Posted by: Dan | June 14, 2005

I *heart* books

Well, since this seems to be a bit of a craze amongst certain bloggers, and since I love books so damn much, I thought I’d get in on this.

Number Of Books That You Own

Just under 500 — I told you I love books.

Last Book Bought

Performing the Faith: Bonhoeffer and the Practice of Nonviolence by Stanley Hauerwas. $9 and brand new… how could I say no?

Last Book Read

God, Medicine, And Suffering by Stanley Hauerwas. An intriguing look at the way our contemporary approach to medicine reveals how dominant societal narratives (or the lack thereof) are unable to address the question of suffering adequately. Hauerwas’ emphasis on the role that a community living a shared narrative plays in giving suffering meaning is, well, brilliant (but I wouldn’t expect anything less from him).

On My To-Read List

Oh boy…
Jesus Remembered by James D.G. Dunn.
Not Ashamed of the Gospel: New Testament Interpretations of the Death of Christ by Morna Hooker.
The Spirit of Life: A Universal Affirmation by Jurgen Moltmann.
The Possessed by Fyodor Dostoevski.
On Job by Gustavo Gutierrez.
The commentaries on First and Second Corinthians in The New Interpreter’s Bible Series.
Trauma and Recovery by Judith Herman.
I could go on…

“Five” Books that Mean A Lot To Me

Well, I’ll pick five fiction books and five non-fiction ones, in no particular order.

Fiction

1. Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis. Easily Lewis’ greatest (and most under-rated) book.
2. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. I want to be Jean Valjean.
3. Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy. Unfortunately, I am Jude Fawley.
4. The Brothers K by David James Duncan. I laughed, I cried. This narrative is more “god-haunted” than pretty much any other book I’ve read.
5. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevski. This book really needs no introduction. Read it.

Shit… is that five already? Honourable mentions go to The Plague by Albert Camus, David Copperfield by Charles Dickens, Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, and Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy.

Non-Fiction

1. Jesus and the Victory of God by N.T. Wright. There’s been a lot of books written about Jesus. This is easily the best one. You cannot read this book and be the same kind of Christian that you were before.
2. The Crucified God: The Cross of Christ as the Foundation and Criticism of Christian Theology by Jurgen Moltmann. The book changed my life more than anything else I’ve ever read (oh wait, except for the bible). You cannot read this book and believe in the same god that you did before.
3. A Theology of Liberation: History Politics and Salvation by Gustavo Gutierrez. This was my introduction to liberation theology and the first time I heard about “the preferential option for the poor.” It also put me onto other authors such as Sobrino, Boff, Segundo, Ellacuria…
4. Liberation Theology After The End Of History: the refusal to cease suffering by Daniel M. Bell Jr. A brilliant commentary on liberation theology, on capitalism, and on the ways in which the church needs to embody forgiveness by suffering redemptively/salvifically.
5. Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies by Noam Chomsky. This was the book the drew me into counter-cultural politics. For that reason Chomsky beats out other authors like Neil Postman or Naomi Klein.

Damn, so many others… Embodying Forgiveness: A Theological Analysis by L. Gregory Jones comes to mind, as does Cruciformity: Paul’s Narrative Spirituality of the Cross by Michael Gorman, The Shape of the Church to Come by Karl Rahner, and pretty much anything by Hauerwas. Hope in Time of Abandonment by Jacques Ellul should really be on there as well. That book shook me pretty much as deeply as The Crucified God. It was that book that put me onto the whole idea of godforsakenness. I suspect that Theology of the Old Testament: Testimony, Dispute, Advocacy, by Walter Brueggemann might make that list when I finish reading it.

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