I wrote brief reviews of the following books that were released in the last couple of weeks:
by C. Christopher Smith, editor of The Englewood Review of Books
[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”160″ identifier=”0393239616″ locale=”US” src=”http://englewoodreview.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/51IUhpFBj6L.SL160.jpg” tag=”douloschristo-20″ width=”105″][easyazon_link identifier=”0393239616″ locale=”US” tag=”douloschristo-20″]Paper:
Paging Through History[/easyazon_link]
* * * * * (out of 5 stars)
Essential reading for bibliophiles and those who work in the written word
Kurlansky once again proves himself to be one of our finest popular historians. PAPER is a delightful, global history of paper as a technology. Paper, Kurlansky observes follows from the social practice of written language. Kurlansky deftly weaves social and technological history from ancient times to the modern era, righting a number of crucial misconceptions about how technology works.
PAPER will be of interest to history buffs and to those who are interested in the history of technology, but especially to bibliophiles and those who work in the written word. Kurlansky gives us pause to consider the writers who went before us, and the technologies and costs associated with the recording of their words.
[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”160″ identifier=”0802868738″ locale=”US” src=”http://englewoodreview.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/51rYI9kfsL.SL160.jpg” tag=”douloschristo-20″ width=”107″][easyazon_link identifier=”0802868738″ locale=”US” tag=”douloschristo-20″]Christian Practical Wisdom:
What It Is, Why It Matters[/easyazon_link]
Dorothy Bass, et al.
* * * * * (out of 5 stars)
Important reading for pastors and theologians
This important book explores the significance of “practical wisdom” — that which Aristotle referred to as phronesis — in the Christian tradition. “Christians blessed with practical wisdom…” the authors write, “are attuned to the concrete and the actual, but they also cherish and yearn for what they know more generally and more abstractly. They can see what is going on, and they respond with good judgment as need in particular situations.” (9-10). The authors present a corrective to theological education that is largely incapable of articulating a way of knowing rooted in practical wisdom, and they succeed in framing a conversation about practical wisdom and the vital role that it plays in our formation and transformation as Christians. They explore how practical wisdom has been erased not only from theology, but from Western culture at large, and offer the hope that in our churches we already cultivate this sort of wisdom, and should be more attentive to this process and learn to articulate from it an epistemology and a theology grounded in practical wisdom.
This is important reading for pastors and theologians, but especially for those afflicted with a growing discomfort for the abstract sorts of theology that they have inherited.