Green bioethics

In her book Principles of Green Bioethics: Sustainability in Health Care (Michigan State University Press, 2019), author Cristina Richie lays out a framework for evaluating the sustainability of medical developments, techniques, and procedures. She calls for a joining of biomedical ethics with environmental ethics so the resulting bioethics are conservation-based and will reduce resource consumption in health care and lessen climate change-related health hazards. Richie is an alumna of Boston College’s School of Theology and Ministry where she graduated with a master of theology. She went on to earn a doctorate in theological ethics from BC. Richie is an assistant professor in the Department of Bioethics and Interdisciplinary Studies at East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine, with an adjunct appointment in the Department of Public Health.

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The capture of a fugitive

A new book by Boston College alumnus Dave Wedge and co-author Casey Sherman tells the story of the capture and death of James “Whitey” Bulger, the notorious Boston mobster who was a fugitive for 16 years. Hunting Whitey: The Inside Story of the Capture & Killing of America’s Most Wanted Crime Boss (William Morrow/ HarperCollins, 2020) is based on exclusive interviews, and according to the publisher, tells the “thrilling, definitive story of the pursuit, capture, and killing” of Bulger, a convicted criminal and one-time FBI informant. More from publisher: “Interweaving the perspectives of Bulger, his family and cohorts, and law enforcement, Hunting Whitey explains how this dangerous criminal evaded capture for nearly two decades and shines a spotlight on the dedicated detectives, federal agents, and prosecutors involved in bringing him to justice.” Wedge and Sherman previously collaborated on The Ice Bucket Challenge: Pete Frates and the Fight against ALS, 12: The Inside Story of Tom Brady’s Fight for Redemption, and Boston Strong: A City’s Triumph over Tragedy.

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Back to the beach

Bestselling author Barbara Delinsky transports readers to the Rhode Island coastline in her latest novel, A Week at the Shore (St. Martin’s Press/MacMillan, 2020), where she explores the role memory plays in the lives of three sisters. The sisters reunite at their family’s beach house 20 years after a scandal upended their lives. A Boston College graduate, Delinsky is the author of more than 20 books published in 30 languages. Some of her previous novels include Before and Again, Sweet Salt Air, and Blueprints.

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Book review from Kathleen Hirsch

Kathleen Hirsch, a part-time faculty member in Boston College’s Philosophy Department, penned a book review of Heaven and Hell: A History of the Afterlife by Bart D. Ehrman for the Boston Globe. She writes that the author Ehrman “knows his territory as well as anyone writing today” and in his book he “ably enlightens and entertains.” Hirsch is the author of several books, including Songs from the Alley and A Sabbath Life: One Woman’s Search for Wholeness. Learn more at kathleenhirsch.com.

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Quarantine

In Quarantine, John Smolens, a Boston College graduate, writes about a Massachusetts town grappling with an outbreak of a fatal disease. Though it sounds like current events, Smolens’ novel is set in 1796 and the deadly viral disease is yellow fever.  In Quarantine, a ship arrives in Newburyport harbor with a crew infected with yellow fever. Quickly, the virus circulates throughout the town, killing many residents and testing the reserve of those left behind. Dr. Giles Wiggins, a war veteran, tries to save lives while the town’s future is threatened by obsession, greed, and fear. Out of print for several years, Quarantine was re-issued by Michigan State University Press in late 2019. Smolens’ next book, Day of Days, about a 1927 act of domestic terrorism that left 38 children dead, will be published this fall. Smolens was interviewed about Quarantine for a piece in the Lansing City Pulse.

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Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Education

A successful initiative from the Boston College Roche Center for Catholic Education provides the basis for a new book co-edited by Lynch School of Education and Human Development Associate Professor Martin Scanlan, Cristina Hunter, assistant program director for the Lynch School’s Urban Catholic Teacher Corps, and Elizabeth R. Howard of the University of Connecticut. Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Education: Designing Networks That Transform Schools (Harvard Education Press, 2019) describes an innovative network of 20 preK–8 schools located across the U.S. that transformed to better serve their diverse, multilingual communities by adopting a two-way immersion model. Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Education describes the founding of the network, the theory of action that drove its design, and the compelling evidence linking the networked approach to subsequent growth in student achievement and enrollment at the schools. With this book, the editors highlight six practices that were key to driving the schools’ transformation, providing a blueprint for how school leaders can leverage the power of collaborative learning to create more culturally and linguistically responsive schools. Book review from Teachers College Record.

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Jesuit Kaddish

Kraft Family Professor of Philosophy James Bernauer, S.J., takes a critical look at the Jesuit order in his new book Jesuit Kaddish: Jesuits, Jews, and Holocaust Remembrance (Notre Dame Press, 2020). According to the publisher, Jesuit Kaddish “is a long overdue study that looks at Jesuit hostility toward Judaism before the Shoah.” Fr. Bernauer then examines the development of a new understanding in Catholic teaching about Judaism and the Jesuits who contributed to that understanding, as well as the landmark decree Nostra aetate, issued by the Second Vatican Council. Fr. Bernauer, who directs the Center for Christian-Jewish Learning at Boston College, notes that the Society of Jesus has never articulated a statement of regret to the Jewish people, and hopes his book establishes the need and rationale for such an apology.

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In the School of Ignatius

A major dimension of Jesuit and Ignatian spirituality is the spirituality of docta pietas (learned devotion) or of a “teaching that is holy, devout, righteous, revelatory.” For centuries this spirituality’s great legislative expression within the Society of Jesus has been the plan of studies—published in 1599— known as the Ratio Studiorum. In a new book, Jesuit priest Claude Pavur seeks to “sharpen people’s idea of Jesuit education by looking carefully at the Ratio Studiorum and its importance.” In the School of Ignatius: Studious Zeal and Devoted Learning offers essays which argue that what lies at the heart of the Ratio remains inescapably foundational for the Jesuit order, as well as for its education and spirituality. Fr. Pavur is an associate editor at Boston College’s Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies, which has published this book as part of its IJS Studies–Research on Jesuits and the Society of Jesus imprint.

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Veiled Origins

In her new book, Hebrew Psalms and the Utrecht Psalter: Veiled Origins (Penn State University Press, 2020), BC Professor of Art History and Film Pamela Berger resolves outstanding issues surrounding the origins of the Utrecht Psalter, an influential ninth-century illuminated manuscript. In a major departure from previous scholarship, Berger argues that the illustrations in the famous Utrecht Psalter manuscript were inspired by a late antique Hebrew version of Psalms, rather than a Latin, Christian version of the text.

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How the South Won the Civil War

In a provocative new book, Boston College Professor of History Heather Cox Richardson argues that while the North prevailed in the Civil War, the ideals of the Old South survived and thrived by establishing a foothold in the West. How the South Won the Civil War: Oligarchy, Democracy, and the Continuing Fight for the Soul of America (Oxford University Press, 2020) traces how as new states entered the Union in the late 19th century, western and southern leaders found common ground. Richardson further suggests that the essential paradox of American history is that democracy has always depended on inequality–and that’s what makes democracy vulnerable to oligarchs.

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