Summer Reading for Incoming Students Announced

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Breathing SpaceHeidi Neumark's Breathing Space: A Spiritual Journey in the South Bronx has been selected as this year’s summer reading for incoming students, announced Richard Lischer, James T. and Alice Mead Cleland Professor of Preaching and associate dean for faculty development.

The book will be the focus of a lecture by a faculty member during new student orientation in the fall. The lecture will frame the importance of Christian practices and spiritual formation as an aspect of theological education and ministry.

A small faculty committee chooses the summer reading each year in consultation with the dean, based on Duke Divinity School faculty and staff nominations.

“Breathing Space: A Spiritual Journey in the South Bronx was selected because it offers a vivid account of one woman's 19-year ministry in one of the most challenging settings in America,” said Lischer. “The pastor and her congregation are real people struggling to be faithful to one another and to a community decimated by drugs, violence and poverty. We hope that her story will offer students a powerful lens through which to anticipate their own ministries.”

The book was published in 2003 by Beacon Press. Other books chosen in recent years include Simply Christian by N.T. Wright (HarperOne, 2010), Tokens of Trust by Rowan Williams (Westminster John Knox Press, 2007), Power and Passion by Samuel Wells (Zondervan, 2007) , and Eat This Book by Eugene Peterson (Eerdmans, 2006).

All Duke M.Div. students are required to participate in spiritual formation groups during their first year of study. These groups discuss the lecture and the book at their first gathering during orientation. M.T.S. students are also invited to participate in these groups.