Book News – June 2011 [Vol. 4, #13]

Thought I’d pull together a few bits of book news that are worth sharing…
— Chris Smith, editor.

At BookExpo in NYC this last month, I had a chance to see Katherine Patterson‘s new book Brother Sun, Sister Moon, her “reimagination” of the famous St. Francis canticle. The book is illustrated by Pamela Dalton, using intricate paper-cut art, and apparently this is her first book; what a debut!  This is the most beautiful book for children of all ages that I recall in recent memory.  Given the elegance of its presentation and the delightful, if familiar, story, this is a book that ERB readers will not want to miss!  I originally thought that this book was not scheduled for release until Fall, but according to Amazon, it is available now…  You will not want to miss this book!

Paraclete Press has recently released a version of Scot McKnight‘s classic book Jesus Creed that is aimed at Students.  We don’t typically review age- or gender- adaptations of books here, but we love Scot’s work and are glad to see this book engaging students (recommended ages 16-22) with the powerful ideas of Scot’s Jesus Creed.

Also new from Paraclete is At the Still Point: A Literary Guide to Prayer in Ordinary Time, a volume compiled by Sarah Arthur.  Apart from the prayerbooks that span the full year, there have been countless books of prayers focused on seasons such as Advent, Lent and Eastertide, but few in my recollection have focused on Ordinary Time. On top of that, the fact that the prayers here have a literary focus (i.e., many of the poems/excerpts were not written intentionally as prayers) only serves to pique my interest and I imagine, will also do likewise for many of our readers.

Finally, I have also been recently alerted to Scott Williams‘s new book Church Diversity: Sunday The Most Segregated Day of the Week, which of course draws its title from MLK’s infamous proclamation.  Theological reflection on race is important to us here at the ERB (consider our detailed reviews of recent books by J. Kameron Carter and Willie Jennings), so I am interested in seeing how Williams’ makes his case.   Although, I have a deep desire to see racial reconciliation, I’m skeptical of diversity as an end unto itself for churches (and thus also of churches whose primary intent is to be multi-cultural).  Jennings has argued that the problem of race and the problem of place are intertwined and from that I believe as a starting point, our churches should reflect the specific diversity of the neighborhoods in which they exist, and then from there to reflect on the sorts of people that once inhabited that place and why they no longer do so and to explore what reconciliation might looks like as we follow that trajectory.  Anyway, in that light, I’m curious to see what Williams offers up on this important topic.

C. Christopher Smith is the founding editor of The Englewood Review of Books. He is also author of a number of books, including most recently How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church (Brazos Press, 2019). Connect with him online at: C-Christopher-Smith.com

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Reading for the Common Good
From ERB Editor Christopher Smith

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