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New Books from Duke Divinity Faculty

New releases include offerings from Freeman, Wells, and Winner

A Company of Women Preachers: Baptist Prophetesses in Seventeenth-Century England
Edited by Curtis Freeman, Research Professor of Theology and Director of Baptist House of Studies
Baylor University Press, 2011
750 pages, Hardcover, $69.95
In the early 17th century, Baptist women began to speak their minds. Through their prophetic writings, these women came to exercise considerable influence and authority among the early churches. When Baptists became more institutionalized later in the century, the egalitarian distinctiveness dissipated and women’s voices again, for a long period, were silenced. In A Company of Women Preachers , Curtis Freeman collects and presents a critical edition of these prophetic women’s texts, retrieving their voices so that their messages and contributions to the tradition may once again be recognized.

The Oxford Handbook of Feminist Theology
Edited by Mary McClintock Fulkerson, Professor of Theology, and Sheila Briggs
Oxford University Press, 2012
600 pages, Hardcover, $150.00
This innovative volume highlights the relevance of globalization and the insights of gender studies and religious studies for feminist theology. Beginning with a discussion of the position of the discipline at the turn of the 21st century, the handbook seeks to present an inclusive account of feminist theology in the early 21st century that acknowledges the reflection of women on religion beyond the global North and its forms of Christianity. Globalization is taken as the central theme, as the foremost characteristic of the context in which we do feminist theology today. The volume traces the impacts of globalization on gender and religion in specific geographical contexts, describing the implications for feminist theological thinking. A final section explores the changing contents of the field, moving toward new models of theology, distinct from both the structure and language of traditional Christian systematic theology and the forms of secular feminism.

Taking the Long View: Christian Theology in Historical Perspective
By David Steinmetz, Amos Ragan Kearns Distinguished Professor Emeritus of the History of Christianity
Oxford University Press, 2011
200 pages, Paperback, $21.95
This book argues in a series of engagingly written essays that remembering the past is essential for men and women who want to function effectively in the present—for without some knowledge of their own past, neither individuals nor institutions know where they have been or where they are going. The book illustrates its thesis with tough-minded examples from the church’s life and thought, ranging from more abstract problems like the theoretical role of historical criticism to such painfully concrete issues as the commandment of Jesus to forgive unforgivable wrongs.

The Christian Art of Dying: Learning from Jesus
By Allen Verhey, Professor of Christian Ethics
Eerdmans, 2011
423 pages, Paperback, $30.00
A renowned ethicist who himself faced death during a recent life-threatening illness, Allen Verhey in The Christian Art of Dying sets out to recapture dying from the medical world. Seeking to counter the medicalization of death that is so prevalent today, Verhey revisits the 15th-century Ars Moriendi , an illustrated spiritual self-help manual on “the art of dying.” Finding much wisdom in that little book but rejecting its Stoic and Platonic worldview, Verhey uncovers in the biblical accounts of Jesus’ death a truly helpful paradigm for dying well and faithfully. The book closes with attention to the practices of the church that can enable dying well and caring well for the dying.

What Episcopalians Believe: An Introduction
By Samuel Wells, Dean of Duke Chapel and Research Professor of Christian Ethics
Morehouse Publishing, 2011
112 pages, Paperback, $14.00
Episcopal identity tends to focus on history and worship, and sometimes on ethics—but “cradle” and new Episcopalians—plus seekers—will benefit from having a brief, accessible summary of the Christian faith as seen through an Episcopal lens. There are two underlying convictions behind the book: first, that ecumenism is at the heart of the Episcopal faith. Episcopalians are well placed to offer themselves as a place of convergence between Roman Catholics and Protestants, and even between Roman Catholics and the Orthodox. Secondly, in the current conflicts both within the Episcopal Church and between the Episcopal Church and some of its Anglican Communion partners, there is no fundamental difference in doctrine. The book is an attempt to portray what all parties have in common.

Be Not Afraid: Facing Fear with Faith
By Samuel Wells, Dean of Duke Chapel and Research Professor of Christian Ethics
Brazos, 2011
224 pages, Paperback, $17.99
In brief, to-the-point chapters, preacher and ethicist Samuel Wells lucidly and compassionately explores topics Christians are often reluctant to face—death, weakness, power, difference, faith, and living life to the full—and offers