Jonathan Merritt writes books and articles that change people. He’s a senior writer for the Religion News Service and just last week, he won the 2014 Religion Commentary of the Year from the Religion Newswriters Association.
I had the pleasure of asking Merritt a few questions about books that have influenced him.
A sequel to Ford’s The Shape of Living, The Drama of Living could be characterized as sapiential theology—reflection on theology that draws out its wisdom for daily living. Ford weaves together a mélange of sources, especially the Gospel of John and the poetry of his friend Michael O’Siadhail.
Marino, professor of philosophy and director of the Hong Kierkegaard Library at St. Olaf College and avocational pugilist, has done a great service to neophyte and seasoned Kierkegaard scholars with this compendium of the wit and wisdom of the Danish philosopher often dubbed the father of existentialism.
Some people think Pope Francis opened the door to believing that animals have an afterlife. Speaking of the “new creation” God intends, the pope said, “It is not an annihilation of the universe and all that surrounds us. Rather it brings everything to its fullness of being, truth and beauty.” An Italian newspaper concluded that the pope was broadening the hope of “eschatological beatitude to animals and the whole of creation.” But a retired professor at the Pontifical Urbaniana University in Rome cautioned against that conclusion, saying that there will be continuity and transformation between the new and old creations and that the balance between the two can’t be determined (Guardian, November 27).