Emerging from Englewood Christian Church in Indianapolis, the Englewood Review of Books is a weekly online book review and quarterly print magazine that goes out to members and friends of the congregation. We talked to the editor, C. Christopher Smith, about how this literary enterprise got started and about its place in congregational life.
How did your church come to have a strong focus on books? We’ve long had many readers in our congregation, but the story of the Review goes back about 17 or 18 years. We had a Sunday night service that was a “lite” version of the Sunday morning service, and there was a lot of dissatisfaction with it. We didn’t want to give up meeting together, but it was time to let the format die. We stumbled on the idea of having a conversation together. One of the first things we learned was that we didn’t really know how to talk to each other.
Fall books. Deborah Smith Douglas on reading as a Christian practice; Amy Frykholm interviews Christopher Smith; Thomas G. Long, Barbara Brown Taylor, Scott Cairns, and Kathleen Norris on their reading habits.