This Winter saw the release of four new publications from Divinity School faculty. Also included on this list are the recent publications of faculty and staff across Duke University in the area of religion and theology. The following titles are available through the library catalog and wherever books are sold! Some are available as e-books for quick download to your computer.
Acolatse, Esther E. “For Freedom or Bondage? A Critique of African Pastoral Practices” (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.)
In For Freedom or Bondage? Esther Acolatse argues that Christian pastoral practices in many African churches include too much influence from African traditional religions. She examines Ghana Independent Charismatic churches as a case study, offering theological and psychological analysis of current pastoral care practices through the lenses of Barth and Jung. Facilitating a three-strand conversation between African traditional religion, Barthian theology, and Jungian analytical psychology, Acolatse interrogates problematic cultural narratives and offers a more nuanced approach to pastoral care.
Hauerwas, Stanley: “Approaching the End: Eschatological Reflection on Church, Politics, and Life” (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.)
In this book Stanley Hauerwas explores the significance of eschatological reflection for helping the church negotiate the contemporary world.
In Part One, “Theological Matters,” Hauerwas directly addresses his understanding of the eschatological character of the Christian faith. In Part Two, “Church and Politics,” he deals with the political reality of the church in light of the end, addressing such issues as the divided character of the church, the imperative of Christian unity, and the necessary practice of sacrifice. End, for Hauerwas, has a double meaning — both chronological end and end in the sense of “aim” or “goal.”
In Part Three, “Life and Death,” Hauerwas moves from theology and the church as a whole to focusing on how individual Christians should live in light of eschatology. What does an eschatological approach to life tell us about how to understand suffering, how to form habits of virtue, and how to die? (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.)
Marshall-Turman, Eboni: “Toward a Womanist Ethic of Incarnation: Black Bodies, the Black Church, and the Council of Chalcedon” (Palgrave Macmillan)
The Black Church is an institution that emerged in rebellion against injustice perpetrated upon black bodies. How is it, then, that black women’s oppression persists in black churches that espouse theological and ethical commitments to justice? The book engages the Chalcedonian Definition as the starting point for exploring the body as a moral dilemma. It reveals how the body of Christ has historically posed a problem for the church, and has produced a Christian trajectory of violence that has resulted in the breaking of the body of Christ. A survey of the black body as an American problem provides the lens for understanding how the theological problem of body has functioned as a social dilemma for black people. An exploration of the black Social Gospel as the primary theological trajectory that has approached the problem of embodied difference reveals how body injustice, namely sexism, functions behind the veil of race in black churches. (Palgrave Macmillian)
Willimon, William: “Incarnation: The Surprising Overlap of Heaven & Earth” (Abingdon Press)
Heaven and earth interlock in the person of Jesus, a Jew from Nazareth. Jesus defies simplistic, effortless, undemanding explications. To be sure, Jesus often communicated his truth in simple, homely, direct ways, but his truth was anything but apparent and undemanding in the living. Common people heard Jesus gladly, not all, but enough to keep the government nervous, only to find that the simple truth Jesus taught, the life he lived, and the death he died complicated their settled and secure ideas about reality. The gospels are full of folk who confidently knew what was what–until they met Jesus. Jesus provoked an intellectual crisis in just about everybody. Their response was not, “Wow, I’ve just seen the Son of God,” but rather, “Who is this?” -from the Introduction The church uses the concept of “Incarnation,” (from the Latin word for “in the flesh”) to help us understand that Jesus Christ is both divine and human. The Incarnation is the grand crescendo of our reflection upon the mystery that Christ is the full revelation of God; not only one who talks about God but the one who speaks for and acts as God, one who is God. About the Series: Belief Matters is a series of easy-to-understand books designed to show that by thinking more clearly about faith, persons can love God more fully, live with confidence, and change the world. Conversational in tone, these books are reflections on major theological topics and are suitable for individual or group study. (William Willimon)
Helminski, Peg: “Spark of God” (self-published, Amazon)
A freelance writer and staff assistant in the Department of Radiology, Peg Helminski has published her third book and second novel for middle-school students. Set in New Jersey, the story follows 11-year-old Regina and her Catholic family as they move to a new home in a Jewish neighborhood. What will their differences teach Regina about the similarities between all human hearts? (Duke Today)
Koropchak, Celine: “One With All of Thee: Growing Your Sacred Connection” (Blue Violet Press)
Koropchak, a Department of Medicine research projects manager and a blueberry farmer, has written a book of wisdom in the sacred, philosophical tradition of Rumi, the Upanishads and the Kabala that urges readers to embrace their connection to the cosmos. (Duke Today)
Malegam, Jehangir: “The Sleep of Behemoth: Disputing Peace and Violence in Medieval Europe, 1000/1200” (Cornell University Press)
An assistant professor of history, Malegam explores the emergence of conflicting concepts of peace in Western Europe during the High Middle Ages. Out of this contest over the meaning and ownership of true peace, he concludes, medieval thinkers developed theologies that shaped secular political theory in the later Middle Ages. (Duke Today)