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Shelf Life

Dust and Ashes: Poems

By James L. Crenshaw, Robert L. Flowers Professor Emeritus of Old Testament
Cascade Books, 2010
70 pages, Paperback, $10.00

Dust and AshesIn the wake of excessive evil and innocent suffering—the Holocaust, genocide in Africa, tsunamis, terrorism, earthquakes, and floods—must one surrender belief in a good God? The poems in this volume arose from the struggle to answer that question with an emphatic “No.” They exhibit the tension that also exists in the Bible where the expression “dust and ashes” occurs. These poems chronicle the agony and ecstasy of one who refuses to abandon belief in God despite much evidence that brings it into question.

Friendship at the Margins: Discovering Mutuality in Service and Mission

By Christopher L. Heuertz & Christine D. Pohl
Resources for Reconciliation
IVP Books, 2010
160 pages, Paperback, $15.00 

Friendship at the MarginsAuthors Chris Heuertz, international executive director of World Made Flesh, and theologian Christine Pohl, professor of social ethics at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Ky., describe how, in our often anonymous and dehumanized world, the simple practice of friendship is radically countercultural. This series is a collaboration between the Divinity School’s Center for Reconciliation and InterVarsity Press.

Hannah’s Child: A Theologian’s Memoir

By Stanley Hauerwas, Gilbert T. Rowe Professor of Theological Ethics
Eerdmans, 2010
288 pages, Hardcover, $24.99

Hannah's ChildA loving, hard-working, godly couple has long been denied a family of their own. Finally, the wife makes a deal with God: if he blesses her with a child, she will dedicate that child to God’s service. Surprisingly, this is not the biblical story of Samuel but the account of Stanley Hauerwas, one of today’s

Introducing Christian Ethics

By Samuel Wells, Research Professor of Christian Ethics and Dean of Duke Chapel, and Ben Quash
Wiley-Blackwell, 2010
400 pages, Hardcover, $89.95; Paperback, $44.95

Introducing Christian EthicsThis comprehensive introduction to the study of Christian ethics explores major ethical approaches from three perspectives: universal (ethics for anyone); subversive (ethics for the excluded); and ecclesial (ethics for the church). In doing so, it highlights the sharp distinctions between ethical approaches that are sometimes perceived as antagonistic, while providing a balance between description, analysis, and critique. It also shows how ecclesial ethics is respectful of—and indeed, often profoundly indebted to—other approaches to ethics.

Reading the Bible Intertextually

Edited by Richard B. Hays, Dean and G.W. Ivey Professor of New Testament, Stefan Alkier, and Leroy A. Huizenga
Baylor University Press, 2009
310 pages, Hardcover, $49.95

Reading the Bible IntertextuallyReading the Bible Intertextually explores the revisionary hermeneutical practices of the Bible. Essays by some of the world's foremost interpreters of the New Testament examine the varied and distinctive ways that the canonical texts engage in conversation with other parts of the Bible. Stefan Alkier is professor of New Testament and the history of the Early Church, at Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt am Main. Leroy A. Huizenga is assistant professor of New Testament, Wheaton College.

The Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race

By Willie James Jennings, Associate Professor of Theology and Black Church Studies
Yale University Press, 2010
384 pages, Hardcover, $35.00

The Christian ImaginationProfessor Jennings delves deep into the late medieval soil in which the modern Christian imagination grew to reveal how Christianity’s highly refined process of socialization has inadvertently created and maintained segregated societies. A probing study of the cultural fragmentation— social, spatial, and racial—that took root in the Western mind, this book shows how Christianity has consistently forged Christian nations rather than encouraging genuine communion between disparate groups and individuals. Using a bold and creative critique to imagine citizenship that transcends geopolitical, nationalist, ethnic, and racial boundaries, Jennings suggests new ways of imagining ourselves, our communities, and the landscapes we inhabit.

The Gifts of the Small Charge

By Jason Byassee, Director of the Center for Theology, Writing & Media
Abingdon Press, 2010
128 pages, Paperback, $14.00

The Gifts of the Small ChurchIn this appraisal, Byassee contends that the “church around the corner” occupies a particular place in the divine economy, that it is especially capable of forming us in the virtues, perspectives, and habits that make up the Christian life. As a former pastor of a small church, Byassee knows both the vices and the temptations to which small churches are subject and the particular graces they’ve been given, graces like the “prayer ladies,” those pillars of the congregation who, “when one told you she was praying for you it meant something. When one hugged you, you remembered all week. When one cooked for you the casserole tasted like love. And when you were around them you were in the presence of Jesus.”