WATER is adding a new dimension to our website—an annotated list of recommended resources. This follows what we published for more than twenty years in our print newsletter, WATERwheel.
All of the books we recommend are available for the borrowing from the Carol Murdock Scinto Library in the WATER office. Check out librarything.com for our complete collection. We are grateful to the many publishers who send us review copies to promote to the WATER community.
28 January 2014
Bothuel, Carolyn, and Cynthia L. Tootle (Editors). PROSPERITY STORIES: TESTIMONIES OF DIVINITY IN EVERYDAY LIFE. Silver Spring, MD: Takoma Park Chapel, 2013 (232 pages, $12.60).
Amazing how people find the resources they need to be prosperous. Proves that the world provides all we need if we only keep our eyes open and share.
Carbine, Rosemary P. and Kathleen J. Dolphin (Editors). WOMEN, WISDOM, AND WITNESS: ENGAGING CONTEXTS IN CONVERSATION. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2007 (160 pages, $34.95).
Essays by young Catholic women scholars who are using conversation and collegial work to convey new insights. The scope of their interests portends a broader agenda especially if they can loosen kyriarchal constraints on their important voices.
Chung, Meehyun. REIS UND WASSER: EINE FEMINISTISCHE THEOLOGIE IN KOREA. Berlin: Frank & Timme, 2012 (226 pages, $41.37).
Winner of the Marga Buehrig Prize for excellence in feminist theology, Meehyun Chung explores the feminist theological landscape in her native Korea. The image of rice and water allows nature and scripture, culture and narrative to form an important contribution to the field.
Day, Keri. UNFINISHED BUSINESS: BLACK WOMEN, THE BLACK CHURCH, AND THE STRUGGLE TO THRIVE IN AMERICA. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2012 (192 pages, $19.52).
An important book about the economic and social challenges that Black women and Black churches face. The author’s wide-ranging grasp of economic theory and real world experience makes this a very compelling text.
Jung, Patricia Beattie and Aana Marie Vigen (Editors). GOD, SCIENCE, SEX, GENDER: AN INTERDISCIPLINARY APPROACH TO CHRISTIAN ETHICS. Urbana, Chicago, and Springfield, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2010 (296 pages, $30).
Theologians, ethicists, anthropologists, psychologists, and sociologists address Christian sexual ethics in interdisciplinary dialogue. This collection of essays opens up the conversation yielding relevant, complicated, and honest results.
mcmanus, elizabeth (Editor). COURAGEOUS CONVERSATIONS: CHRISTIAN WOMEN UNEARTHING THE UNSPEAKABLE. Durham, NC: RCWMS Press, 2013 (35 pages, $5).
Young women with new, creative, challenging ideas to share about their lives, their bodies, their dreams of a world in which they are accepted for who they are. Pity some of the issues of 40 years ago are still so fresh and raw.
Moe-Lobeda, Cynthia D. RESISTING STRUCTURAL EVIL: LOVE AS ECOLOGICAL-ECONOMIC VOCATION. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 2013 (309 pages, $19.80).
A Christian social ethical approach to developing a just society through economic and ecological efforts. Useful for groups that want to open such important conversations.
Patrick, Anne E. Women. CONSCIENCE, AND THE CREATIVE PROCESS. New York: Paulist, 2011 (96 pages, $8.96). CONSCIENCE AND CALLING: ETHICAL REFLECTIONS ON CATHOLIC WOMEN’S CHURCH VOCATIONS. London: Bloomsbury, 2013 (224 pages, $21.20).
In the first volume, part of the Madeleva Lectures, Dr. Patrick explores the “creatively responsible self,” a wonderful framework for talking about adult humans in relationship. In the second volume, she turns her attention to how women, especially women in religious congregations, live out their mature faith commitments. Taken together, the books convey a strong message on ethical living.
Ronan, Marian. SISTER TROUBLE: THE VATICAN, THE BISHOPS, AND THE NUNS. North Charleston, SC: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2013 (119 pages, $10.64).
This collection of her essays on American nuns and their struggles with the Vatican functions as a good overview of a bad situation.
Schaberg, Jane D. THE DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF THE AUTHOR AND OTHER FEMINIST ESSAYS ON THE BIBLE. Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix, 2012 (262 pages, $51).
A remarkable biblical scholar and even more remarkable person, Jane Schaberg’s works of scholarship, poetry, and critical reflections are collected in this posthumously published volume. Thanks to Holly E. Hearon for carrying this work to publication. Jane gave Mary Magdalene a new look, and showed her own poetic brilliance.
25 July 2013
Brock, Rita Nakashima and Gabriella Lettini. Soul Repair: Recovering from Moral Injury after War. Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 2012 (176 pages, $24.95).
A poignant examination of the devastating power of war on the human mind and spirit, Soul Repair is heartbreakingly beautiful. The authors build a momentum of emotion through personal stories of soldiers and their family members showing the destructive impact of war. Readers finish Soul Repair with heavy hearts and clear insight on war.
Cheng, Patrick S. Radical Love: An Introduction to Queer Theology. New York, NY: Seabury Books, 2011 (176 pages, $24).
Patrick Cheng’s introduction to queer theology pains a broad portrait of the roots and scope of queer theology, making it an excellent resource for undergraduate study.
Chittister, Joan. Happiness. Grand Rapids, MI and Cambridge, England: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2011 (225 pages, $20).
In her customary accessible style, Joan Chittister offers a compassionate and thorough exploration of the search for, meaning of, and expressions of happiness in varied religious traditions. This is a refreshing alternative to the mainstream rhetoric of positive thinking and money will make you happy.
Ellison, Marvin M. Making Love Just: Sexual Ethics for Perplexing Times. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2012 (176 pages, $18).
Marvin weaves many wise voices, including his own, into a ‘liberating method of ethical discernment’ resulting in new and necessary conversations. An important contribution with a deft touch.
Freitas, Donna. SEX AND THE SOUL: JUGGLING SEXUALITY, SPIRITUALITY, ROMANCE, AND RELIGION ON AMERICA’S COLLEGE CAMPUSES. Cambridge, England and New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2008 (328 pages, $24.95).
Interviews with diverse college students shed light on current sex and spirituality on campus featuring V-cards, purity pledges, hook-ups, and the rare sexual sage. Compiled data and personal narrative make for a thorough account. Much work to do in this arena to encourage safety and a healthy integration of sex and spirit.
Harris, Melanie L. and Kate M. Ott. Faith, Feminism, and Scholarship: The Next Generation. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan (224 pages, $90).
Community-based, sisterist work brings complex questions, twenty-first century global analysis, and a strong commitment to justice. The field is truly in the best of hands!
Kraemer, Ross Shepard. Unreliable Witnesses: Religion, Gender and History in the Greco-Roman Mediterranean. Oxford, England and New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2011 (344 pages, $74).
With many of the same questions that propelled her early groundbreaking work, Ross Kraemer marshals three decades of scholarship and knowledge to a technical reexamination of questions of gender and religion in early Judean and Christian texts. This well researched and highly annotated work will provide a rich resource for feminist historians and textual scholars.
Morris, Wayne. Theology without Words: Theology in the Deaf Community. Hampshire, England and Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing, 2008 (192 pages $39.95).
Not feminist per se, but a very useful way of understanding the ways in which the deaf community is creating its own theology. Much to learn about how language and symbols work, about how resourceful people are when it comes to faith.
Rupp, Joyce. The Cup of Our Life: A Guide to Spiritual Growth. Notre Dame, Indiana: Ave Maria Press, 2012 (192 pages, $16.95, revised edition).
This fresh edition awakens the soul and brings the reader closer to her/his higher power by using the cup as a symbol to connect the worldly self to the deeper soul self. With inclusive language for the divine, this book is for those who have experienced life’s pain or troubling events i.e., all of us.
Scholz, Susanne. Sacred Witness: Rape in the Hebrew Bible. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2010 (288 pages, $35).
Through a strong feminist lens, Scholz uses both popular and ignored texts from the Hebrew Bible to examine society’s standards when defining rape. She sees biblical texts as a “sacred witness” to the universal harm of rape then and now. She asserts, “The way things are is not the way they have to be”.
WATER Recommends, Number 4
18 July 2013
Forest, Jim. ALL IS GRACE: A BIOGRAPHY OF DOROTHY DAY. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2011 (revised version of LOVE IS THE MEASURE: A BIOGRAPHY OF DOROTHY DAY, 1986.), 344 PAGES, $27.
A lively and comprehensive biography of popular Catholic icon, Dorothy Day. Jim Forest captures the life of someone who resisted sainthood in her ever so human quest for justice through the Catholic Worker Movement. A great intro to a remarkable woman who goes beyond traditional categories of sanctification.
Hayes, Diana L. FORGED IN THE FIERY FURNACE: AFRICAN AMERICAN SPIRITUALITY. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2012 (232 pages, $22).
Dr. Hayes adeptly traces African Americans’ encounters with God. She draws from scholarship on African religious spirituality from slavery to the contemporary Black Church with attention to resistance, freedom, transformation, and community. Diana Hayes paints a portrait of African Americans’ spiritual journeys.
Kim, Grace Ji-Sun. COLONIALISM, HAN, AND THE TRANSFORMATIVE SPIRIT. NY: Palgrave, Macmillan, 2013 (102 pages, $67.50).
This book is a useful introduction to feminist liberation theological work from an Asian perspective. Dr. Kim handles the contextual questions with precise and concise analyses. Her suggestions for moving beyond Han through recourse to the Spirit in many religions is an inviting strategy.
Mann, Margaret. A DRAMATICALLY DIFFERENT DIRECTION. North Charleston, SC: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2011 (202 pages, $12.99).
Margaret Mann is the Buddha on the road in a wheelchair. Hers is the story of a wise, generous, gutsy woman who gives news meaning to mindfulness, new depth to compassion. The book, like the woman, is a jewel.
Moore, Allison M. CLERGY MOM: A SURVIVAL GUIDE TO BALANCING FAMILY AND CONGREGATION. New York, NY: Seabury Books, 2008 (160 pages, $18).
Women ministers who are not moms and even some male ministers will find this book helpful. Good luck to all trying to achieve this delicate balance.
Schottroff, Luise and Marie-Theres Wacker (Editors). FEMINIST BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION: A COMPENDIUM OF CRITICAL COMMENTARY ON THE BOOKS OF THE BIBLE AND RELATED LITERATURE. Grand Rapids, MI and Cambridge, England: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2012 (1056 pages, $80).
A necessary volume for any theological library, this major work stands as a testimony to feminist work in scripture.
Schumm, Darla and Michael Stoltzfus (Editors). DISABILITY AND RELIGIOUS DIVERSITY: CROSS-CULTURAL AND INTERRELIGIOUS PERSPECTIVES. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011 (254 pages, $95).
An edited compilation of essays addressing disability through Eastern and Western religious perspectives. Authors examine the body and its experience, as well as the social aspect of religion. Disability and Religious Diversity is an academic resource that’s both technical and thought provoking
Slee, Nicola. SEEKING THE RISEN CHRISTA. London, England: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 2011 (160 pages, $29.99).
Re-member, re-call, re-claim the passion of Christa in inspirited poems, prayers, and meditations. These envision the Woman-Savior from Nativity to Easter. Liberating for those estranged by androcentric notions of salvation; provocative for those who have never thought of it.
Stevenson-Moessner, Jeanne and Teresa Snorton (Editors). WOMEN OUT OF ORDER: RISKING CHANGE AND CREATING CARE IN A MULTICULTURAL WORLD. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2010 (352 pages, $34).
Counseling without context is dicey and dangerous. This multi-authored volume in pastoral counseling reflects serious analysis of difference, injustice and the need for attention to race, class, and other particularities in the service of social and personal change.
Wilcox, Melissa M., QUEER WOMEN AND RELIGIOUS INDIVIDUALISM. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2009 (276 pages, $24.95).
Melissa Wilcox addresses the age-old question, “Where are all the women?” with her sociological analysis of religion in the lives of twenty-six lesbian, bisexual, and transgender women in the Los Angeles area. Although this study is narrow and specific, the trends that she traces have broader implications for understanding the complexities of women’s gender, sexual, and religious lives.
WATER Recommends, Number 3
9 July 2013
Berger, Teresa (Editor). LITURGY IN MIGRATION: FROM THE UPPER ROOM TO CYBERSPACE. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2012 (200 pages, $35.99).
This edited collection of essays offers historic and contemporary examples of liturgical migration –from antiquity to Internet era. Technical and nuanced, it is a volume for those interested in liturgical history and theory.
Berry, Jan. RITUAL MAKING WOMEN: SHAPING RITES FOR CHANGING LIVES. London, England and Oakville, CT: Equinox, 2009 (257 pages, $34.95).
Jan Berry explores feminist liturgy and ritual through a close look at theology, spirituality, and gender. She highlights the healing power of feminist ritual in the face of religious patriarchy with narrative and interviews. Examining this new field from its beginnings and encompassing facets such as methodology, embodiment, and identity, her research emphasizes the power of ritual for women and by women.
Fulkerson, Mary McClintock and Sheila Briggs (Editors). THE OXFORD HANDBOOK OF FEMINIST THEOLOGY. Oxford, England and New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2012 (600 pages, $150).
A reference work of broad scope and intricate details, this book is a useful companion to academic research. Chapters include ample bibliographies and helpful notes on a number of narrowly drawn topics.
Hayes, Diana L. STANDING IN THE SHOES MY MOTHER MADE: A WOMANIST THEOLOGY. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2011 (232 pages, $22).
Drawing upon a rich womanist history of foremothers and community, Diana Hayes weaves elements of her womanist liberative perspective into considerations of liturgy, church, ministry, and salvation. She provides an invaluable resource for theologians, students, and parishioners trying to build inclusive communities.
Miles, Margaret R. AUGUSTINE AND THE FUNDAMENTALIST’S DAUGHTER. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2011 (236 pages, $26).
A powerful read of a powerful life. Margaret intersperses Augustine’s events with her own: family, love, sex, loss, the arts, faith, and death. Stunning. Likewise, her memoir with Hiroko Sakomura, GETTING HERE FROM THERE: CONVERSATIONS ON LIFE AND WORK. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2011 (128 pages, $18) gives more glimpses into Margaret’s scope. Paired as professor and producer, American and Japanese, Christian and Buddhist, these women share and illuminate their many commitments.
Murdock, Michele. A JOURNEY OF COURAGE: THE AMAZING STORY OF SISTER DOROTHY STANG. Cincinnati, OH: Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, 2009 (139 pages, $12).
A tragic injustice, the killing of Sister Dorothy Stang because of her commitment to indigenous people in Brasil is told in a heart-warming biography, bringing joy to readers as if she wrote it herself. Michele Murdock shows that Dorothy’s lifelong commitment to social justice is at once that of a woman religious and of every justice seeker.
Newsom, Carol A., Sharon H. Ringe, and Jacqueline E. Lapsley (Editors). WOMEN’S BIBLE COMMENTARY. 3rd Edition (Revised and Updated). Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2012 (680 pages, $50).
Feminist biblical criticism has evolved in the past twenty years, hence a new version of this classic resource was in order. The revised and updated volume includes the voices of younger and increasingly diverse feminist biblical scholars. New essays and provocative artwork focused on female characters in the bible make this holistic commentary a valuable part of any library.
Phillips, Anne. THE FAITH OF GIRLS. Surrey, England and Burlington, VA: Ashgate Publishing Company, 2011 (218 pages, $89.96).
Adolescent females between the ages of 11 and 13 have historically been an ignored group in Christian churches and in relation to the Bible. Anne Phillips attempts a study of their spirituality and faith using psychological and sociological methods including interviews. It is a difficult task when trying to take account of cultural differences, girls’ autonomy, agency, and the like. But it is a start.
Pineda-Madrid, Nancy. SUFFERING AND SALVATION IN CIUDAD JUÁREZ. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2011 (200 pages, $18).
Instead of turning away from the disturbing violence of feminicide in Ciudad Júarez, Nancy Pineda-Madrid calls theologians to consider the theo-political ties between suffering and salvation in light of this violence. She puts forth a notion of social salvation that accounts for structural evils and requires deep human solidarity.
Ruether, Rosemary Radford. WOMEN AND REDEMPTION: A THEOLOGICAL HISTORY. 2nd Edition. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2012 (352 pages, $39).
This updated version of a classic is student-friendly and future-oriented with timelines, focusing questions, and recommended readings. Macro and micro dimensions of women and redemption stand out thanks to a new chapter on post-colonialism and the “Fourth World.” Historically overlooked and emerging perspectives move to the forefront of the conversation.
Valente, Judith. ATCHISON BLUE: A SEARCH FOR SILENCE, A SPIRITUAL HOME, AND A LIVING FAITH. Notre Dame, IN: Sorin Books, 2013 (224 pages, $15.95).
This unvarnished picture of one women’s religious community echoes so many others where people go to live intentional lives of meaning and spirit. Each must find her own way, not copy another’s path.
Wind, Renate. DOROTHEE SOELLE: MYSTIC AND REBEL, THE BIOGRAPHY. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2012 (224 pages, $25).
An insightful account of the life of Soelle, this is biography with a personal feel. Family and academic history shine light on her postwar politics and Christian liberation theology as well as on the woman herself.
WATER Recommends, Number 2
26 June 2013
Brooten, Bernadette J. and Jacqueline L. Hazelton, eds. BEYOND SLAVERY: OVERCOMING ITS RELIGIOUS AND SEXUAL LEGACIES. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010 (352 pages, $28).
Authors explore intersecting relationships among religion, gender, slavery, and sexuality in the Abrahamic traditions. This is an important, indeed fascinating, read of the presence and interpretations of slavery in religious texts. To read is to act.
Copeland, M. Shawn. ENFLESHING FREEDOM: BODY, RACE, AND BEING. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2010 (186 pages, $20).
Shawn Copeland takes embodied black womanhood as a prism that reflects broader ways in which all may enflesh freedom and stand in bodily solidarity. A nuanced and passionate work from a prophetic scholar. Read this book.
Diamond, Lisa M. SEXUAL FLUIDITY: UNDERSTANDING WOMEN’S LOVE AND DESIRE. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2008 (333 pages, $19).
With women’s stories at the heart of her research, Lisa Diamond argues that women, to varying degrees, are fluid within their sexual orientation. A confrontational book inviting all to take seriously stories of sexual identity.
Farley, Wendy. GATHERING THOSE DRIVEN AWAY: A THEOLOGY OF INCARNATION. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2011 (239 pages, $30).
In this volume, the voices of “those driven away” are placed in the center: queer, womanist, mystical, and Buddhist. In her poetic style, Wendy Farley revisits orthodoxy, sin, atonement, and divine image as she proposes an incarnational theology based on a radical notion of love.
Fiedler, Maureen E., ed. BREAKING THROUGH THE STAINED GLASS CEILING: WOMEN RELIGIOUS LEADERS IN THEIR OWN WORDS. New York, NY: Seabury Books, 2010 (211 pages, $22).
Shards of the broken ceiling continue to wound women, but radio host Maureen Fiedler is undaunted. She presents the words of many women who are doing the work to change and improve religions across traditions and disciplines.
Jefferts Schori, Katharine. THE HEARTBEAT OF GOD: FINDING THE SACRED IN THE MIDDLE OF EVERYTHING. Woodstock, VT: SkyLight Paths, 2011 (213 pages, $21.99).
Scientist, pilot turned bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori reflects on the everyday. There she finds the “heart of God.” Her sermons give social justice work a strong push.
Kehoe, Nancy. WRESTLING WITH OUR INNER ANGELS: FAITH, MENTAL ILLNESS, AND THE JOURNEY TO WHOLENESS. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2009 (149 pages, $19.95).
The author, a nun and psychologist, shares stories from a therapy group for adults with mentally illness. These show the value of recognizing faith and spirituality in treatment, an evolving model.
Kim, Grace Ji-Sun. THE GRACE OF SOPHIA: A KOREAN NORTH AMERICAN WOMEN’S CHRISTOLOGY. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2002 (181 pages, $22).
This book shows how to hold together Han and grace, Sophia and Jesus, Korean and North American experiences. It is as useful for its clear method as for its strong analysis.
Lane, Erin S. and Eunma C. Okoro, Editors, TALKING TABOO: AMERICAN CHRISTIAN WOMEN GET FRANK ABOUT SEX. Ashland, Oregon: White Cloud Press, 2013 (264 pages, $16.95).
Spiritual wisdom comes in many forms. This diverse collection of fresh voices includes smart reflections on masturbation (Kate Ott), tattoos (Robyn Henderson-Espinoza), contraception (Katey Zeh), community (Alena Amato Ruggerio), and ordination (Gina Messina-Dysert) to mention just a few of my favorites. Christianity, indeed religion at large, will never be the same. Blessed be!
Macy, Gary, William T. Ditewig, and Phyllis Zagano. WOMEN DEACONS: PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 2011 (128 pages, $14.95).
To ordain or not to ordain, that is the not so simple question. These scholars clarify the history and urge affirmative action. Mol, Sine van. MEENA. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2010 (28 pages, $17). Children have to learn not to be afraid of the unknown. This is a lovely, gentle tale that gets the point across.
Nasrallah, Laura, and Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, Eds. PREJUDICE AND CHRISTIAN BEGINNINGS: INVESTIGATING RACE, GENDER, AND ETHNICITY IN EARLY CHRISTIAN STUDIES. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2009 (319 pages, $26).
Scholars look at gender and race in the Roman Empire, 19th century views of race and Empire, and current scholarly trends in biblical studies. These essays are helpful for dealing with complex, culture-shaping early Christian materials. A must for those engaged in biblical studies who wish to look at Christian scriptures with an eye toward liberation.
Schneiders, Sandra M. PROPHETS IN THEIR OWN COUNTRY: WOMEN RELIGIOUS BEARING WITNESS TO THE GOSPEL IN A TROUBLED CHURCH. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2011 (133 pages, $20).
Recent Vatican investigations of women religious have undermined relations with all laity. Exposing the motives behind and impact of these activities, highly respected scholar Sandra Schneiders demonstrates how American sisters understand their lives and ministry with integrity.
Skye, Lee Miena. KERYGMATICS OF THE NEW MILLENNIUM: A STUDY OF AUSTRALIAN ABORIGINAL WOMEN’S CHRISTOLOGY (VOICES FROM THE EDGE SERIES, NO. 4). Delhi, India: ISPCK, 2007 (128 pages, $8).
Aboriginal women in Australia provide instructive work on Christology which can be useful for scholars and activists around the world. Their respectful use of feminist/womanist/mujerista sources is a model in the field.
Streufert, Mary J., ed. TRANSFORMATIVE LUTHERAN THEOLOGIES: FEMINIST, WOMANIST, AND MUJERISTA PERSPECTIVES. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2010 (272 pages, $25).
Transforming Lutheran identities from the margins, diverse scholars (re)consider Lutheran theology in light of racism, sexism, and heterosexism. Editor Mary J. Streufert poses the question, “Do we risk this volume being ‘just feminist’ with a few ‘guests’?” She signals the importance of this work for on-going conversation as one denomination pushes its boundaries.
WATER Recommends, Number 1
6 February 2013
Copeland, M. Shawn. UNCOMMON FAITHFULNESS: THE BLACK CATHOLIC EXPERIENCE. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2009 (228 pages, $26).
A must-read on contemporary Catholicism, this book includes essays by Jamie Phelps, Shawn Copeland, Diana Hayes, and others who bring their theological acumen and their political commitments to an important history.
Copeland, M. Shawn. THE SUBVERSIVE POWER OF LOVE: THE VISION OF HENRIETTE DELILLE. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1989, (85 pages, $9.95).
The life of Henriette Delille, founder of the Sisters of the Holy Family, is told with verve and insight. A religious community for free women of color, the Sisters were in the vanguard of racial inclusivity and women’s empowerment.
Corley, Kathleen E. MARANATHA: WOMEN’S FUNERARY RITUALS AND CHRISTIAN ORIGINS. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2010 (262 pages, $25.55).
Women have always been the ones to deal with death and dying in communities. So it was in the Jesus movement with resurrection at stake.
Isherwood, Lisa. PATRIARCHS, PROPHETS, AND OTHER VILLAINS. London: Equinox Publishing Ltd., 2007 (226 pages, $27.95).
Counter readings of texts with feminist and queer lenses is a productive exercise by a variety of writers including Lisa Isherwood, Marcella Althaus-Reid, Carol P. Christ, and Janet Wooton.
Jantzen,Grace M. VIOLENCE TO ETERNITY: DEATH AND THE DISPLACEMENT OF BEAUTY, VOLUME 2 (Edited by Jeremy Carette and Morny Joy), Routledge Taylor and Francis Group, London and New York, 2009 (250 pages, $37.95). A PLACE OF SPRINGS: DEATH AND THE DISPLACEMENT OF BEAUTY, VOLUME 3 (Edited by Jeremy Carette and Morny Joy), London and New York: Routledge Taylor and Francis Group, 2010 (218 pages, $87.50).
Thanks to these editors, the final work of the late feminist philosopher Grace Jantzen is now available. How violence took over and beauty took a back seat lies at the heart of this project. Her emphasis on “natality” is exemplified by this “new life” that comes after the premature death of a brilliant and productive scholar.
Kamitsuka, Margaret D. (Editor), THE EMBRACE OF EROS: BODIES, DESIRES, AND SEXUALITY IN CHRISTIANITY. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2010 (356 pages, $22.24).
New readings of traditional sources open the Christian community to previously unimagined richness. These authors, including Laurel Schneider, Serene Jones, and Mark Jordan, leave little doubt that the difficult task of rereading is worth doing. Imagine the bodies that will benefit.
Karkazis, Katrina. FIXING SEX: INTERSEX, MEDICAL AUTHORITY, AND LIVED EXPERIENCE. Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2008 (365 pages, $23.95).
Most people know so little about Intersex realities that this primer is a good place to start. The author sees surgery as the last resort, trying instead to make society more open and accepting of human diversity.
Krondorfer, Bjorn. MEN AND MASCULINITIES IN CHRISTIANITY AND JUDIAISM: A CRITICAL READER, London: SCM Press, 2009 (489 pages, $75).
A first, this anthology brings together well chosen essays in which maleness is seen as gendered, not as normative. It contains a conversation that is ongoing but little noticed as men deal with the realities of being human beings who share the world with women. This is a book worth buying and studying in a group.
Miles, Rebekah (Editor). GEORGIA HARKNESS—THE REMAKING OF A LIBERAL THEOLOGIAN: COLLECTED ESSAYS FROM 1929-1942, Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2010 (186 pages, $22.80).
Rebekah Miles has done a great service to make these core writings of Georgia Harkness available. Dr. Harkness was among the earliest women theologians, a Methodist champion of women’s ordination, a prolific writer, preacher, and teacher who paved a hard way toward equality.
Murray, Anne Firth. FROM OUTRAGE TO COURAGE: WOMEN TAKING ACTION FOR HEALTH AND JUSTICE. Monroe, ME: Common Courage Press, 2008 (311 pages, $24.95).
Global Fund for Women founder Anne Firth Murray knows the world of women. It is a dangerous, fraught place for all of us, especially for young and poor women. This book is a healthy antidote to the multiple problems of sexism, poverty, racism, and the rest.
Pinsky, Dina. JEWISH FEMINISTS: COMPLEX IDENTITIES AND ACTIVIST LIVES. Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2010, (168 pages, $20).
This is a compact treatment of the women and men who give feminist Judaism a great name as they reshape a tradition.
Vigen, Aana Marie. WOMEN, ETHICS, AND EQUALITY IN U.S. HEALTHCARE: “TO COUNT AMONG THE LIVING.” New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010 (272 pages, $84.95).
Health care justice for all, especially for poor women, ought to be at the heart of every political conversation. This book puts it there.
Walker, Alice. HARD TIMES REQUIRE FURIOUS DANCING: NEW POEMS. Novato, CA: New World Library, 2010 (184 pages, $18).
Inspired and inspiring poems from a beloved American poet. Alice Walker knows what it takes to keep on going.