DIVINITY Online Edition

Best Books for Summer

Here’s a list of faculty favorites for summer reading.

Teresa Berger

The Solace of Leaving Early by Haven Kimmel. A wonderful novel and literary love story from a writer with a seminary education (and now living in Durham).

Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder. An inspiring story following Duke alumnus Dr. Paul Farmer as he treats infectious diseases in the midst of poverty and destitution in Haiti and beyond.

The Broken Body: Passion Devotion in Late-Medieval Culture, ed. A.A. MacDonald et al., Medievalia Groningana. Technical and scholarly treatments of the subject of passion devotion; it puts Mel Gibson’s film into an interesting context.

Douglas Campbell

Hey Dude, Where’s My Country by Michael Moore (and anything else by Michael Moore, especially Downsize This)

Jack Carroll

Congregations in America by Mark Chaves. Chaves has much to say about faith-based initiatives and the role of congregations in public life.

United by Faith: The Multiracial Congregation as an Answer to the Problem of Race by Curtiss P. DeYoung, Michael Emerson, et al. The authors present a powerful case for multiracial congregations, providing examples, warrants and strategies for achieving such congregations.

Bobos in Paradise by David Brooks. Fun but enlightening look at bourgeois bohemians, or "bobos," who have wed capitalist values to a counterculture lifestyle.

Touchdown Jesus: The Mixing of Sacred and Secular in American History by Laurence Moore. Sheds light on how secular and religious cultures have allowed each to affect the other in ways that substituted pragmatism for the claims of biblical religion.

Stephen Chapman

The Life of Pi by Yann Martel. A wonderful parable of a novel exploring the role of God and providence in human existence.

Publish and Perish: Three Tales of Tenure and Terror by James Hynes. “Gothic university” stories are perfect summer reading for grad students and junior professors.

Story as Torah: Reading Old Testament Narrative Ethically by Gordan J. Wenham. A thought-provoking treatment of the Old Testament and ethics.

The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics by Robert A.J. Gagnon. The most comprehensive exploration of the Bible and homosexuality, which is sure to be a focus for continued debate this summer.

Bible and Mission: Christian Witness in a Postmodern World by Richard Bauckham. On the role of Christians and Christianity in the post- 9/11 world.

James Crenshaw

The Jewish Study Bible. Oxford University Press. The notes to the biblical text are excellent, and the lengthy articles at the back contain a wealth of information about Jewish interpretation.

Amy Laura Hall

Preaching Eugenics: Religious Leaders and the American Eugenics Movement by Christine Rosen. Detailed but accessible account of religious leaders who railed against the burden of the disabled; should be required reading for mainline Protestants.

War against the Weak: Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race by Edwin Black. Winner of the 2003 International Human Rights Award, Black traces the eugenic connections between the Carnegie Corporation, Planned Parenthood and the Human Genome Project.

Richard Hays

Paul among the Postliberals: Pauline Theology Beyond Christendom and Modernity by Douglas Harink.

In God’s Time: The Bible and the Future by Craig Hill.

The Story of Romans by A. Katherine Grieb.

Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis.

Greg Jones

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Every five years or so I re-read Dostoyevsky’s great masterpiece, a theologically-rich and narratively-dense text that merits multiple readings.

Ways of Dying by Zakes Mda. Mda’s novel has been recommended as a compelling new portrait of life in South Africa.

Flannery O’Connor and the Christ-Haunted South by Ralph Wood. This new book promises to yield many insights into O’Connor, as well as significant reflection on the American South and Christian faith.

Will Willimon

Foolishness to the Greeks by Leslie Newbiggen.

Open Secrets by Richard Lischer

Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott

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