Each month, the Bishop Payne Library invites a member of the VTS faculty and community to share what books they are reading for research, curriculum or pleasure.
The Rev. Robert S. Heaney, Ph.D., D.Phil., is the Director of the Center for Anglican Communion Studies and Professor of Theology and Mission. Here are his recommendations:
Jennifer Strawbridge ed., The First Letter of Peter: A Global Commentary (London: SCM Press, 2020)
The Lambeth Conference of the bishops of the Anglican Communion will now meet in 2021 and not 2020. At the very least, this conference is a sign of our catholicity. But, how might a congregation enter into this once in a decade event? This short book is the commentary that all bishops will read and study at the conference. Put together by an international group of scholars, including Professor Katherine Sonderegger, this accessible informative study of 1 Peter is a great introduction to the text and ways of reading biblical texts.
Deborah Ross and Eduardo C. Fernández with Stephen B. Bevans, eds., Doing Theology as if People Mattered: Encounters in Contextual Theology (New York: Herder & Herder, 2019)
What makes this collection of essays particularly fascinating is not only that it deals with contextual theology as a discipline but that it charts how one institution (the Jesuit School of Theology, Santa Clara University and member of the Graduate Theological Union) shaped its process of formation as contextual theology. Seminaries and congregations are involved in theology that speaks and acts to and from particular circumstances and particular times. This book will help us discern how to speak and act faithfully.
Ilya Kaminsky, Deaf Republic: Poems (Minneapolis: 2019)
Born in the Soviet Union and now an American citizen, Ilya Kaminsky is a dazzling light in contemporary literature. This collection is wartime lyric in search of the human spirit. “By eleven a.m., arrests begin./ Our hearing doesn’t weaken, but something silent in us strengthens./ After curfew, families of the arrested hang homemade puppets out of their/ windows. The streets empty but for the squeaks of strings and the tap tap, against/ the buildings, of wooden fists and feet…” If you ever have the opportunity to hear Kaminsky live please take it.