WATER Recommends: June 2022

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.

Image of the cover of A Womanist Theology of Worship by Lisa Allen


Theologians, liturgists, students, and ministers will find a thorough introduction to theology of worship especially in the Black Church. The author weaves basic womanist insights into the fabric of worship making clear that worship will improve immeasurably.

Image of the cover of Male Supremacy in the Catholic Church by Roy Bourgeois

Bourgeois, Roy. MALE SUPREMACY IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH: AN INSIDER’S VIEW. Columbia, SC, 2022 (102 pages, $12).

Longtime peace activist and Maryknoll priest, Roy Bourgeois writes about his life in simple and clear prose. He highlights how championing women is a lonely task in patriarchal settings, quoting Martin Luther King Jr: “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.”

Image of the cover of Grace Drifts In by Mary Ellen Chown

Chown, Mary Ellen with Illustrations by Andrea Nairn, GRACE DRIFTS IN. Oakville, Ontario, Canada, available at www.andreanairn.com, $25 CAD.

Word pictures, images, poems that are seared in the imagination combine with compellingly wrought graphics to become a lovely book of poetry. The perfect size to hold in grateful hands, a combination of muted colors that give the words beautiful accompaniment result in a welcome and profound volume. “how shall we wear our losses,” and “indulgences” are just a few of the many themes which make rich food for meditation.

Image of the cover of Dancing With the Divine by Carla DeSola

De Sola, Carla. DANCING WITH THE DIVINE: A FLOW OF GRACE. Santa Cruz, CA: Omega Kairos Books, 2021 (163 pages, $25).

Liturgical dance is common in many places of worship because Carla De Sola pioneered it. In this beautifully written and rendered volume she provides an overview of the genre and how she embraces is. Thirty dancers reflect on their “Kairos moments” in dance. Accompanying photos and paintings, calligraphy and insights make this a sensuous volume in every sense of the word.

Image of the cover of Coming Alive by Anne Ierardi

Ierardi, Anne, COMING ALIVE: MEMOIR. Brunswick, ME:  Shanti Arts Publishing, 2022 (199 pages, $27).

This wonderful memoir offers insight into the plain goodness of a life full of integrity. With deep authenticity, the author finds a way where there is still no way for a conscious Catholic woman,. All are born into times we do not choose and cannot always change. Readers learn how marvelous it is to embrace vocations and actualize talents the world needs, regardless.

Image of the cover of Feminist Trauma Theologies, edited by Karen O'Donnell and Katie Cross

O’Donnell, Karen and Katie Cross, ed. FEMINIST TRAUMA THEOLOGY: BODY, SCRIPTURE & CHURCH IN CRITICAL PERSPECTIVE. London, UK: SCM Press, 2020 (384 pages, £30).

Trauma is a common, pernicious, often preventable experience. The essayists in this volume attempt to situate it in a theological framework and attempt constructive work to make sense of it. The only sense is to stop it which is a common thread here. Read in combination with practical theologies of ministry for maximum usefulness.

Image of the cover of Cuban Feminist Theology by Ofelia Ortega

Ortega, Ofelia. CUBAN FEMINIST THEOLOGY: VISIONS AND PRAXIS. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield/Lexington Books, 2022 ($110/$45 Kindle).

From the Foreword by Mary E. Hunt:

“I am a woman who dreams and who struggles,” wrote the Reverend Doctor Ofelia Miriam Ortega Suárez in Cuban Feminist Theology. What dreams they are, and what struggles! This English language publication of her work is a rare and welcome volume. It fills in many theological blanks and opens new horizons for Latin American and Caribbean feminist work in religion.” WATER is thrilled with the publication of this valuable volume.

Image of the cover of Postcolonial Politics and Theology by Kwok Pui-Lan

Pui-Lan, Kwok. POSTCOLONIAL POLITICS AND THEOLOGY: UNRAVELING EMPIRE FOR A GLOBAL WORLD. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2021 (261 pages, $30).

“Christians have often put their hope in the eschaton—the end time. But post-colonial hope is more like a process, for we cannot defer hope till eternity.” (p.203) So Kwok Pui-Lan sets the goal of this work, to use religious analysis to bring about global social change. Her essays are crisp and clear; her approach accessible and pragmatic. Read this important book to join the efforts to “unravel Empire.”

Image of the cover of Walls of Fear by Susan Thistlethwaite

Thistlethwaite, Susan Brooks. WALLS OF FEAR. Eugene, Oregon: Resource Publications, 2022 (226 pages, $23).

Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite wrote the nonfiction Women’s Bodies as Battlefield: Christian Theology and the Global War on Women. In her mystery, Walls of Fear, she shows how Black and Brown women’s bodies bear the hideous brunt of war to unthinkable but real extremes. This thriller offers crystalline insights into racism, private prisons, and domestic violence. Deeply poignant moments demonstrate the price of oppression, the joy of justice.

Coloe, Mary L. JOHN 1-10. Edited by Mary Ann Beavis and Barbara E. Reid. Wisdom Commentary, vol. 44A. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2021 (304 pages, $49.95).

Johannine studies have always seemed to hold a sort of pride of place in biblical studies. This volume, written by distinguished international group of scholars, is on track to be a go-to resource in the field.

Image of the cover of Wisdom Commentary: John 11-21 by Mary L. Coloe

Coloe, Mary L. JOHN 11-21. Edited by Mary Ann Beavis and Barbara E. Reid. Wisdom Commentary, vol. 44A. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2021 (600 pages, $49.95).

As the study unfolds, the power of Sophia and not simply Logos becomes obvious. The author concludes, “Women disciples today know that there were women disciples throughout the Gospel scenes, even when their presence has slipped through the ‘holes in the text,’ and many are not named.” (p. 549) No wonder we need this commentary series.

Perkins, Pheme, Eloise Rosenblatt and Patricia McDonald. 1-2 PETER AND JUDE. Edited by Linda M. Maloney and Barbara E. Reid. Wisdom Commentary, vol. 56. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2022 (320 pages, $49.95).

This “reading from the margins” as stated in the Author’s Introduction, is focused on “the presence of the nonelite and the marginalized” (p. 3). It makes a volume on some of the less read biblical texts into another good feminist window on the whole enterprise.

Reid, Barbara E. and Shelly Matthews. LUKE 10-24. Edited by Barbara E. Reid. Wisdom Commentary, vol. 43B. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2021 (713 pages, $49.95).

Luke is an “ambiguous Gospel” indeed as the authors affirm. Their efforts to clarify the complexities and continue to incorporate new feminist insights make this a signal volume in the collection.