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Head Librarian & Professor
The Rev’d A. Katherine Grieb, Ph.D., Meade Professor of Biblical Interpretation and New Testament, recommends the following books as part of the Bishop Payne Library’s monthly series highlighting a faculty member’s “picks”:
David A. Sanchez, From Patmos to the Barrio: The Subversion of Imperial Myths from the Book of Revelation to Today (Fortress Press, Minneapolis, 2008).
This book explores some of the relationships between “the woman clothed with the sun” in Revelation 12, the Spanish imagery of the Virgin Mary, and the transformation of that image into a symbol of indigenous resistance. This is a complicated question and n toot all readers will reach the same conclusions that Sanchez does, but the case study itself is a fascinating example of the ongoing power of the symbolic language of the Apocalypse to John. It is guaranteed to provoke interesting discussions about the role of the churches in the context of empires, then and now.
Transformative Readings of Sacred Scriptures: Christians and Muslims in Dialogue. Edited by Simone Sinn, Dina El Omari, and Anne Hege Grung. Documentation 62/2017 Lutheran World Federation, Geneva, Switzerland (2017).
This volume consists of a collection of essays organized under three main headings. The first section “Reading Sacred Scriptures in Dialogue” builds on the work of the Scriptural Reasoning movement which had its roots in Anglican biblical interpretation, specifically that of David Ford and Daniel Hardy at Cambridge University. That more theoretical dialogical section is followed by two practical topical sections. “Transformative Readings of the Qur’an” brings Muslim scholars into dialogue with feminist exegesis, the challenge of animal rights, and the question of exclusive truth claims, among other topics. The final section on “Transformative Readings of the Bible” brings Christian scholars into dialogue with issues such as climate change, “otherness” in the New Testament writings, divine communication in the first seven chapters of I Samuel, and Genesis read as an invitation to dialogue. Anyone interested in either Christian/Muslim dialogue or the interpretation of Scripture on the subject of current issues in dialogue with other traditions will want to take a look at this book.
Frank J. Matera, The Spirituality of Saint Paul: A Call to Imitation (Paulist Press, New York, 2017).
Frank Matera needs no introduction to recent graduates of Virginia Theological Seminary since he taught New Testament for years at the Catholic University of America before retiring to Connecticut. He has authored books on Galatians (1992), II Corinthians (2003), New Testament Christology (1999), and, closer to the present book, God’s Saving Grace: A Pauline Theology (2012). This book is the result of his continued reflection on a retreat he gave some years ago to Roman Catholic military chaplains. Believing that studies of Paul’s theology have not paid enough attention to its impact on the spiritual lives of today’s readers, and mindful of the way that the Pauline letters have shaped his own spiritual life, Matera has written this slim book for use in parish reading groups. It would be ideal for an ongoing Bible study of about eight weeks or it could be condensed into a four-week program. His chapter titles are inviting: “Living by God’s Grace,” “Dying and Rising with Christ,” “Living in the Spirit,” “Power and Weakness,” “Living in Faith, Hope, and Love,” among others. Matera is a wise teacher who has thought deeply about both Pauline theology and the Christian life.
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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.