Fr. Lennan on Mercy

lennanRev. Richard Lennan, a professor of systematic theology in the School of Theology and Ministry and co-editor of Hope: Promise, Possibility, and Fulfillment, has written a review of Cardinal Walter Kasper’s Mercy for America magazine.

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Dinner with Stalin

dinnerwithstalinBoston College Professor of Russian, English, and Jewish Studies Maxim D. Shrayer has edited and co-translated Dinner with Stalin and Other Stories (Syracuse University Press, 2014), a book written by his father, David Shrayer-Petrov. According to the publisher, these 14 stories by the acclaimed master of Jewish-Russian fiction features Soviet Jews grappling with issues of identity, acculturation, and assimilation. Shrayer-Petrov explores aspects of antisemitism and persecution, problems of mixed marriages, dilemmas of conversion, and the survival of Jewish memory. He writes about Russian Jews who, having suffered in the former Soviet Union, continue to cultivate their sense of cultural Russianness, even as they—and especially their children—assimilate and increasingly resemble American Jews. Shrayer conducted a three-part conversation with his father about the book for the Visiting Scribes series of the Jewish Book Council.

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Discovering Fr. Sweeney

sweeney book coverJohn J. Burns Library Conservator Barbara Adams Hebard has created a new cover for It Will Take a Lifetime by Francis W. Sweeney, S.J., a Boston College alumnus, professor, poet and founder of the Humanities Series (now Lowell Humanities Series) who passed away in 2002. It Will Take a Lifetime is a book of essays by Fr. Sweeney, detailing growing up in Massachusetts, his education at The College of the Holy Cross and at Boston College, and his life as a Jesuit, beginning at Shadowbrook Jesuit Seminary in Stockbridge, Mass., and continuing with his teaching career at Boston College. Fr. Sweeney’s essays also cover summer outings at Nantasket beach and Cape Cod. Hebard designed a new cover to appear as scrapbook pages, reflecting Fr. Sweeney’s early years on the front and his Boston College career on the back. “I hoped that the images on the cover would invite others to learn more about Father Sweeney and his work at Boston College.” It Will Take a Lifetime, with its newly created cover, is part of the New England Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers’ “Geographies: New England Book Works” exhibition traveling now through October 2015. Read more in the Boston College Libraries Newsletter.

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When religion and child welfare collide

child casesIn his new book The Child Cases: How America’s Religious Exemption Laws Harm Children (University of Massachusetts Press, 2014), Boston College History Professor Alan Rogers looks at several high-profile cases in the 1980s and ’90s involving parents who refused to seek medical treatment for their children due to their religious beliefs. The oft-contentious conversation on government’s role in society takes on more layers when elements of religion, privacy and family, says Rogers. “Our constitution offers legal protection to believe in whatever you want – but our legal history has held that you can’t always act on your belief, especially if it’s potentially harmful to others, and especially if they are children.” Read more in a Boston College Chronicle interview with Rogers.

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Take a ride on a Swan Boat

swanboatBoston College alumna Frances Driscoll, a former teacher in the Boston Public Schools, has published The Swan Boat Ride, which tells the story of a young girl’s ride with her grandmother on the Swan Boats in Boston’s Public Garden. It is a ride Driscoll has taken many times herself with her own grandchildren. Last month, Driscoll spoke to the volunteer readers of the BC’s Read Aloud program about writing and publishing. Driscoll is the daughter of a BC alumnus and the parent of a BC graduate.

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A Carrie Bloomfield novel

The_Winship_Affair.coverThe Winship Affair (Blue Mustang Press) is a new murder mystery novel with a scientific touch written by Phil Temples of BC’s Computer Science Department. According to the publisher, The Winship Affair is the story of eccentric, but brilliant multidisciplinary scientist Carrie Bloomfield who receives a mysterious package from a deceased colleague. She soon discovers that its secrets could lead to technologies that might revolutionize the world’s energy supply. But it seems that a shadowy international corporation knows about the materials, too. They’re determined to have it for themselves. And they’re not about to allow the law, ethics — or especially, a quirky scientist — to stand in their way. Temples is a past recipient of the Boston College Community Service Award and a longtime volunteer for the University’s Read Aloud program.

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Prevot’s Pick

spiritualsbluesAndrew Prevot, an assistant professor of theology at BC, was one of several black Catholic intellectuals asked to select a favorite book by a black Catholic writer for the most recent issue of America magazine which focused on the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act. Prevot chose The Spirituals and the Blues by James H. Cone. “More than 40 years after the first publication of The Spirituals and the Blues, this book’s central message still rings true.” Read more.

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