News, Theology

Ten Theology Books to Watch For – July 2020

Here are some excellent new theology books * that will be released in July 2020 :

* broadly interpreted, including ethics, church history, biblical studies, and other areas that intersect with theology

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Theology Books July 2020

The Land and Its Kings: 1-2 Kings 

Johanna W. H. van Wijk-Bos

Eerdmans

In The Land and Its Kings biblical scholar Johanna van Wijk-Bos accompanies the reader across a large sweep of the story of Israel, from the end of King David’s reign through the fall of Jerusalem approximately 400 years later. She views these memories of Israel’s past, as they are woven together in Kings, from the perspective of the traumatic context of postexilic Judah.

Van Wijk-Bos writes as a scholar of the Bible with deep commitments to feminism and issues of gender within patriarchal structures and ideologies. The voices and presence of women in the accounts receive special attention.

As in the previous volumes of A People and a Land, van Wijk-Bos offers a close reading of the Hebrew text in translation to reacquaint readers with the path taken by Israel as the  people embraced a form of monarchy, subsequently compromised their allegiance to God,, and were ultimately exiled from the land. She presents the multiplicity of voices which the collectors of this material let stand as an essential part of the complex history of their community. Van Wijk-Bos invites readers to enter into the text with questions and to find a way forward to draw closer to the presence of the Most Holy.


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Theology Books July 2020

Cut in Stone: Confederate Monuments and Theological Disruption 

Ryan Andrew Nelson

Baylor University Press

Confederate monuments figure prominently as epicenters of social conflict. These stone and metal constructs resonate with the tensions of modern America, giving concrete definition to the ideologies that divide us. Confederate monuments alone did not generate these feelings of aggravation, but they are far from innocent. Rather than serving as neutral objects of public remembrance, Confederate monuments articulate a narration of the past that forms the basis for a normative vision of the future. The story, told through the character of a religious mythos, carries implicit sacred convictions; thus, these spires and statues are inherently theological.

In Cut in Stone, Ryan Andrew Newson contends that we cannot fully understand or disrupt these statues without attending to the convictions that give them their power. With a careful overview of the historical contexts in which most Confederate monuments were constructed, Newson demonstrates that these “memorials” were part of a revisionary project intended to resist the social changes brought on by Reconstruction while maintaining a romanticized Southern identity. Confederate monuments thus reinforce a theology concerning the nature of sacrifice and the ultimacy of whiteness. Moreover, this underlying theology serves to conceal inherited collective wounds in the present.

If Confederate monuments are theologically weighted in their allure, then it stands to reason that they must also be contested at this level―precisely as sacred symbols. Newson responds to these inherently theological objects with suggestions for action that are sensitive to the varying contexts within which monuments reside, showing that while all Confederate monuments must come under scrutiny, some monuments should remain standing, but in redefined contexts. Cut in Stone represents the first detailed theological investigation of Confederate monuments, a resource for the larger collective task of determining how to memorialize problematic pasts and how to shape public space amidst contested memory.

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One Comment

  1. I think it would be good to have a section that deals with publications beyond North America, like a global Christianity. Theologising done in other parts of the world can enrich the West, for example Africa and Asia.
    Thank you.