Two Boston College professors have been honored for their books by the Catholic Press Association of the U.S. and Canada. Public Theology and the Global Common Good: The Contribution of David Hollenbach (Orbis Books), co-edited by Professor of Theology Kristin E. Heyer, earned a first place Catholic Press Association Book Award in the category of Faithful Citizenship/Religious Freedom. Like Heyer, the book’s other co-editors, Kevin Ahern, Meghan J. Clark, and Laurie Johnston, all received their doctorates from BC. Public Theology and the Global Common Good is a tribute to moral theologian David Hollenbach, S.J., who taught at Boston College for more than 20 years and served as the inaugural director of the University’s Center for Human Rights and International Justice. The contributors to the volume are Fr. Hollenbach’s former doctoral students. A Culture of Engagement: Law, Religion, and Morality (Georgetown University Press) by Darald and Juliet Libby Professor of Theology and Law Cathleen Kaveny garnered a second place Catholic Press Association Book Award in the Faithful Citizenship/Religious Freedom category. A Culture of Engagement is a provocative collection of Kaveny’s articles from Commonweal magazine, substantially revised and updated, that demonstrates how thoughtful and purposeful engagement can contribute to rich, constructive, and difficult discussions between moral and cultural traditions. More from BC News.
Boston College sociologist Charles Derber, a prolific author, activist, and social critics, says Donald Trump and the Right effectively combined grassroots energy and politics in a way the Left hasn’t done since the late 1960s. And, in his new book, he outlines how the Left needs to unify in order to regain ground and better fight for its core issues. In Welcome to the Revolution: Universalizing Resistance for Social Justice and Democracy in Perilous Times (Routledge, 2017), Derber says the Left has focused on identity politics to the exclusion of other groups. He writes: “The way to make a revolution is not to choose between class politics and identity politics, but to intertwine them so that identity politics advances economic justice for all and class politics advances the rights and self-worth of all identity groups.” In Welcome to the Revolution, Derber offers his vision, strategies, and tactics for successful, progressive unified politics. His book also features vignettes from more than 25 prominent activists, including Medea Benjamin, Noam Chomsky, Ralph Nader, Bill Fletcher, Juliet Schor, Gar Alperovitz, and Chuck Collins, among many others. More from BC News.
A review of The Fragility of Consciousness: Faith, Reason, and the Human Good, a book of essays by Boston College Professor Frederick G. Lawrence, is offered by Grant Kaplan, an associate professor of theological studies at Saint Louis University, in the journal, First Things. Kaplan writes that Lawrence is “a distinguished hermeneutic philosopher and theologian” and that this book “lets the wider world know what his students have long had the benefit of.” | Book review | More on The Fragility of Consciousness in this 3/21/17 BC Bookmarks post.
“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (SVU)” is a popular American police procedural television series, watched by fans in more than 30 countries. Boston College Communication Professor Lisa Cuklanz and co-author Sujata Moorti have written the first dedicated study of “SVU” and its treatment of sexual violence, gender, and criminality. In their book All-American TV Crime Drama: Feminism and Identity Politics in Law and Order: Special Victims Unit (I.B. Tauris, 2016), the authors delineate how the show’s unique focus on sex crimes reflects contemporary popular culture and feminist critique. Cuklanz and Moorti, who teaches at Middlebury College in Vermont, unpack how the show and its New York City backdrop have become a crucible for examining current attitudes towards women, gender roles, the family, and race.
Irish-language theatre has at times been on the fringes of Ireland’s cultural landscape, but in his new book Boston College Professor of English Philip O’Leary shines a light on five significant Irish-language playwrights of the 20th century and charts the monumental influence and reach of their work. In An Underground Theatre: Major Playwrights in the Irish Language 1930-80 (University College Dublin Press, 2017), O’Leary offers a full study of the works of Máiréad Ní Ghráda, Séamus Ó Néill, Eoghan Ó Tuairisc, Seán Ó Tuama, and Críostóir Ó Floinn and discusses the production history of their plays and the critical reception of first productions and major revivals. O’Leary, who holds a Ph.D. in Celtic languages, was awarded an honorary degree from the National University of Ireland, Galway. He is the author of the award-winning books Ideology and Innovation: The Prose Literature of the Gaelic Revival, 1881-1921 and Gaelic Prose in the Irish Free State, 1922-1939, among other titles.
Bedtime stories are an evening ritual that can transport children and adults alike to lands of fantasy, adventure, and mystery. But increasingly busy family schedules and the demands of work are encroaching on this tradition. To solve that quandry, BC student Justin Gregorius teamed up with his older brother Brian to create “StoryTime,” an app that enables parents or other loved ones to read to their child from anywhere in the world. The subscription-based children’s book platform provides unlimited access to a library of more than 3,000 books, suitable for ages birth to 12. StoryTime won the Bronze “One to Watch” award in the international Reimagine Education Competition, which focuses on innovative methods and technology to enhance learning. Read more from BC News.
Enhancing the mature faith of adults is essential to the life of the parish and to the parish’s capacity to fulfill its fundamental mission of being and becoming a more effective agent of evangelization, according to School of Theology and Ministry Associate Professor Jane E. Regan. In her new book, Where Two or Three Are Gathered: Transforming the Parish through Communities of Practice (Paulist Press, 2016), she suggests drawing on the times that adults already meet–parish councils and coffee committees –to enhance the faith formative values of those gatherings. By looking at these multiple parish gatherings through the lens of communities of practice, their formative roles can be examined. In the second part of the book, Regan examines characteristics that these communities of practice have in common, and includes reflection and conversation questions. Regan is an expert in adult faith formation and is also the author of Forming a Community of Faith: A Guide to Success in Adult Faith Formation Today and Toward an Adult Church: A Vision of Faith Formation, among other titles.