Book Reviews

Book Reviews are listed beginning with the most recent issue.

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Review: I Can Do No Other: The Church’s New Here We Stand Moment, by Anna Madsen

[1] Anna Madsen’s new book, I Can Do No Other: The Church’s New Here We Stand Moment, is not explicitly about the relationship between church and state.  It is, rather about discipleship, about taking the promise of the Gospel that though “death is real, life is realer” and the message of the Reformation that justification means that injustice threatens […]

Review: An Ecological Theology of Liberation: Salvation and Political Ecology, by Daniel P. Castillo

[1] Daniel Castillo frames his volume by asking how, in our current global context, we are to relate salvation, liberation, and care for creation. His answer, this book’s thesis, comes in the work’s title: Christians are to respond to our planetary emergencies with An Ecological Theology of Liberation, that is, with “a mode of discourse that […]

Review: The Alternative Luther: Lutheran Theology from the Subaltern, edited by Else Marie Wiberg Pedersen

[1] Editor Else Marie Wiberg Pedersen introduces this excellent collection of articles by explaining that the aim of the volume “is to widen the scope of Luther’s and Lutheran theology by discussing Luther and Lutheran theology as perceived from the perspective of the subaltern, those who are never or rarely heard.  The hope is to […]

Review: Kaleidoscope: Broadening the Palette in the Art of Spiritual Direction, edited by Ineda Pearl Adesanya

 [1] Kaleidoscope: Broadening the Palette in the Art of Spiritual Direction is a collection of essays written by and for people of color in the practice of spiritual direction.  Its wisdom, however, is helpful to all people in the art of holy listening.  Providing a comprehensive resource covering the various components of spiritual direction, the book’s four […]

Review: Martin Luther’s Theology of Beauty: A Reappraisal, by Mark C. Mattes

[1] The “reappraisal” promised in the subtitle of this book is most obviously a reappraisal of Luther’s views concerning beauty.  Mark Mattes intends to establish that Luther is neither a “great foe of beauty” (1) nor the architect of the “disenchantment” of material reality (13).  The author’s larger objective, however, is to deploy Luther’s theology […]

Review: Christ of the Celts, by J. Philip Newell

[1]  J. Philip Newell’s book, Christ of the Celts is not a new book but its endorsement of Celtic Christianity can remind us that “the matter of creation is a holy and living energy born from the hidden depths of God.” (xiv)  At the center of his argument is the conviction rooted in Celtic Christianity that […]

Review: On Animals: Volume One: Systematic Theology and On Animals: Volume Two: Theological Ethics, By David L. Clough

[1] David L. Clough is Professor of Theological Ethics at the University of Chester in the U. K. He is also the founder of the CreatureKind a faith-based project with a focus on farmed animal welfare. Clough’s first volume, On Animals: Systematic Theology, published in 2012, is surely the most significant theological account to date […]

Review: Dana Friis-Hansen, editor, Alexis Rockman: The Great Lakes Cycle

[1] At Field Elementary School in South Minneapolis, I learned and memorized the names of all of the Great Lakes. I knew from maps that one of the Great Lakes bordered Minnesota, and while my father, uncles and grandfather took me fishing all over Minnesota and western Wisconsin, I didn’t see Lake Superior until I […]

Review: The Photo Ark, Vanishing: The World’s Most Vulnerable Animals, by Joel Sartore

0 [1] “Do what you love” was Joel Sartore’s message to the Ralston High School graduating Class of 2000.  As a graduate of Ralston High himself, Sartore had returned to share his story about the importance and joy of following one’s dream.  By that time, Sartore was already a National Geographic photographer, so one could imagine that the spark to create […]

Review: Migrants and Citizens: Justice and Responsibility in the Ethics of Immigration, by Tisha Rajendra

  [1] Kyle Korver, a shooting guard and small forward for the NBA’s Utah Jazz, drew some attention in April 2019 with an essay simply entitled “Privileged,” addressing racial inequalities in the NBA and American society generally. The essay discusses statistics regarding poverty, incarceration, and unemployment, but its motivation and energy arise from Korver’s friendships […]