Take and read

May 29, 2006

These searching biblical reflections on the HIV/AIDS crisis pay special attention to the perspectives and suffering of women. The essays are authored principally by African women scholars. The volume includes a postscript by Letty Russell.

Written while the author was acutely ill and unable to read, this book gives an account of humanity’s deep woundedness and its capacity for deep healing. The book’s vivid style and lush imagery are reminiscent of Showings, by Julian of Norwich. Farley writes from a Christian perspective and also draws on themes and practices of Tibetan Buddhism.

In this 100th-anniversary year of Bonhoeffer’s birth, Haynes explores Bonhoeffer’s theological legacy from the perspective of postwar Holocaust studies. He finds “persistent ambivalence” in Bonhoeffer’s writings on the Nazi persecution of Jews.

Emerging from a 2004 Wheaton College conference by the same name, this collection of essays by leading evangelical scholars criticizes the inadequacies (and often the absence) of evangelical reflection on the church. The essayists suggest that an emphasis on moral witness, sacramental life and mission will provide a way forward.

These are the two latest volumes emerging from a series of discussions between leading Christian and Muslim scholars convened by the archbishop of Canterbury. The gatherings aim to build bridges and deepen the dialogue between the two faith communities by devoting attention to their sacred texts.

Many theologians have presented abstract views of Christian redemption. Kelsey grapples with this doctrine in a very concrete, particular case: the experiences of a father and his son who suffers from Guillain-Barré syndrome. Kelsey’s emphasis on the role of imagination in redemption will be helpful to suffering people and their pastors.

Meeks brings a wise and engaging voice to the ongoing historical, hermeneutical and theological debate about the identity of Jesus Christ. He insists that learning this identity is an ongoing process and concludes that “the God of the Bible will astonish the people who claim to be God’s over and over again, but God will not betray those who put their confidence in God’s story.”

In this thought-provoking book Tanner develops the notion of theological economy, God’s way of managing the world household. She uses principles of universal inclusion, unconditional giving and noncompetitive possession to expand our economic imaginations beyond what seem like the inevitabilities of global capitalism.