmons examines Sayers’s thoughts on topics ranging from the incarnation and the Trinity to work ethics and the arts. Simmons does great justice to a woman whose goal was to avoid Christian “slip-slop and fiddle-faddle,” and in doing so, introduces the modern church to a brilliant thinker.

432682: Cloister Talks: Learning from My Friends the Monks Cloister Talks: Learning from My Friends the Monks

By Jon M. Sweeney / Brazos Press

$2.99 – Save 77%!!!

“We can show you how to be quiet, how to listen, but only God can show you the other stuff,” Father Ambrose told Jon Sweeney long ago. “What stuff?” he replied. “You.”This is just one of the many conversations Sweeney shares in Cloister Talks-a series of glimpses into his decades-long friendships with Cistercian and Benedictine monks in various monasteries across the country. The contemplative way embodied by these communal brothers has been the single greatest source of guidance in Sweeney’s journey of faith. Here he shares with poignant honesty the wisdom and insight for everyday living he has gained along the way.

Sweeney’s conversations with monks engage various universal areas of life, including life, death, love, work, play, and spirituality. Readers will emerge with a deeper understanding of this ancient way of Christianity-a much needed antidote to the hurry of contemporary life. The monastics who populate these pages have spent a combined century and a half in their sacred vocation. They hold the keys to many of the things we all yearn for: stillness, solitude, simplicity, contemplation, and clarity of purpose.

226180: The Richness of Augustine: His Contextual and Pastoral Theology The Richness of Augustine: His Contextual and Pastoral Theology

By Mark Ellingsen / Westminster John Knox Press

$7.99 – Save 73%!!!

In an inclusive reading of Augustine, Ellingsen reveals a patterned conceptual richness in Augustine’s thought. He demonstrates that the Augustinian traditions claimed by the Catholic church, the Presbyterian church, and virtually every Protestant denomination all have validity. The Richness of Augustine is a wonderful introduction and a rich ecumenical and historical resource. It is the first introduction that places in focus the significance of Augustine’s African cultural and ethnic roots.


“How then Shall we Speak?

A review of
Working with Words:
On Learning to Speak Christian

by Stanley Hauerwas.

Review by Chase Roden.

Working with Words:
On Learning to Speak Christian
Stanley Hauerwas.
Paperback: Wipf and Stock, 2011.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

Christ as true king. The church as polis. Constantinianism as idolatry. Those familiar with Stanley Hauerwas already know his major themes and vocabulary. Although he has spent decades working with these ideas – many of which he inherited and adapted from John Howard Yoder – Hauerwas continues to explore them in new and interesting ways, applying his interpretation of the nonviolent gospel to different contexts. Because the core of Hauerwas’s work contains such radical ideas which run counter to the implicit thought of mainstream American Christianity, many Christians keep coming back to his writings year after year for a fresh perspective.

For these readers, there will not be many surprises in Working with Words: On Learning to Speak Christian, a new collection of Hauerwas’s writings. In it the Duke professor of theological ethics presents a “kitchen sink” bundle of writings admittedly not intended to form any particular argument. The writings are quite varied; of the 22 works presented (including the appendix), 13 are essays (five co-written), seven are sermons, and three are addresses – a commencement speech, a lecture, and one fascinating speech to a Christian youth conference at Duke Divinity School.

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A Brief Review of

Augustine and the Jews:
A Christian Defense of Jews and Judaism
Paula Fredriksen

Hardback: Doubleday, 2008.
Buy now:  [ ]

Reviewed by James Spinti.

This review originally appeared on James’s blog:
It is reprinted here with the reviewer’s permission.

The book is divided into three sections: The legacy of Alexander, which describes the cultural background of Augustine’s world, The prodigal son, which is a biography of Augustine, and God and Israel, which deals with Augustine’s evolving theology of what to do with the Jews.

The first section could almost be a book on its own. The cultural background, with the importance of paideia (the way society educated its young, especially wealthy, males) for worldview, the importance of rhetoric in daily life, the role of the gods in society, are all laid out in a very coherent and understandable way. The heavy influence of the Platonic/Neo-platonic disdain for the physical is highlighted, as it will have an important role in the development of Christian theology.  I could recommend the book for this section alone. I only have one complaint, and that is that she has bought the current academic fad that there were multiple christianities that were all equally valid prior to “the triumph of orthodoxy.” But, that is another argument for another day.

Since I have lived with this material for so long, I tend to forget that most people don’t know about the multiplicity of gods and their role in the ancient world. I was reminded of it just the other day while on vacation. I made some statement, which I thought would be self-evident, and had to spend the next ½ hour explaining polytheism and the concept of placating the deities. This section of the book would make a good read on that subject.

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A Brief Review of

Augustine of Hippo: A Life.
Henry Chadwick.

Hardback: Oxford UP,  2009.
Buy now: [ ]

Reviewed by Chris Smith.

AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO - Henry ChadwickTwenty-eight years after its completion, Oxford University Press has finally brought Henry Chadwick’s introductory biography of Augustine to print.  Chadwick was one of the most renowned twentieth century scholars of Early Church history and the author of what is probably the finest contemporary translation of Augustine’s Confessions (Oxford UP, 1991).  Augustine of Hippo: A Life is a perfect companion to the Confessions, illuminating Augustine’s life in its historical and philosophical context.  One of the best qualities of Chadwick’s interpretation of Augustine’s life is its emphasis on understanding Augustine in the context of the Church.  In his narration of the dimensions of Augustine’s conversion, Chadwick observes:

Augustine wants to be a monk, but it must be in a community of brothers.  For him solitude is a necessary periodic withdrawal, but not a normal road to truth, which is not something religious men find on their own.  Because ‘God’s truth does not belong to any one man’, truth is found by a dialectic of question and answer (30).

It is this need to be in community, and thereby in conversation, that gives shape to Chadwick’s telling of Augustine’s life.  Augustine is portrayed in conversation with those inside the Church, those in marginal sects (Manichees, Donatists), as well as with contemporary philosophies (especially neoplatonism) and those outside the Church.  Given Augustine’s pre-conversion labors as a teacher of rhetoric and the centrality of the virtue of dialogue, it is not surprising that Chadwick frequently returns to issues related to Augustine’s use of language, among which is one of the book’s finest passages, a brief exploration of Augustine’s principles for scriptural hermeneutics (82-86).

Highly readable and thoroughly enjoyable, Chadwick’s Augustine of Hippo: A Life is marked by its clarity, economy of words and Chadwick’s narrative tone.  It deserves to become the primary introductory biography of Augustine, and is well-worth reading in our churches, colleges and seminaries!


“Rooted in Economic Discernment?”

A Review of
Being Consumed:
Economics and Christian Desire.

by William Cavanaugh.


By Chris Smith.

Being Consumed:
Economics and Christian Desire.

William Cavanaugh.

Paperback. Eerdmans, 2008.
Buy now from: [ ]

When William Cavanaugh’s little book Being Consumed: Economics and Christian Desire was published earlier this year, no one could have guessed how relevant it would become with the recent economic turmoil.  This little book of four essays is a tool for helping us reflect in our churches on why we got into this economic mess.  The book’s essays are structured around the contrast between pairs of key ideas related to contemporary capitalist economics: “Freedom and Unfreedom,” “Detachment and Attachment,” “The Global and the Local” and “Scarcity and Abundance.” 

                In the first essay “Freedom and Unfreedom,” Cavanaugh uses Augustine’s concept of freedom as the basis for a Christian critique of the modern capitalist notion of “free markets.”  The thrust of his critique lies in the distinction that the capitalist concept of freedom is a “freedom from” that has no clear end, whereas Augustine views freedom as a “freedom for” which has a specific end in mind (i.e., reconciliation with God).  Cavanaugh also emphasizes that in contrast to the stark individualistic autonomy of capitalism, the Augustinian view of freedom maintains that others are “crucial to one’s freedom” (9).  Our desires, he observes, do not merely bubble up from within us, but rather our desires are formed in a social crucible, being shaped both from within and without (i.e., from our relationships with others).  Finally, Cavanaugh highlights Augustine’s notion that everything that exists is good, but only to the extent that they participate in the telos of creation – reconciliation with God.  Thus, when we desire things for their own sake, they become nothing to us.  Cavanaugh sagely observes that this provides a striking explanation for the addictiveness of consumer behavior:

A person buys something – anything – trying to fill the hole that is the empty shrine. And once the shopper purchases the thing, it turns into a nothing, and she has to head back to the mall to continue the search.  With no objective ends to guide the search, her search is literally endless(15).

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