Penned nearly 2,000 years ago to a specific group of believers, Paul’s Letter to the Romans has as much relevance today as when it was first written, according to Thomas D. Stegman, S.J., dean of Boston College’s School of Theology and Ministry. In his new book, Written for Our Instruction: Theological and Spiritual Riches in Romans (Paulist Press, 2017), Fr. Stegman explores the messages in Paul’s writing. Fr. Stegman, whose expertise is in the New Testament, is also the author of Opening the Door of Faith: Encountering Jesus and His Call to Discipleship, Second Corinthians, and The Character of Jesus: The Linchpin to Paul’s Argument in 2 Corinthians.
The Other Air Force: U.S. Efforts to Reshape Middle Eastern Media Since 9/11, written by Associate Professor of Communication and International Studies Matt Sienkiewicz, has been named an outstanding title by the Association of American University Presses. Books designated as outstanding titles are defined as having exceptional editorial content and subject matter and are considered essential additions to most library collections. The association calls The Other Air Force “nuanced” and “worthwhile.” | Read a Q&A with Sienkiewicz from BC News.
After Erik Weihenmayer became the first blind person to summit Mount Everest, his expedition leader said to him: “Don’t make Everest the greatest thing you ever do.” Weihenmayer, a member of the BC Class of 1991, has gone on to lead expeditions around the world with blind Tibetan teenagers, help injured soldiers climb their way home from war, and kayak 277 miles of the Grand Canyon on the Colorado River. His journey is captured in his new book, No Barriers: A Blind Man’s Journey to Kayak the Grand Canyon (Thomas Dunne Books/MacMillan, 2017), written with Buddy Levy. Weihenmayer shares his story and those of other trailblazers―adventurers, scientists, artists, and activists―who, despite trauma, hardship, and loss, have broken through barriers of their own. Weihenmayer is also the author of Touch the Top of the World: A Blind Man’s Journey to Climb Farther than the Eye Can See. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from BC in 2003. He was recently interviewed by NBC’s “Today.”
In her new book, Boston College alumna Brooke Barbier tells the story of how Boston radicalized itself against the world’s most powerful empire and helped found the United States of America. Covering the period from 1763 to 1776, Boston in the American Revolution: A Town versus an Empire (Arcadia Publishing/The History Press, 2017) is about ordinary people who lived in an extraordinary time. Barbier tackles familiar subjects like the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party and Paul Revere and Samuel Adams, but also reveals the truth about lesser known people and places. She also is the founder of Ye Olde Tavern Tours in Boston. | Book trailer
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.