Peter L. Steinke’s, How your church family works : understanding congregations as emotional systems, Call Number 253 Ste 1993, was donated by Father Rob, who also recommends it. The reviewer was attracted to Steinke’s witty discussion of relationships between members of a church body and how to improve them. Although this is not a recent publication, it may have new relevance during the transition at St. Michael’s.
Elie Wiesel’s Messengers of God, Call Number 221.92 Wie 1976, translated from the French, is a retelling of the stories of the Old Testament patriarchs by a literary author drawing on the Jewish tradition. Wiesel’s portraits are compelling, but very different from the Christian version. So is Wiesel’s portrayal of God, who is a more approachable Being, subject to abrupt reversals of judgment and long philosophical arguments with the patriarchs themselves. Old Testament stories have become so encrusted with two thousand years of orthodox Christian interpretation that it is illuminating to hear the same characters described from a radically different point of view.
Jay Parini’s book, Jesus : The Human Face of God, Call Number 232.901 Par 2013, is an attempt to reassess the life of Jesus in the light of the Jesus Seminar and the scholarly movement which Parini refers to as “the Third Quest”for the historical Jesus. See, page 149. Parini incorporates the contemporary accounts which were not included in the Bible and the results of “scientific” historical reconstruction. However, Parini’s Jesus sounds very much like the traditional Jesus, as he is understood in standard Church teachings. For many readers, this may be reassuring. This book can be compared to Brian C. Taylor’s Becoming Human : Core Teachings of Jesus (2005). Read both books, and determine which speaks to you.
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.