WATER Recommends: September 2018

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.

Gaines-Cirelli, Ginger. SACRED RESISTANCE: A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO CHRISTIAN WITNESS AND DISSENT. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2018 (160, $14.99).

Avoiding polarities and Christian clichès, Rev. Ginger Gaines-Cirelli provides a much needed resource for Christian congregations working towards social justice in 21st century America. She redefines ‘resistance’ through a liberationist lense, and offers advice for building a prophetic counter cultural ‘kin-dom’ today. This book is an invaluable resource for religious leaders seeking to engage with their communities in acts of sacred resistance.

Lee, Courtney Hall. BLACK MADONNA. Eugene, Oregon: Cascade Books, 2017 (136 pages, $9.50).

Looking for a smart analysis and provocative theme to excite your class or book group? Courtney Hall Lee has written one in the form of a womanist Mariology. She cites biblical, theological, and social resources that provide a solid foundation in Black women’s experience for embracing Mary as mother, sister, and divine in her own way.

Castañeda-Liles, María Del Socorro. OUR LADY OF EVERYDAY LIFE: La Virgen de Guadalupe and the Catholic Imagination of Mexican Women in America. New York: Oxford University Press, 2018 (282 pages, $28.15)

The author argues that “first-generation Mexican women of all ages develop a protean Catholic devotion, which allows them to transgress limiting notions of what a good Catholic woman should be while retaining the aspects of Catholicism they find life-giving.” Their touchstone is Our Lady of Guadalupe. Interviews with three groups of women, a look at the scholarly materials, and the author’s own discoveries make this an important book in the field of Latinx theology.

Zwissler, Laurel. RELIGIOUS, FEMINIST, ACTIVIST: COSMOLOGIES OF INTERCONNECTION. Anthropology of Contemporary North America: University of Nebraska Press, 2018 (336 pages, $30).

Laurel Zwissler centers her analysis around case studies of three women in Canada from the Catholic, United Church, and Pagan traditions. Both micro perspectives and macro investigation provide readers with insights into important differences among the subjects but equally important commonalities of spirit, politics, and action.

Morris, Catherine, and Hockley, Rujeko, et al. WE WANTED A REVOLUTION BLACK RADICAL WOMEN 1965-85: NEW PERSPECTIVES. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2018 (160 pages, $24.95).

This book is the second published in conjunction with the Brooklyn Museum’s exhibition of the same name. Curators and editors Catherine Morris and Rujeko Hockley, along with scholars and artists, reflect on the radical contributions black women have made to American art and feminism. Photographs and reprints from the collection bring intersectional feminist theory to life and highlight an oft neglected aspect of American history and culture. A wonderful companion to the now-traveling exhibition.

Rolf, Veronica Mary. JULIAN OF NORWICH. Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 2018 (223, pages, $14.22)

Julian speaks to many people in such diverse ways. This enthusiastic study, grounded in serious scholarship and written with verve for a popular audience, is useful way “in” to the life of a medieval Christian mystic whose pioneering work reverberates in every age.

Pak, Su Yon and Kim, Jung Ha. LEADING WISDOM: ASIAN AND ASIAN NORTH AMERICAN WOMEN LEADERS. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2017 (255 pages, $22.97).

The ‘wisdom leadership’ of Asian and Asian North American women in fields as diverse as religion, the military, teaching, and social work forms a collective case study of how women from many backgrounds lead in challenging times.  Many of these writers, including WATER colleague Keun-Joo Christine Pae, are part of PANAAWTM, the Pacific, Asian and North American Asian Women in Theology and Ministry group, that has long provided leadership for leaders.

Amstutz, Anita. SOUL TENDING: JOURNEY INTO THE HEART OF SABBATH. New York, NY: Turner Publishing, 2018. (200 pages, $16.99)

Anita Amstutz offers an accessible, relevant take on the centuries-old tradition of Sabbath that originates from religious roots but has been practiced by groups across the secular spectrum. This book, which includes guiding questions for a more thoughtful response, will serve both a well-seasoned Sabbath-keeper as well as a beginner to the practice. Talk about a read that nourishes your soul.

Klein, Naomi. NO IS NOT ENOUGH: RESISTING TRUMP’S SHOCK POLITICS AND WINNING THE WORLD WE NEED. Haymarket Books, 2017. (288 pages, $11.52)

Naomi Klein offers an incisive assessment of the political zeitgeist of our time – shock politics: what it is, what it means, and what we can do about its magnification under the Trump administration. It’s a real page-turner that importantly offers practical forward movements for substantive change.

Welborne, Bozena C., Aubrey L. Westfall, Ozge Celik Russel, & Sarah A. Tobin. THE POLITICS OF THE HEADSCARF IN THE UNITED STATES. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 2018 (264 pages, $22.95).

Featuring interviews as well as quantitative data, this book is an excellent assessment of the experience of Muslim-American women who wear the hijab. Authors examine the role of covering as a marker of faith and belonging. They look at women’s experiences in a country ripe with Islamophobia, and how covering affects political participation. This is an important read for those interested in understanding the unique experiences of Muslim women in America today.