Elisabeth Sifton and Fritz Stem have written a new book about theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer and his lawyer brother-in-law, Hans von Dohnanyi, No ordinary men : Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Hans von Dohnanyi, resisters against Hitler in Church and State, Call Number 943.086 Sif 2013. This short book is a family biography which portrays the inner conflict of both men over when the Christian church should involve itself in political affairs. Both men, members of privileged aristocratic families, started out considering themselves to be above and outside the Nazi problem in pre-World War II Germany. As Nazi politics took on a murderous face and the war began, both men could no longer reconcile their insider positions with their personal moral outrage against the Hitler regime. According to the authors, it was Dohnanyi who involved Bonhoeffer in the conspiracy to assassinate Hitler which led to their imprisonment and deaths. On the Bonhoeffer side, the authors discuss the ecumenical Protestant church in Germany and how it was co-opted by the Nazis and replaced by an underground Confessing Church, which became a center of anti-Nazi resistance..Indirectly, the authors review the issue of whether a liberal, ecumenical form of Christianity can supply the moral guidance needed to deter a morally reprehensible political regime intent on genocide. And, if not, why not?
The Library has acquired The lost gospel Q : the original sayings of Jesus, consulting editor, Marcus Borg, editors Mark Powelson and Ray Riegert, Call Number 226.066 Los 1996. Unlike the other early gospels not included in the New Testament, the Q gospel is not an archeological document. The Q gospel is a reconstruction of the contents of a lost document, or documents, which scholars believe was available to the writers of the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. The editors have provided an English translation of their reconstructed text and a table of “Q parallels,” which are found in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. The point of this exercise is to separate the “original” teachings attributed to Jesus from the later gospel accounts which include stories about his life and experiences. Readers of books describing the historical Jesus will be interested in the actual contents of the mysterious Q gospel referenced by modern historical Jesus scholars and theologians. Powelson and Riegert’s English reconstruction is also simple and accessible to ordinary parishioners who feel the power of Jesus’ teachings, but aren’t interested in becoming multi-lingual historians.
A number of new books are in the collection, especially regarding Navajo and Native American spirituality.
We have also received some generous donations of works in theology and church history from retired clergy.