STM scholars collaborate on book

Scholars from the School of Theology and Ministry have collaborated on a new book to help guide the Catholic faithful to greater awareness of the Holy Spirit’s presence and movement in their lives. In The Holy Spirit: Setting the World on Fire (Paulist Press, 2017), co-edited by Professor Rev. Richard Lennan and Associate Professor Nancy Pineda-Madrid, each of the 17 STM faculty authors addresses the topic of the Holy Spirit from his or her area of study, from history, ethics, and spirituality to pastoral theology, systematic theology and the Bible. This is the second collaborative book project from the STM. More from BC News.

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Religious minorities in the Middle East

Franck Salameh, associate professor of Near Eastern Studies, has contributed a chapter to the new book, The Future of Religious Minorities in the Middle East (Lexington Books/Rowman & Littlefield, 2017), edited by John Eibner. The book, which addresses the domestic and international politics that have created conditions for contemporary religious cleansing in the Middle East, is a collection of scholarship, history, personal experiences, and chronicles of dispossession that are often left out of traditional history books and shielded from the popular media. According to Salameh, the contributors are a veritable who’s who of scholars, journalists political practitioners, activists, diplomats, and luminaries. Collectively, they make a major contribution to understanding the dynamics of the mortal threat to the social pluralism upon which the survival of religious minorities depends. Salameh’s chapter is on the Christians of the Holy Land.

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New battlefields

According to author David Patrikarakos, the scholarly work of Associate Professor of Communication and International Studies Matt Sienkiewicz greatly enhanced the intellectual rigor of his new book, War in 140 Characters: How Social Media Is Reshaping Conflict in the Twenty-First Century.  Covering three key conflicts (Russia/Ukraine, Israel/Hamas, and ISIS), Patrikarakos looks at how social media has reshaped war and can affect the physical and narrative battlefields, and how the relationship between war and the media has been upended. The author says Sienkiewicz, who is quoted extensively in the book, “provided valuable insights into the role both traditional and social media play in framing the discussion around war and indeed constructing its reality to consumers.”

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Understanding Detroit

baylesIn her review of the Kathryn Bigelow movie “Detroit,” released 50 years after the 1967 riots/rebellion in the Motor City, Martha Bayes faults the filmmakers’ attempts to capture the essence of Detroit, writing: “Instead of letting Detroit’s unique history enrich their film, the filmmakers reduce the past to a brief opening montage of selected paintings from ‘The Migration Series’ by Jacob Lawrence.” Bayes, a faculty member in the Morrissey College of Arts & Sciences’ Honors Program, is a film and TV critic for The Claremont Review of Books and the author of Through a Screen Darkly: Popular Culture, Public Diplomacy, and America’s Image Abroad and Hole in Our Soul: The Loss of Beauty and Meaning in American Popular Music. | Full review

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Advent reflections

Advent is a season of hopeful waiting for the light of Christ. A new publication from Boston College alumnus Daniel P. Horan, O.F.M. provides an opportunity for readers to pray and reflect on the meaning of Advent and Christmas. In Daybreaks: Daily Reflections for Advent and Christmas (Liguori Publications, 2017), Fr. Dan uses short Scripture passages to show that God in Christ Jesus is always present and that the Savior’s love, mercy, forgiveness, and redemption have already been given, but has not yet been fully realized. Fr. Dan is a Franciscan friar of Holy Name Province in New York and the author of several books including the award-winning The Franciscan Heart of Thomas Merton: A New Look at the Spiritual Influence on his Life, Thought, and Writing, as well as more than 120 articles. He also is a columnist for America magazine.

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Lifting the fog

In the tradition of Thoreau’s Walden, Boston College graduate and former Presidential Scholar Will Dowd takes readers on a journey through a year of New England weather in Areas of Fog (Etruscan Press, 2017), a collection of essays that combines wit and poetry with humor and erudition. Areas of Fog is Dowd’s first novel and was initially an exercise to combat writer’s block. His work has appeared in LitHubTin House online, Post Road Magazine and The Rialto, among other places. Listen to John Dankosky’s interview with Dowd on WNPR.

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Boston College alumna N.D. Gomes has published her second novel, Blackbird (HarperCollins UK/HQ Young Adult, 2017), a young adult thriller. Set on the island of Orkney, Scotland, the book tells the story of 14-year-old Alex McCarthy’s quest to solve the mystery of her sister Olivia’s disappearance from a New Year’s Eve party. Gomes is also the author of Dear Charlie, which was recently longlisted for the 2018 International DUBLIN Literary Award.

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