Mark and Empire: Feminist Reflections, by Laurel K. Cobb. Laurel Cobb interprets the Gospel of Mark from the perspective of three decades of work in international public health and social welfare programs. Weaving themes of poverty, health, and justice work through recent scholarship on Mark and empire, she offers a moving and challenging practical theology of discipleship.
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.
When ISIS threatened last year to overthrow Baghdad, Andrew White, Anglican vicar of Baghdad, invited the leaders of ISIS to his place for dinner. ISIS responded by saying they’d accept White’s dinner invitation, but they’d chop off his head. He didn’t invite them again. White—who was raised Pentecostal, was trained as a doctor, and has multiple sclerosis—has engaged in mediation efforts in some of the riskiest places in the world. “If you want to make peace, you can’t just do it with the nice people. Nice people don’t cause the wars,” says White, who now lives in Jordan (Independent, November 2).