WATER Recommends: January 2015

WATER Recommends: January 2015

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.


Dykstra, Laurel and Ched Meyers. LIBERATING BIBLICAL STUDY: SCHOLARSHIP, ART AND ACTION IN HONOR OF THE CENTER AND LIBRARY FOR THE BIBLE AND SOCIAL JUSTICE, VOLUME I. Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2011 (252 pages, $31).

From Ancient Near East classism to modern mortgage crises, this is an accessible and rare bringing-together of postcolonial theologies, creativity, and cultural criticism. This book exhibits rich pedagogy bringing Biblical texts to life, constructively engaging modern quests for justice. Contributors include Gale Yee and Elsa Tamez.

Fedele, Anna. LOOKING FOR MARY MAGDALENE: ALTERNATIVE PILGRIMAGES AND RITUAL CREATIVITY AT CATHOLC SHRINES IN FRANCE. Oxford: University Press, 2013 (320 pages, $36.95).

Mary Magdalene seems to invite creativity both in how people find their way to her shrines and what they do when they get there. Feminist ritual studies like these challenge assumptions and add new layers of meaning to the evolving scriptural and theological explorations of this fascinating figure.

Haskell, Ellen Davina. SUCKLING AT MY MOTHER’S BREASTS: THE IMAGE OF A NURSING GOD IN JEWISH MYSTICISM. Albany, New York: State University of New York Press, 2012 (203 pages, $24.95).

In this discussion of Kabbalistic imagery of a nursing God, Ellen Haskell explores the possibilities offered by thinking of the divine as nurturing, loving, and dependable, and rejecting the traditional models of a god who is a father, king, and judge. This book is an accessible work, ideal for anyone seeking a spirituality that centers on a positive relationship between humanity and God.

Miles, Margaret R. BEYOND THE CENTAUR: IMAGINING THE INTELLIGENT BODY. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2014 (148 pages, $16.20).

Margaret Miles offers a stunning treatment of human experience, coaxing humans to leave dualisms behind and embrace our intelligent bodies. In a foundational text, she draws on the arts, philosophy and theology, and her experience as a hospice volunteer to explore concrete alternatives to privileging the rational mind. Her erudition, wisdom, and graceful writing are compelling proof of the intelligent body.

Moraga, Cherríe. A XICANA CODEX OF CHANGING CONSCIOUSNESS: WRITINGS, 2000-2010. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2011 (280 pages, $19.22).

Through personal essays, poems, and striking cultural critiques, Cherríe Moraga spins a vivid narrative of Xicana and lesbian identities in flux during the first decade of the 21st century. This sophisticated codex grounds the tensions among race, sexuality, queerness, and feminism in complex discussions surrounding Indigenous American belief systems and identities. This is a stunning contribution to Chicana/o studies.

Schneiders, Sandra M. BUYING THE FIELD: CATHOLIC RELIGIOUS LIFE IN MISSION TO THE WORLD. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 2013 (800 pages, $27.26).

This is the third volume in a trilogy that has shaped contemporary Catholic religious life. Sandra’s unique combination of scripture and spirituality, and her clear-eyed look at how communities function in the twenty-first century result in valuable insights for the whole church.

Silvestro, Marsie. GRIEF WALKS THROUGH ME LIKE A RAKE. Kennebunk, ME: MoonSong Press, 2013 (75 pages, $13.95).

Marsie Silvestro illuminates the complexities of loss, depth of pain, and struggle to find hope in the midst of great sadness. With a unique talent, Marsie finds words to name the contradictions of life after death. These raw and rich poems speak to anyone grieving the loss of a loved one. Savor this beautiful work.

Stokes, Jeanette. FLYING OVER HOME. Durham, NC: Word&Spirit, 2013 (188 pages, $23).

A memoir that deals with the hard stuff: parental ineptitude, figuring out what love is, living with loss, finding a way to love despite some poor role models. Jeanette does it as a southerner who keeps place and people, journey and outcome in creative tension. This book deserves a wide audience.

Talvacchia, Kathleen T., Pettinger, Michael F., and Larrimore, Mark. QUEER CHRISTIANITES: LIVED RELIGION IN TRANSGRESSIVE FORMS. New York: New York University Press, 2015 (256 pages, $21.16).

What is transgressive changes so quickly that even the “promiscuities” essays in this volume seem fairly tame. A valuable collection for staking out the contours of contemporary religion in conversation with gender/sexual diversities. Authors include Yvette Flunder, Heather White, and Mary E. Hunt, among others.

Morgan, Jennifer with illustrations by Dana Lynn Andersen. BORN WITH A BANG (BOOK ONE): THE UNIVERSE TELLS OUR COSMIC STORY. Nevada City, CA: Dawn Publications, 2002 (48 pages $22.99).

Morgan, Jennifer with illustrations by Dana Lynn Andersen. FROM LAVA TO LIFE (BOOK TWO): THE UNIVERSE TELLS OUR EARTH STORY.   Nevada City, CA: Dawn Publications, 2002 (48 pages $13.90).

Morgan, Jennifer with illustrations by Dana Lynn Andersen. MAMMALS WHO MORPH (BOOK THREE): THE UNIVERSE TELLS OUR EVOLUTION STORY. Nevada City, CA: Dawn Publications, 2002 (48 pages $17.96).

This trilogy is meant for children of all ages. Solid scientific information is conveyed through lively text and delightful drawings. They are a wonderful contribution to the large project that is eco-wisdom, a creative and useful addition to the field. Give them to the children in your life and read them together for a fun lesson in cosmos-friendly education.

WATER Recommends: July 2014, Part 2

WATER Recommends: July 2014, Part 2

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.


Finlay, Lizzie. LITTLE CROC’S PURSE. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans for Young Readers, 2011 (30 pages, $15).

Children are generous until we teach them not to be. This lovely tale says it all: spend, share, save.

Flinders, Carol Lee. ENDURING LIVES: PORTRAITS OF WOMEN AND FAITH IN ACTION. New York: Orbis Books, 2006 (277 pages, $19.85).

Inspiring women’s lives spark one’s own courage to “throw your life as far as it will go” as Mary Daly advised. This collection including Helen Prejean, Jane Goodall, and others shows the way.

Harmon, Katherine E. THERE WERE ALSO MANY WOMEN THERE: LAY WOMEN IN THE LITURGICAL MOVEMENT IN THE UNITED STATES, 1926-59. Collegeville, MN: A Pueblo Book by Liturgical Press, 2012 (412 pages, $39.95).

An impressive in-depth study of women’s leadership in the liturgical movement. Harmon reveals the creativity and agency of American women in shaping Catholic Church history during these thirty-three pre-Vatican II years. This scholarly work can inspire both individuals familiar with this time period and those just discovering it.

Kiome-Gatobu, Anne FEMALE IDENTITY FORMATION AND RESPONSE TO INTIMATE TRAUMA: A CASE STUDY OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN KENYA. Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2013 (234 pages, $26).

Using social-cultural, psychological, and religious method, this work explores the effects of intimate partner violence on female self-concepts through a West African case study. It includes critical inquiries into the paradoxical function of religion as both creating the framework for domestic violence as well as providing elements for eradicating it. This engaging and nuanced research is relevant for those caring for women in any intercultural or indigenous context.

O’Dell, Darlene. THE STORY OF THE PHILADELPHIA ELEVEN.  New York, New York: Seabury Books, 2014 (264 pages, $28).

A theological page-turner about an important chapter in church history, this volume is a treasure. Darlene O’Dell brings an historian’s rigor and a storyteller’s talent to the world changing ordinations of the first Episcopal women in 1974.

Peppard, Christina Z. JUST WATER: THEOLOGY, ETHICS AND THE GLOBAL WATER CRISIS. New York: Orbis Books, 2014 (240 pages, $28).

In this prescient volume, Christina explores ethics, eco-justice, plurality, gendered politics and economics to create a theological basis for fresh water as a human right, and provides religious framework for policy creation. Significantly, she calls for grand religious theorizing to become more accountable to embodiment. The world needs more books like this.

Rapley, Elizabeth. THE LORD AS THEIR PORTION: THE STORY OF THE RELIGIOUS ORDERS AND HOW THEY SHAPED OUR WORLD. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2011 (337 pages, $24).

A comprehensive history of religious orders of nuns and brothers that reveals how intricately tied their story is with the story of Western civilization as a whole. Lots of solid information about Church history here.

Rosenberg, Madelyn. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TREE! : A TU B’SHEVAT STORY. Albert Whitman and Company, 2012 (24 pages, $15.99).

Madelyn Rosenberg has written an engaging story about what we owe to the Earth. Delightful for children and adults, whether or not they celebrate the Jewish holiday of the birth of trees.

Schaaf, Kathe. WOMEN, SPIRITUALITY, AND TRANSFORMATIVE LEADERSHIP: WHERE GRACE MEETS POWER. Woodstock, VT: SkyLight Paths Publishing, 2012 (269 pages, $24).

Smart women leaders listen and collaborate. This practical guide shares many insights and extends the reach of creative women’s spiritual projects including the work of Joan Chittister, Jean Shinoda Bolen, Musimibi Kanyoro, and Karma Lekshe Tsomo, among others.

Schüssler Fiorenza, Elisabeth. EMPOWERING MEMORY AND MOVEMENT: THINKING AND WORKING ACROSS BORDERS. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Fortress Books, 2014 (480 pages, $49).

This stunning combination of memoir, history, theology, exegesis, and social analysis showcases Elisabeth’s genius and her deeply humanitarian goals. She is an engaged scholar, a stalwart feminist, a committed pedagogue, and a responsible citizen of the globe. This is a book to savor, share, and use in multiple settings to bring the best of feminist religious thought to create social change.

Simon, Norma. ALL KINDS OF FRIENDS. Chicago, IL: Albert Witman & Company, 2012 (32 pages, $16.99).

Simon showcases the varieties of friendships in a friendly fashion. This book encourages children to act friendly and see the world as a web of diverse relationships. A peaceful, inclusive, highly recommended book.

WATER Recommends: July 2014

WATER Recommends: July 2014

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 Larry E. Schultz. INCLUSIVE HYMNS FOR LIBERATION, PEACE, AND JUSTICE. INCLUSIVE HYMNS FOR LIBERATING CHRISTIANS. (book and CD) Fort Worth, Texas: Eakin Press. 2006, 2011 (196 pages, 126 pages. $18, $21).

Worship with inclusive/expansive language invites everyone to pray. Music to match adds depth and resonance to the experience. Try Jann Aldredge and Larry Schultz’s work to see how easy, melodious, and satisfying justice can sound.

Cannon, Katie Geneva, Emile M. Townes and Angela D. Sims. WOMANIST THEOLOGICAL ETHICS: A READER Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2011 (312 pages, $30).

Though the authors of this opus span the breadth of Christian theological, ministerial, and Biblical scholarship, they share a common task in articulating ethics from the location of Black women’s bodies and experiences. This book represents an astute investigation of current issues in religious discourse and culture. It is a major contribution to justice theory.

Conway, Peg. EMBODYING THE SACRED: A SPIRITUAL PREPARATION FOR BIRTH. www.pegconway.com. 2012 (156 pages, $12.95).

The process of giving birth is largely ignored by religions. This spiritual primer helps (especially Christian) women prepare for a major event with prayers, readings, reflections, and activities like labyrinth walking.

Delgadillo, Theresa. SPIRITUAL MESTIZAJE: RELIGION, GENDER, RACE, AND NATION IN CONTEMPORARY CHICANA NARRATIVE. Durham and London: Duke University Press. 2011 (296 pages. $23.95).

Theresa Delgadillo elucidates Gloria Anzaldúa’s concept of “spiritual mestizaje,” a process of reaffirming an individual’s connection to the sacred by returning to their cultural roots, through a scholarly examination of various Chicana books and films. This is an impressive work that presents new possibilities for challenging traditional conceptions of religion, gender, race, and nation.

Ferder, Fran. ENTER THE STORY: BIBLICAL METAPHORS FOR OUR LIVES. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books. 2010 (192 pages. $18).

Fran Ferder provides readers with an illuminating lens for many Christological Biblical stories, revealing ways that they can be understood as relevant and similar to our own lives and struggles. Necessary reading for those who wish to transform Scripture from flat morality lessons to opportunities to see our own lives as sacred.

Haddad, Yvonne Yazbeck. BECOMING AMERICAN?: THE FORGING OF ARAB AND MUSLIM IDENTITY IN PLURALIST AMERICA. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2011 (130 Pages, $24.95).

Rooted in a profound understanding of political and religious convergence in a pluralist America, Yvonne Haddad spins a nuanced and complex narrative that incorporates historical and contemporary issues for Muslim and Arab identity formation. She invites her readers to question their own assumptions and understandings of what it means to be American.

Keating, AnaLouise. TRANSFORMATION NOW! TOWARD A POST-OPPOSITIONAL POLITICS OF CHANGE. Chicago: U of Illinois, 2013, (280 pages, $30).

In her thorough investigation of womanist, feminist, and mestiza intellectual traditions, AnaLouise Keating advocates radical transformation that rejects oppositional consciousness and moves beyond theories of intersectionality. She interrogates the interstitial spaces of identity formation and political consciousness with specific regard to cultural dislocation, crisis, and convergence. Her is a helpful push beyond intersections toward threshold theorizing.

O’Connell, Maureen H. COMPASSION: LOVING OUR NEIGHBOR IN AN AGE OF GLOBALIZATION New York: Orbis Books, 2009 (256 pages, $32).

Maureen O’Connell examines the responsibilities of Christians in the global north for suffering in the world. She engages Biblical texts and contemporary theological ethics, particularly the work of Martha C. Nussbaum, Johann Baptist Metz, and Martin Luther King to develop a nuanced model of compassion from a perspective of privilege. She commissions imagination, empowerment, and relationality to bring about real change.

O’Gorman, Margaret and Anne Peper Perkins. LIVING TRUE: LESBIAN WOMEN SHARE STORES OF FAITH. St. Louis, MO: PenUltimate Press, Incorporated. 2013, (120 pages. $22.50).

Women’s spiritual experiences vary widely, but most lesbian/bi/trans women feel ignored unto oppressed in their communities. These Catholic lesbian/bi women speak in their own words. Sharing stories is a first step in a new direction.

Smith, Leslie Dorrough. RIGHTEOUS RHETORIC: SEX, SPEECH AND THE POLITICS OF CONCERNED WOMEN FOR AMERICA. New York: Oxford University Press (256 pages, $30).

“Chaos rhetoric” is the focus of this astute study of the U.S. Religious Right. Through a deep inquiry into the tactics of the Concerned Women for America, Leslie traces the lineage and influence of sensationalist religious language on American politics and morality wars. This book is required reading for those engaging faith and politics today.

Streete, Gail P. C. REDEEMED BODIES: WOMEN MARTYRS IN EARLY CHRISTIANITY. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press. 2009 (177 pages. $24.95).

In this exploration of the lives of Thecla, Perpetua, and Felicity, as well as more modern “martyrs,” like schoolgirls killed in the Columbine shooting, Gail P.C. Streete offers insights into unshakeable religious conviction. This is a interesting exploration of the influence of religion in some women’s lives, and the influence of some women’s lives and deaths religion.

WATER Recommends: June 2014

WATER Recommends: June 2014

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.


Ahmed, Leila. A QUIET REVOLUTION: THE VEIL’S RESURGENCE, FROM THE MIDDLE EAST TO AMERICA. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2012. (360 PAGES, $22.00)

Leila Ahmed explores the shifting discourses surrounding Egyptian encounters with European conceptions of modernity with specific regard to expressions of gender and sexuality. In this thorough excavation of the religious, historical, and political dimensions of veiling practices from 1900 to the present, she provides an invaluable contribution to the ongoing task of unraveling androcentric narratives.

Bacon, Hannah WHAT’S RIGHT WITH THE TRINITY? CONVERSATIONS IN FEMINIST THEOLOGY. Surrey, UK: Ashgate Publishing, 2009 (237 pages,  £65.00)

Many feminist scholars have rejected traditional notions of Atonement, Trinity and suffering as androcentric and adversely affecting real women’s lives. Engaging Irigaray, Barth, and Schliermacher, Hannah Bacon develops a robust feminist methodology, which she calls a “generous orthodoxy.” Hers is an articulate cross-section of several contemporary debates, Reframing Trinity in terms of ultimate feminist subjectivity and relationality.

Claassens, L. Juliana M. MOURNER, MOTHER, MIDWIFE: REIMAGINING GOD’S DELIVERING PRESENCE IN THE OLD TESTAMENT. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 2012. (116 pages, $20.30).

This useful study highlights biblical texts that portray the Divine outside the typical male roles of liberator-warrior. Rather, God is a mourner, mother, and midwife, a being who is willing to weep with and for us. Juliana Claassens offers powerful metaphors and exciting new opportunities for both biblical scholarship and pastoral care.

Coleman, Monica A, Nancy R. Howell, and Helene T. Russell. CREATING WOMEN’S THEOLOGY: A MOVEMENT ENGAGING PROCESS THOUGHT. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2011 (274 pages, $30).

Written in an accessible form, this work introduces and celebrates “process-relational feminist theology” and method, its many intersectionalities and voices. The work is a broad, creative resource for instructors and students alike with short chapters, insightful commentaries, and study questions.

Fiorenza, Elisabeth Schüssler. CHANGING HORIZONS: EXPLORATIONS IN FEMINIST INTERPRETATION. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2013. (264 pages, $39.54).

Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza charts the shifting landscape of emancipatory struggles within the vibrant field of biblical studies and beyond. Scholarly self-reflection, critical consciousness, and concrete praxis make this volume a must-read that is accessible to the seasoned scholar and newcomer alike.

Heyward, Carter and Janine Lehane, Editors, THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME: THE WRITINGS OF SUZANNE HIATT. New York: Seabury Books, 2014 (197 pages, $18).

Published as part of the celebration of the 40th anniversary of Episcopal women priests, Suzanne Hiatt’s work is the intellectual/spiritual foundation of that movement. Her sermons, lectures, and notes are replete with wisdom; her advice to women priests to transform rather than conform to ecclesial ways remains sage. This collection, with Prologue by Carter Heyward, captures the heart and mind of a pivotal figure in church history.

Kautzer, Kathleen. The Underground Church: Nonviolent Resistance to the Vatican Empire. Leiden, The Netherlands and Boston, MA: Koninklijke Brill, 2012 (362 pages, $163). 

An extensive study of the methods and progress of post-Vatican II reform movements, this is a key historical resource about a critical period in church history. Attention: seekers struggling with the institutional Roman Catholic Church- get your library to order this.

Kittle, Phyllis M. STAYING IN THE FIRE: A SISTERHOOD RESPONDS TO VATICAN II. Boulder, CO: WovenWord Press, 2009. (388 pages, $5).

Vatican II transformed many women. This oral history of forty Sisters of the Precious Blood of Dayton, Ohio, as they moved from “living in common to a ‘Living Community’” is a great example of the process. It makes for a fascinating look at American women religious in their own words, useful for those who lived the changes and others who will learn from them.

Silverman, Emily Leah, Dirk Von Der Horst, and Whitney Bauman. VOICES OF FEMINIST LIBERATION: WRITINGS IN CELEBRATION OF ROSEMARY RADFORD RUETHER. Sheffield: Equinox Publishing Limited, 2012. (256 pages, $94.95).

This festschrift for Rosemary Radford Ruther written by fourteen of her doctoral students probes the intersections of feminism, religion, and progressive politics. Her students continue her efforts to name sexism, reclaim lost history, and create new spaces. They push the bounds of liberation through engaging theological dialogue, postcolonial resistance, and ecofeminism.

West, Traci C. DISRUPTIVE CHRISTIAN ETHICS: WHEN RACISM AND WOMEN’S LIVES MATTER. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press. 2006. (240 pages. $30)

Traci West discusses racism and violence against women as moral and ethical violations, which people of good will must act against. Disruptive Christian Ethics is an important and necessary reminder to center the experiences, voices and needs of the oppressed in any theological work. Dr. West does it with style.

WATER Recommends: Spring 2014

WATER Recommends: Spring 2014

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.


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 El 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 CUIDAD 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: Soren 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: January 2014

WATER Recommends: January 2014

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.


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).

In this piercing analysis of the structural violence that relegates poor black women to an American underclass, Professor Keri Day invites communities rooted in the Black Church to revisit their anti-poverty strategies. Her sophisticated moral vision redefines what it means to thrive, both economically and spiritually, within a just and sustainable socio-economic landscape for all. A strong contribution to the conversation.

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 socialists 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.

WATER Recommends: August 2013

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.


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: July 2013

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.


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: June 2013

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.


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: May 2013

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.


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: June 2015

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.


Chung, Meehyun. LIBERATION AND RECONCILIATION. Geneva, Switzerland: World Council of Churches Publications, 2014 (142 pages, $7).

Korean feminist theology comes alive in these pages. Liberation and reconciliation are hallmarks of the divided peninsula. Meehyun writes accessibly for a broad audience contributing biblical as well as spiritual insights.

Gibson, Dawn-Marie and Karim, Jamillah. WOMEN OF THE NATION: BETWEEN BLACK PROTEST AND SUNNI ISLAM. New York: New York University Press, 2014 (263 pages, $23.40).

This book is a thorough history of American Muslim women’s experiences in the Nation of Islam from the strict and organized pre-1975 structure to the more inclusive and liberating modern-day structures. Gibson and Karim thoughtfully and critically draw out a study of black women’s accounts of the Nation of Islam with descriptive analyses of the race, gender, and class politics that shaped these women’s efforts to find a theology consistent with their own life experiences.

Graham, Elaine L., ed. GRACE JANTZEN: REDEEMING THE PRESENT. Surrey, England: Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2009 (269 pages, $44.96).

An anthology by colleagues and students on the work and inspirations of feminist philosopher Grace Jantzen, this collection is a wide-ranging resource detailing her influence on gender, Western culture, and religion. Her vision for a society focused on life and natality is explored by a wide range of voices. This is an important work for newcomers to Jantzen’s thought and followers of her broad scholarship alike.

Grushcow, Rabbi Lisa J., ed. THE SACRED ENCOUNTER: JEWISH PERSPECTIVES ON SEXUALITY. New York: CCAR Press, 2014 (765 pages, $23.50).

Rabbi Lisa Grushcow has compiled a tome to be placed beside the holy books as a primary source on Judaism and sexuality.  She joins the important voices of Denise Eger, Laura Geller, and Jane Rachel Litman in the Jewish tradition of questioning and interpreting a lush field of topics, from the complications of marriage when  Alzheimer’s intrudes to the history of LGBTQ members in the Reform movement.  If you find yourself wondering about life and love in the Jewish body, have no fear, “The Sacred Encounter” is here.

Kang, Namsoon. COSMOPOLITAN THEOLOGY: RECONSTITUTING PLANETARY HOSPITALITY, NEIGHBOR-LOVE, AND SOLIDARITY IN AN UNEVEN WORLD. St. Louis, MO: Chalice Press, 2013 (252 pages, $26.39).

A beautifully accessible proposal for cosmopolitan theology rooted in the embrace of global unity, radical compassion, and inclusion that goes beyond gender, race, religion, sexuality, and nationality. Dr. Kang outlines with depth and readability her strategies for a more connected and loving world. Academic precision and passionate activism are her hallmarks.

Kang, Namsoon. DIASPORIC FEMINIST THEOLOGY: ASIA AND THEOPOLITICAL IMAGINATION. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2014 (378 pages, $39).

Dr. Kang shapes new, critical, and expansive feminist theological discourses through the lens of diaspora which transform and transcend current concepts of gender, identity, globalization, and postcolonialism. This important work has immense reverberations and will be refreshing to those seeking cutting edge ways of doing feminist theology.

McWeeny, Jennifer and Butnor, Ashby, eds. ASIAN AND FEMINIST PHILOSOPHIES IN DIALOGUE: LIBERATING TRADITIONS. New York: Columbia University Press, 2014 (318 pages, $31.50).

A wonderful introduction to feminist comparative philosophy and methodology, this diverse collection investigates ancient Asian philosophies through a feminist lens while guiding the reader along with detailed explanations and definitions. This modern exploration into traditional cultural constructions and concepts of the self will help novice and expert alike.

Messina-Dysert, Gina and Ruether, Rosemary Radford, eds. FEMINISM AND RELIGION IN THE 21ST CENTURY: TECHNOLOGY, DIALOGUE, AND EXPANDING BORDERS. New York: Routledge Press, 2015 (217 pages, $134.87).

A compelling exploration of technology’s effects on the field of feminism and religion through essays by a varied group of theologians. The collection makes a stunning case for how technology fosters expanded dialogue, spreads the feminist revolution, and shapes the future of the movement. Authors critique the downfalls of social networks as well as the problems of media elitism. Nonetheless, the remarkable pluses of technology for feminist religious studies shine forth.

Schatz, Kate and Stahl, Miriam Klein (illustrator). RAD AMERICAN WOMEN: A-Z. San Francisco, CA: City Lights Books, 2015 (64 pages, $14.95).

With these wondrous women and Klein Stahl’s visionary visuals to match, Schatz rouses the reader’s own rad-ness. Technically a book for kids, this alphabetical anthology will cheer feminists and aspiring feminists of all ages. Important, intersectional, and influential.

Shepard, Florence Rose Krall. SOMETIMES CREEK: A WYOMING MEMOIR. Durango, Colorado: Raven’s Eye Press, 2012 (354 pages, $18).

A captivating story written with verve, this memoir is a rich reflection on a complex life. Flo Shepard explores seasons, sensations, scholarship in a delectable display of nature writing in all of its spiritual beauty.

Sokolove, Deborah. SANCTIFYING ART: INVITING CONVERSATIONS BETWEEN ARTISTS, THEOLOGIANS, AND THE CHURCH. Eugene, Oregon: Cascade Books, 2013 (190 pages, $22).

Sokolove examines the complexity of our relationship to art, guiding us through cultural shifts and personal musings. She widens the spaces between those three small letters a-r-t until we float in that strange jumble of quotidian and sublime – art every bit as colorful, dynamic, and holy as laundry drying on a line. Sokolove’s contemplations are rich starting points for those considering the plentiful intersections of art, worship, selfhood, and society.