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Exploring Christian Heritage now available

December 7th, 2011 by admin

Exploring Christian Heritage: A Reader in History and Theology
Edited by C. Douglas Weaver, Rady Roldán-Figueroa, and Brandon Frick

"The long and varied history of the church presents a dilemma for professors and students alike; the former wish to display the riches of the Christian tradition while the latter want to get to the point. Exploring Christian Heritage ably accomplishes both tasks by presenting the key ideas in primary documents from a broad representation of leading thinkers. Outside of the classroom, this book provides pastors with a wealth of sermon illustrations and laypersons with a greater sense of belonging to the larger family of God."

—Anthony Chute, Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Church History, California Baptist University, Riverside, California

"The greatest strength of this excellent resource is the diversity of its sources. Not only are the standards included, but Exploring Christian Heritage provides a great variety of lesser known but necessary voices from the margin. The more voices, the better the history."

—Loyd Allen, McAfee School of Theology, Mercer University

"Exploring Christian Heritage meets a vital need for those who teach and study church history and theology. I highly recommend this book."

—W. Glenn Jonas, Charles B. Howard Professor of Religion and Chair of the Department of Religion, Campbell University

Exploring Christian Heritage provides students and teachers with a rich and substantial introduction to the texts that have shaped the Christian faith. Including significant works penned by Augustine, Aquinas, Martin Luther, John Wesley, John Calvin, and Karl Barth, among others, this collection also highlights essential movements—from the second to the twentieth centuries—often glossed over in primary sources readers. From Pentecostalism and the Baptists to feminism and religious liberty movements, Exploring Christian Heritage succinctly integrates the most influential voices throughout Christian history and theology into one invaluable and accessible resource.

Want to use Exploring Christian Heritage in your Christian heritage, history, or theology classes? Click here for instructions on requesting a copy for examination.

Incoming Reviews: December 5, 2011

December 5th, 2011 by admin

The first day of the month usually marks our reception of many online reviews of our titles. This weekend, we received five such reviews. Though some reviews are not entirely timely, they speak volumes of the books and their respective authors.

The Sacred Body: Asceticism in Religion, Literature, Art, and Culture by David Jasper, reviewed in Christian Scholar's Review (2010, 39:3).

As an author, Jasper is not ashamed to bare his own life before the reader's eyes. His method is refreshingly frank in its idiosyncrasy: personal anecdotes are common, the personal pronoun is abundant, and the book as a whole has an artful, syncopated quality.

The Hope of Liberation in World Religion by Miguel A. De La Torre, reviewed in Journal of Eccumenical Studies (2011, 46:1).

[This volume] clearly demonstrates the necessity of moving interreligious dialogue into a liberationist context, where the experiences of the oppressed constitute the starting point for the dialogue.

Kierkegaard on the Faith and the Self: Collected Essays by C. Stephen Evans, reviewed in Perspectives in Religious Studies (2011, 38:1).

[E]xcellent and well-written.... It is clear that Evans' love for Kierkegaard is driven by his conviction that Kierkegaard will help one become both a better philosopher and a better Christian. With this in mind, Evans exhorts his reader to pick up Kierkegaard for herself, to be troubled by Kierkegaard in a good way.

American Women and Classical Myths by Gregory A. Staley, reviewed in International Journal of Classical Tradition (2010, 17:1).

This volume is distinguished by a specific focus on the United States, and in particular on women's interaction with classical mythology.... American Women and Classical Myths is recommended for information on women's contribution to the history of Classics in the United States, as well as for a study of the reception of female figures from Classical mythology.

Also reviewed is Wilhelm Pratscher's The Apostolic Fathers: An Introduction in Sewanee Theological Review.

Becoming American? a "treasure trove"

October 13th, 2011 by admin

In her new book Becoming American? Yvonne Haddad seeks to overcome the myth that Arabs and Muslims living in America are somehow not American. In fact, Haddad proposes that the message these groups bring to America is one of an uplifting nature.

Greg Garrett's latest review of Becoming American? focuses on this very aspect of the book. Writing for his online column "Faithful Citizenship," Garrett (author of One Fine Potion: The Literary Magic of Harry Potter) says, 

Haddad reports that the latest generation of Arab-American activists takes American values very seriously, and they believe that their Arab or Muslim heritage can be a part of making America better, into an America "that is not blinded by special interests but is truly guided by the values it preaches." (95) As I wrote in this column last month, the best recent poll shows just that: American Muslims embrace America and want to be embraced in return as American citizens.

That hasn't happened yet. Haddad quotes, for example, a woman who says "I feel American, I bleed American, my country denies me that identity because I am a Muslim." (96) But surely we can see how patently unfair that seems. Books like Becoming American? that inform general readers about the other side of the question can-and one hopes will-be a part of that process of change.

You can read the entire review, which was part of a blogger's roundtable on Patheos.com, by clicking here

Hippies of the Religious Right an "important resource"

October 12th, 2011 by admin

"American evangelicals have long had a complicated relationship with the market." So goes the first sentence of a multi-book review published in the Reviews in American History. Preston Shires's Hippies of the Religious Rightis one of four books reviewed in the essay, published this spring, and is important for is insight into the Jesus movement of the 1960s and 1970s. The reviewer writes,

Hippies of the Religious Right is an important resource because of the information that it provides on the Jesus movement, a short-lived evangelical subgroup that unfortunately has received little attention from historians. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, thousands of young drug users, left-leaning college students, rock musicians, and long-haired idealists gave up sex and drugs and joined the California-based Jesus movement. They embraced an evangelical version of Christianity that melded a literal interpretation of the Bible with the dress, music, and values of the counterculture. Yet thirty years later, the Jesus People were Republicans. A survey of 800 former Jesus People taken in the early twenty-first century revealed that more than half considered themselves conservative, while very few characterized their politics as liberal (p. 178).

You can read the full review via Project Muse by clicking here. More informtion about Hippies of the Religious Right is availale online.

Audio review: Monsters in America

October 11th, 2011 by admin

"Have you ever looked at Frankenstein's monster as a personification of racism after the Reconstruction following the U.S. Civil War?" Well, Scott Poole did, and according to the folks over at A Little Dead Podcast, Poole has done his research in constructing one brilliant book:

"Poole is obviously a fan of horror who has done his research. ... This is a great, insightful, and inspiring read. ... It is most definitely a buy. Get a copy and read it, and I'm sure you'll agree with me that it's an awesome text."

You can listen to the entire review online using the link below.

A Little Dead Podcast [see minute 28:55]

College of Charleston News: Professor turns love of monsters into new book

October 10th, 2011 by admin

From the College of Charleston News & Events page:

College of Charleston history professor Scott Poole grew up in love with monsters. He translated his love for them into a career as a historian, author, and pop culture critic. On October 15, 2011, in the middle of the most monsterific month of the year, Poole will release his sixth book, [Monsters in America:] Our Historical Obsession with the Hideous and the Haunting.

"With Monsters in America, W. Scott Poole has given us a guidebook for a journey into nightmare territory. Insightful and brilliant!" says Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of Patient Zero and Dead of Night.

Monsters in America uniquely brings together history and culture studies to expose the dark obsessions that have helped create our national identity. Consulting newspaper accounts, archival materials, personal papers, comic books, films, and oral histories, Scott Poole has crafted an engrossing, and entirely unique, history of America, one that nimbly illustrates how the creation of the monstrous "other" not only reflects society's fears but shapes actual historical behavior.

The full text of this article can be found here.

Toying with God a "dense and quite complete study"

August 26th, 2011 by admin

Toying with God by Nikki Bado-Fralick and Rebecca Sachs Norris was recently reviewed for the journal Numen. The reviewer concluded: "Bado-Fralick and Sachs Norris provide a dense and quite complete study on 'the world of religious games and dolls' in a perspective that will interest not only the study of religions but also other related fields of social and cultural studies."

Find out more about Toying with God and watch the book trailer on its book pageYouTube, or right here.


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