WATER Recommends: January 2019

Tap into what we’re reading at the WATER office with the following resources.

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.

Aldredge-Clanton, Jann, with composer Larry E. Schultz. INCLUSIVE SONGS FOR RESISTANCE & SOCIAL ACTION.  Burnet, TX: Eakin Press, 2018 (130 pages, $19.95).

Movements for change are fueled by potlucks and music. This music–some new words to traditional tunes and other original compositions–is designed to nourish spirits in today’s women’s, anti-racism, and human rights movements. Use it in interfaith gatherings and in congregations that appreciate that the medium, in this case, the music, is the message.

Brandt, Cindy Wang. PARENTING FORWARD: HOW TO RAISE CHILDREN WITH JUSTICE, MERCY, AND KINDNESS.  Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2019 (181 pages, $17.99).

Evangelicals will have a hard time arguing with the values and practices that result in giving children a running start in a diverse and changing world. Many other people will see how compatible justice, mercy, and kindness are with the hope of a more inclusive, accepting, and welcoming culture. Taste and see here.


Highly esteemed Catholic theologian M. Shawn Copeland is more than a reliable witness. She is a skilled academic who knows how to weave the threads of oppression into the new fabric of justice, using historical, theological, musical, philosophical, and faith-filled resources. She honors both the legacy of African American slaves and the 21st century #BlackLivesMatter movement. In this clearly written, accessible book, the praxis of solidarity is the meaning of discipleship.

Delgado, Sharon. LOVE IN A TIME OF CLIMATE CHANGE: HONORING CREATION, ESTABLISHING JUSTICE. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press 2017 (226 pages, $29).

Sharon Delgado presents an informative and comprehensive look at the urgency of climate change and the need for the church to respond. Her arguments are written lovingly using work from John Wesley and scripture to compel readers into action. An accessible and timely read about a disastrous issue.

Dierks, Sheila Durkin. CALLED AND CHOSEN: TEN CATHOLIC WOMEN TELL THEIR STORIES OF INVITATION AND ORDINATION. Boulder, CO: WovenWord Press, 2018 (143 pages, $15).

These ten stories of women who exercise their ministerial vocations despite the institutional Roman Catholic Church’s inability to recognize their work represent the tip of a growing iceberg. Catholic women’s creativity and dedication, their commitment to education and training signal a new vibrancy for Catholicism shorn of its patriarchal trappings. May other stories follow as this new chapter in church history unfolds..

Morgan, Nicole J., FAT AND FAITHFUL: LEARNING TO LOVE OUR BODIES, OUR NEIGHBORS, AND OURSELVES. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2018 (246 pages, $17).

Morgan dissects the way in which evangelical Christians often see the fat body (her term) as sinful or gluttonous. Through personal experience and biblical research, Morgan illustrates that a thin body does not mean a holy body and that all bodies are holy. This theological approach to body image, complete with how-to resources and medical references, is useful for incorporating healthy body concepts into a life of faith.

Oliveto, Karen P. TOGETHER AT THE TABLE: DIVERSITY WITHOUT DIVISION IN THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2018 (181 pages, $16).

Good luck keeping people of this author’s quality out of ministry. It would be easier to close all the churches than exclude an obviously gifted and giving, insightful and spiritual leader like Karen Oliveto. Read her story as a template of so many LGBTIQ people’s lives given, if not always received, by churches that claim to be Christian.

Ress, Mary Judith. DIFFERENT GODS. Bloomington, IN: iUnverse, 2018 (345 page, $21).

Ecofeminist theologian Judy Ress joins Ivone Gebara and Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, among other colleagues in the field, writing novels as a way to articulate complex religious questions. This well written page-turner is the story of Mary Clare, a progressive nun like so many of her cohort, who runs a women’s shelter until repressive church officials insist on her ouster. Undaunted, her Reiki skills prove useful for a wounded former Franciscan priest in a tale of dueling cosmologies, murders, curanderos/as, Shining Light, forgiveness, and passion. Don’t miss it if you want to probe the complexity of life and fiction, truth and poetry!

Yee, Gale A., Editor. THE HEBREW BIBLE: FEMINIST AND INTERSECTIONAL PERSPECTIVES. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2018 (183 pages, $19).

The opening essay, “Introduction: Definitions, Explorations, and Intersections” by Gale Yee is a classic on interstructural approaches to biblical criticism. The essays by various scholars that follow take these foundational insights the next steps. This is a wonderful book for serious but accessible, inclusive study of Hebrew Scriptures.

Zuckerberg, Donna. NOT ALL DEAD WHITE MEN: CLASSICS AND MISOGYNY IN THE DIGITAL AGE. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2018 (270 pages, $27.95).

Zuckerberg examines the online community of the Alt-Right or “manosphere,” an anti-feminist group of white men who use the classics to justify their belief that white men are oppressed. She argues for a feminist inclusive interpretation of the classics to combat the toxic  justifications. An accessible and insightful read for anyone– no background of Greek philosophy needed.