School’s out for summer! Well, some of us have technically been out of school for quite a while, or maybe it’s our kids who are finishing up the semester. But summer is often a time when bookish folks knock a few titles off their to-read lists. So if you have time; you like to set lofty summer reading goals; and you’re egalitarian, here’s your 2018 dream list.
Do the whole list in three months or keep it light and nab just one or two books—it’s your summer. All titles have been vetted by CBE Bookstore staff and can be purchased in our store. We loved these books and hope you do too!
1. Birthing Hope: Giving Fear to the Light (2018) by Rachel Marie Stone
“In these profound reflections on the mysteries of life and death, Stone unpacks how childbirth reveals our anxieties, our physicality, our mortality. All who are born or give birth will someday die. Yet even in the midst of our fears and doubts, birth is a profoundly hopeful act of faith, as new life is brought into a hurting world that groans for redemption. God becomes present to us as a mother who consents to the risk of love and ultimately lets us make our own way in the world, as every good mother must do.”
2. SHE: Five Keys to Unlock the Power of Women in Ministry (2016) by Karoline M. Lewis
“Women in ministry offer unique and powerful gifts and face distinct challenges. SHE provides theoretical, theological, and practical frameworks and strategies for flourishing as a woman in ministry. Covering everything from biblical arguments for and against women in the church to what not to wear, this book offers background information and tools for negotiating the many and varied issues that woman in ministry face. A comprehensive resource for women in ministry.”
3. Vindicating the Vixens: Revisiting Sexualized, Vilified, and Marginalized Women of the Bible (2018) by Sandra Glahn
“Gain a greater understanding of gender in the Bible through the eyes of a diverse group of evangelical scholars who assert that Christians have missed the point of some scriptural stories by assuming the women in them were ‘bad girls.’
Did the Samaritan woman really divorce five husbands in a world where women rarely divorced even one? Did Bathsheba seduce King David by bathing in the nude? Was Mary Magdalene really a reformed prostitute?”
4. Shalom Sistas: Living Wholeheartedly in a Brokenhearted World (2017) by Osheta Moore
“Shalom’ / sista: A woman who loves people, follows the Prince of Peace, and never gives up her sass. Shalom, the Hebrew word often translated as “peace,” was a far cry from blogger and podcaster Osheta Moore’s crazy life.
In Shalom Sistas, Moore shares what she learned when she challenged herself to study peace in the Bible for forty days. Taking readers through the twelve points of the Shalom Sistas’ Manifesto, Moore experiments with practices of everyday peacemaking and invites readers to do the same.”
5. Mourner, Mother, Midwife: Reimagining God’s Delivering Presence in the Old Testament (2012) by Juliana M. Claassens
“Traditional understandings of God as deliverer depict God as a mighty liberator-warrior and wrathful avenger. Juliana Claassens explores alternative Old Testament metaphors that portray God as mourner, mother, and midwife—images that resist the violence and bloodshed associated with the dominant warrior imagery.”
6. Mystics and Misfits: Meeting God through St. Francis and Other Unlikely Saints (2018) by Christiana N. Peterson
“With untested ideals and a thirst for adventure, Christiana Peterson and her family moved to an intentional Christian farming community in the rural Midwest. It sounded like a simple and faithful way to follow Jesus, not to mention a great place to raise kids. In Mystics and Misfits, Peterson discovers that community life is never really simple and that she needs resources beyond her own to weather the anxiety and exhaustion of trying to save a dying farm and a floundering congregation. She turns to Christian mystics like Francis of Assisi, Simone Weil, and Dorothy Day to find sustenance for the everyday struggles and unique hardships of community life. With a contemplative’s spirit and poet’s eye, Peterson leads readers into an encounter with the God of the wild mystics and the weird misfits.”
7. Still Evangelical?: Insiders Reconsider Political, Social, and Theological Meaning (2018) Edited by Mark Labberton
“Evangelicalism in America has cracked, split on the shoals of the 2016 presidential election and its aftermath, leaving many wondering if they want to be in or out of the evangelical tribe. The contentiousness brought to the fore surrounds what it means to affirm and demonstrate evangelical Christian faith amidst the messy and polarized realities gripping our country and world. Who or what is defining the evangelical social and political vision? Is it the gospel or is it culture? For a movement that has been about the primacy of Christian faith, this is a crisis.”
8. Unveiling Paul’s Women: Making Sense of 1 Corinthians 11:2-16 (2018) by Lucy Peppiatt
“Whether people realize it or not, the ideas in 1 Corinthians 11:2–16 have had a huge impact on the role of Christian women in the church through the centuries. These fifteen verses have shaped worship practices, church structures, church leadership, marriages, and even relationships between men and women in general. They have contributed to practices that have consistently placed women in a subordinate role to men, and have been used to justify the idea that a woman should not occupy a leadership or teaching position without being under the authority or “covering” of a man. It is strange, therefore, that academics and pastors alike continue to note how confusing and difficult it continues to be to make sense of these very verses. In this little book, Lucy Peppiatt not only highlights the problems associated with using this text to justify the subordination of women, but offers a clear and plausible re-reading of the text that paints the apostle Paul as a radical, visionary, church planter who championed women in all forms of leadership.”
9. Emboldened: A Vision for Empowering Women (2017) by Tara Beth Leach
“Women are central to the mission of God. But many churches lack visible examples of women in ministry and leadership.
Pastor Tara Beth Leach issues a stirring call for a new generation of women in ministry. God not only permits women in ministry, God emboldens, empowers, and unleashes women to lead out of the fullness of who they are. The church cannot reach its full potential without women using their God-given gifts. Leach provides practical expertise for how women can find their place at the table, escape impostor syndrome, face opposition, mentor others, and much more. When women lead, and when men partner to embolden the women in their lives, the church’s imagination expands to better reflect God’s story and hope for the world.”
10. Rwandan Women Rising by Swanee Hunt
“In the spring of 1994, the tiny African nation of Rwanda was ripped apart by a genocide that left nearly a million dead. After the violence subsided, Rwanda’s women—drawn by the necessity of protecting their families—carved out unlikely new roles for themselves as visionary pioneers creating stability and reconciliation in genocide’s wake. Today, 64 percent of the seats in Rwanda’s elected house of Parliament are held by women, a number unrivaled by any other nation.
While news of the Rwandan genocide reached all corners of the globe, the nation’s recovery and the key role of women are less well known. In Rwandan Women Rising, Swanee Hunt shares the stories of some seventy women—heralded activists and unsung heroes alike—who overcame unfathomable brutality, unrecoverable loss, and unending challenges to rebuild Rwandan society. Their stories, told in their own words via interviews woven throughout the book, demonstrate that the best way to reduce suffering and to prevent and end conflicts is to elevate the status of women throughout the world.”
11. Feminist Theology from the Third World: A Reader (2015) Edited by Ursula King
“This major collection of readings demonstrates the range and vitality of feminist theology and its increasing influence on Christian women and men throughout the world. Here are thirty-eight key texts, representing the voices of women in Africa, Asia, and Latin America as well as those working among minorities in places such as Israel, the US, and the Pacific.”
12. When Momma Speaks: The Bible and Motherhood from A Womanist Perspective (2016) by Stephanie Buckhanon Crowder
“In When Momma Speaks, Stephanie Buckhanon Crowder provides an engaging womanist reading of mother characters in the Old and New Testaments. After providing a brief history of womanist biblical interpretation, she shows how the stories of several biblical mothers—Hagar, Rizpah, Bathsheba, Mary, the Canaanite woman, and Zebedee’s wife—can be powerful sources for critical reflection, identification, and empowerment. Crowder also explores historical understandings of motherhood in the African American community and how these help to inform present-day perspectives. She includes questions for discussion with each chapter.”
Happy reading and happy summer, egals!