Welcome to the Bishop Payne Library web site, your portal to our theological research services. Contact our library staff
through the Ask a Librarian
service or call us at 703-461-1733
Highlights on our website:
Head Librarian & Professor
The Reverend James W. Farwell, Ph.D., Professor of Theology and Liturgy, recommends the following books as part of the Bishop Payne Library’s monthly series highlighting a faculty member’s “picks”:
Mark S. Heim, Crucified Wisdom: Theological Reflection on Christ and the Bodhisattva (Fordham University Press, 2019)
After much fine writing on religious plurality, Mark Heim has turned his attention to comparative theology: deep exploration of the wisdom of another spiritual tradition from which one returns to reconsider one’s own in light of that wisdom. Here Heim explores the nondualistic “perfection of wisdom” tradition in Buddhism and then returns to engage reconciliation and atonement in Christian faith and practice. This is a terrific addition to the rapidly growing literature of Christian comparative theology.
Mary Gordon, On Thomas Merton (Shambhala, 2018)
As someone who has read and re-read every word of Merton’s corpus and most of the significant works about him, I was skeptical whether there would be anything new to learn here. But in this book, Mary Gordon the writer reads Merton the writer, offering a fresh consideration of the productive irony of Merton’s vocation: a monk in an order committed to deep silence, who could not have silenced his pen if he tried. If Merton speaks to you, “read” him with Mary Gordon.
Shelly Rambo, Resurrecting Wounds: Living in the Afterlife of Trauma
(Baylor University Press, 2017)
Shelly Rambo authored a book I have used for some time in teaching about liturgy in the context of trauma. This is her follow-up, offering a fascinating cross-reading of the post-resurrection Thomas narrative in the gospel of John and the story of Gregory of Nyssa’s attention during burial preparations to the scar on his sister Macrina’s dead body. She offers this as theological meditation on wounds and our inclination to try and erase them – especially those of racism, trauma, and war – in service to a vision of resurrection life that is honest to our condition. This is a book to read slowly and ruminatively.
For more Prof's Picks see the 'Useful Links' box here:
Just a reminder that Alums retain borrowing privileges with the Bishop Payne Library and can request these as well others in the catalog be sent at no cost. Alums do pay the shipping costs for the books’ return.