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Book Displays (Community Patrons): Books by Faculty and Alumni
Below you will find recently published books that are written by or have chapters written by Meadville Lombard faculty and alums. All these books can be checked out by alums and community patrons. For alumni and community members interested in getting a library account, submit an account request form or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Drawing on their vast experience as human rights advocates, William Schulz and Sushma Raman challenge us to think hard about how rights evolve with changing circumstances, and what rights will look like ten, twenty, or fifty years from now. Against those who hold that rights are static and immutable, Schulz and Raman argue that rights must adapt to new realities or risk being consigned to irrelevance. To preserve and promote the good society―one that protects its members’ dignity and fosters an environment in which people will want to live―we must at times rethink the meanings of familiar rights and consider the introduction of entirely new rights.
Wanamaker’s Temple examines how and why Wanamaker blended business and religion in his Philadelphia store, offering a historical exploration of the relationships between religion, commerce, and urban life in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century and illuminating how they merged in unexpected and public ways. Wanamaker's marriage of religion and retail had a pivotal role in the way American Protestantism was expressed and shaped in American life, and opened a new door for the intertwining of personal values with public commerce. (Description from publisher)
Our Lives Matter uses the tenor of the 2014 national protests that emerged as a response to excessive police force against Black people to frame the book as following the discursive tradition of liberation theologies broadly speaking and womanist theology specifically. Using a womanist methodological approach, Pamela R. Lightsey helps readers explore the impact of oppression against Black LBTQ women while introducing them to the emergent intellectual movement known as queer theology. The author privileges their narratives and experiences as she reviews several doctrines and dogma of the Christian church. Theological reflection on contemporary debates such as same-sex marriage and ordination rights make this book a valuable resource to clergy, students of theology, LGBTQ persons and allies. (Description from publisher)
Progressive faith is at a crossroads. Liberal pulpits ring with grand sermons about the arc that bends toward justice, and about progress “onward and upward forever.” Meanwhile, the people in the pews struggle to attend to the suffering of their souls and the tragic aspects of life. In this engaging polemic, using stories and metaphor, Nancy McDonald Ladd issues a call for change. Speaking from a rising generation of clergy and lay leaders who formed their commitments to liberal religion at the end of the optimistic modernist age, she shows how the religious life is not characterized by endless human advancement but by lurching movement, crisis management, and pain. With humor and humanity, Ladd calls religious progressives to greater authenticity and truth-telling rather than blind optimism. She charts a course forward that includes reclaiming rituals of atonement and lament and becoming more vulnerable and accountable in our relationships. She shows how, together, we might build a necessary and greater resilience among ourselves and for the generations to come. (Description from publisher)
Mark D. Morrison-Reed, the preeminent scholar of black Unitarian Universalist history, presents this long-awaited chronicle and analysis of the events of the Black Empowerment Controversy, which rocked Unitarian Universalism in the late sixties and continues to reverberate. It was a time of revolution, of the Civil Rights and Black Power movements. Like the country, the young Unitarian Universalist Association was forced to reckon with demands for change and found itself fractured by conflict about the implications of a commitment to racial justice. Morrison-Reed synthesizes decades of research and extensive interviews to present a nuanced and suspense-filled drama about Unitarian Universalism's great crisis of faith. As he writes, 'Perhaps wisdom can be gleaned from the pain and upheaval of those years, a wisdom that will be of use today in a new era.' Revisiting the Empowerment Controversy represents a completion of the historical arc Morrison-Reed has traced since the publication of Black Pioneers in a White Denomination. (Description from publisher)
Feminist Praxis against U.S. Militarism provides critical feminist and womanist analyses of U.S. militarism that challenge the ongoing U.S. neoliberal military-industrial complex and its multivalent violence that destroys people’s lives, especially women and other vulnerable populations. It highlights the intentional critique of U.S. militarism from feminist/womanist perspectives that seek to show the ways in which gender, race/ethnicity, sexuality, and violence intersect to threaten women’s lives, especially women of color’s lives, and the broader environment upon which women’s lives are dependent. Most of all, this volume challenges the readers to understand the U.S. as the warfare, counterterror, carceral state and its devastating effects on the everyday lives of women, especially women of color, locally, nationally, and globally. This volume also helps readers understand the racialized gendered impacts of U.S. militarism in conjunction with the ongoing global economies of dispossession and militarized violence across the borders of nation-states. Interrogating U.S. military interventions in “other” countries can show how the U.S. War on Terror directly affects U.S. “domestic” affairs and daily lives in the United States. (Description from publisher)
American Immanence seeks to replace the dominant American political tradition, which has resulted in global social, economic, and environmental injustices, with a new form of political theology, its dominant feature a radical democratic politics. Michael S. Hogue explores the potential of a dissenting immanental tradition in American religion based on philosophical traditions of naturalism, process thought, and pragmatism. By integrating systems theory and concepts of vulnerability and resilience into the lineages of American immanence, he articulates a political theology committed to democracy as an emancipatory and equitable way of life. Rather than seeking to redeem or be redeemed, Hogue argues that the vulnerability of life in the Anthropocene calls us to build radically democratic communities of responsibility, resistance, and resilience. American Immanence integrates an immanental theology of, by, and for the planet with a radical democratic politics of, by, and for the people. (Description from publisher)
At once deeply compassionate and spiritually empowering, this collection of inspirational poetry provides pastoral care and an encouragement for authentic living. In this 2019 volume of the inSpirit Series, one of the most creative voices in Unitarian Universalism today tends to our souls and emboldens us to become our truest selves. Rev. Soto’s poems of hope and resilience validate our identities and our humanity—especially for those of us marginalized by mainstream culture. (Description from publisher)
In October 2015, a group of distinguished UU religious professionals of color gathered together in Chicago to embark on a radical project. The conference was sponsored by the UUMA's Committee on Antiracism, Anti-oppression, and Multiculturalism. It started with the premise that discussions of race in Unitarian Universalism have too often presupposed a White audience and prioritized the needs, education, and emotions of the White majority. The goal was to reframe Unitarian Universalist anti-oppression work by putting the voices, experiences and learnings of people of color at the center of the conversation. The resulting book, Centering, captures the papers that were presented and the rich dialogue from the conference to share personal stories and address the challenges that religious leaders of color face in exercising power, agency, and authority in a culturally White denomination. Centering explores how racial identity is made both visible and invisible in Unitarian Universalist ministries. (Description from publisher)
Transforming Service is a seminal book developed by student services professionals in theological education. This edited volume is new and innovative in that it puts the student services professional and their work with divinity students center-stage. Amid the various and serious changes afoot within the church and academy, there is a need for astute and perceptive expertise to assist professionals and institutions in transforming how to reach, serve, and sustain graduate students in theological education. This book is an offering designed to establish and sustain conversations among student services professionals in theological schools about the nature of the profession and to share wisdom within a rich community of practice that is essential to the success of theological schools. With its rich combination of useful information, reflective instruction on a host of professional leadership issues, and animated narratives on the ways different colleagues address common practices and challenges in their context, Transforming Service is a needed resource to all who engage in theological education. (Description from publisher)
This book is an invaluable resource for anyone invested in the fight for social justice. Welch highlights examples of social justice work accomplished at the institutional level. From the worlds of social enterprise, impact investing, and sustainable business, After the Protests Are Heard describes the work being done to promote responsible business practices and healthy, cooperative communities. The book also illuminates how colleges and universities educate students to strive toward social justice on campuses across the country, such as the Engaged Scholarship movement, which fosters interactions between faculty and students and local and global communities. In each of these instances, activists work from within institutions to transform practices and structures to foster justice and equality. After the Protests Are Heard confronts the difficult reality that social change is often followed by spikes in violence and authoritarianism. It offers important insights into how the nation might more fully acknowledge the brutal costs of racism and the historical drivers of racial injustice, and how people of all races can contain such violence in the present and prevent its resurgence in the future. For many members of the social justice community, the real work begins when the protests end. After the Protests Are Heard is a must-read for everyone interested in social justice and activism – from the barricades and campuses to the breakrooms and cubicles. (Description from publisher)
The Oxford Handbook of Religion and American Education brings together preeminent scholars to craft a comprehensive survey and assessment of the study of religion and education in the United States. Religion has been inextricably entwined with education in the United States since the days of colonial British America. Beginning with mothers schooling their children at home from the Bible, to the first establishment of Harvard College in 1636 with the principal mission to prepare clergy, the place of religion—and more to the point, whose religion and for what purpose—has been vigorously contested for nearly 400 years. This handbook aims to examine the current state of religion and American education from homeschooling to private religious schools to public schools to religious institutions and on through the range of public and private higher education. The book is organized into five sections: Frameworks; Lifespan Faith Development; Faith-Based K-12 education; Religion and Public Schools; and Religion and Higher Education. Within these sections forty leading scholars in the field of religion and education review these topics in thirty chapters. The contributors offer an in-depth synthesis of major issues within the field, while contributing to lively debates about the links between landmark research contributions and contemporary research agendas. Designed for an interdisciplinary audience, the Oxford handbook serves as a legacy project for leading scholars who are critically shaping the future direction of the field of religion and American education. (Description from publisher)