Christian Higher Education: A Global Reconnaissance, edited by Joel Carpenter, Perry L. Glanzer, and Nicholas S. Lantinga. Even where their overall numbers in a society are tiny, Christians often establish their presence and status through the excellence of their schools and colleges.
James: Diaspora Rhetoric of a Friend of God, by Margaret Aymer. Margaret Aymer’s primer orients readers to key critical debates concerning James, relying on recent scholars’ proposals about its structure and rhetoric.
New students’ approaches to religious texts exhibit scant sensitivity to the complex recipes by which hearers and readers construct meaning. Yet interpretive skills are useful for making sense not only of sacred texts but of all texts, and of other communication tools as well.
Joseph Campbell, the great scholar of mythology, once said that we should read other people’s stories because when we read our own, we assume they are factual, but when we read the myths of others, we begin to understand symbolism, and our imaginations transport us into realms of deeper meaning.
Shusaku Endo’s novel recounts the spiritual descent of an earnest Portuguese priest and his small, beleaguered flock of believers in 17th-century Japan. Ever since I discovered it in 1979 thanks to a review by Douglas John Hall, it has remained among my top three candidates for items I would want to have with me if I were stranded on a desert island.
One of my grad school teachers said that anyone teaching bioethics should adopt Anne Fadiman’s The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down. Upon arriving at Baylor I took up her suggestion, and I have taught the National Book Critics Circle Award winner twice a year for nearly a decade.
The 12th-century Muslim mystic Ibn Tufayl relates the story of a spontaneously generated child raised by a gazelle on a desert island, and the process by which he attains union with God through the naturally acquired art of mystic contemplation.
This study of Christianity as it is described and expressed in Asia looks at how to circumnavigate power, both missionary and colonial, and how to address plurality in all its manifestations to give rise to an articulation of the Christian faith that has an authentic Asian flavor.
"What does it feel like to be a problem?” For the first time in college, a line from a book rang in my head for days. W. E. B. Du Bois’s realization of his racial reality and the question of how he would choose to exist in the face of this new knowledge struck me as a deeply theological question.