Friday, November 27, 2009

Updating the book list, and a plug for Anita Diamant's new novel

I am digging out from under all manner of things. In the midst of this and the usual house-cleaning, literal and metaphorical, that accompanies the advent of Advent, I am updating this blog. I hadn't updated the reading list at the right in months. It isn't complete, but it gives you a snapshot of what I'm reading or re-reading these days.

The Aquino and Rosado-Nunes book is composed of the proceedings of the first Inter-American Symposium on Feminist Intercultural Theology. This was the first ever formal gathering of Latin American and U.S. Latina feminist theologians. Some social scientists also participated in the meeting. Why is this book significant? Because, one of its introductory essays notes, for the first time in the history of Christianity in the Americas, feminist theologians of the United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean were able to meet together to share our common concerns and visions about the present and the future of our theological work, on the basis of intercultural hermeneutical frameworks. ("Hermeneutical" in this case means "interpretive.")

The book by Renate Wind (which is way overdue at a certain library in California) is a biography, the first, I think, of the late Dorothee Sölle. {This next sentence added a day later after the original post:} Wind has previously written about Dietrich Bonhoeffer; it's not surprising she would be drawn to Sölle, who in so many ways was spiritual and theological heir to Bonhoeffer. The eco-books by McFague and Ruether (the Ruether one is an edited volume featuring writings from Asia, Africa, and Latin America) are triple-purpose books: they are part of my reading and referencing for the Big Tome; I have students reading a couple of them; and I am looking at them as I ponder my sermon for this coming Sunday, the first in Advent. I haven't preached since September. What does the environmental crisis have to do with Advent? You'll find out after I preach. Unless the Holy Spirit sends me in another direction.

I actually cheated by listing Anita Diamant's new book, Day after Night, because I read and finished it last weekend. Anita gave it to me last Friday when she came to my talk on prayer at Harvard (about which more later) and I started reading it that night and finished it on the first of my two plane flights the next day. It's both deep and a page-turner.

I am just starting Louise Erdrich's The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse, which a colleague lent me. "It's about a woman who dresses up as a man so she can work as a Catholic priest, so you can see why it made me think of you," he said. (!) The priest in the book is a member of the Ojibwe Nation, as is Erdrich.

You may or may not have noticed that these are the first fiction books I've listed in eons, or perhaps ever since I started blogging. I am starved for fiction and haven't let myself read any, except for the occasional mystery novel, in something like four years. Ridiculous. Just because I've been trying to finish a work of non-fiction doesn't mean I shouldn't be reading fiction. I find reading fiction life-giving. Do you?


Lindy said...

Good fiction helps me think in different ways.

episcopalifem said...

I can't believe you know Anita Diamant! Her book The Red Tent is one of my favorite books ever!!!!!

This is on my list of to be read - I read her Last Days of Dogtown over the summer and greatly enjoyed it.

Paul said...

What Lindy said. I listened to The Red Tent in books on tape and thought it was awesome.

Anita Diamant said...

Dear Jane;
Thanks so much for your very kind words and recommendation. I know the feeling of being "starved for fiction." I don't touch the stuff while writing a novel. So when I'm done, I'm out of practice. But it comes right back to me.

All best and I hope our next visit is a bit longer.