To enliven our community discussion, let’s share the books we are currently reading. If you would like to add your current reading choices to this page, email us at: <web@hopecentralchurch.org>


risingstrong

Courtney Jones and Kolya Lynne Smith are big fans of Brené Brown.

Watch her TED talk on vulnerability that went viral.

When we deny our stories, they define us.
When we own our stories, we get to write the ending.
Social scientist Brené Brown has ignited a global conversation on courage, vulnerability, shame, and worthiness. Her pioneering work uncovered a profound truth: Vulnerability—the willingness to show up and be seen with no guarantee of outcome—is the only path to more love, belonging, creativity, and joy.


zealotEllen Snoeyenbos just finished this controversial book.

Remember the Fox News interview that put Reza Aslan on the media map?

Sifting through centuries of mythmaking, Reza Aslan sheds new light on one of history’s most influential and enigmatic characters by examining Jesus through the lens of the tumultuous era in which he lived: first-century Palestine, an age awash in apocalyptic fervor.

 


beingbothAre you in a mixed religion relationship? Here’s another book on Ellen’s side table.

Susan Katz Miller grew up with a Jewish father and Christian mother, and was raised Jewish. Now in an interfaith marriage herself, she is one of the growing number of Americans who are boldly electing to raise children with both faiths, rather than in one religion or the other (or without religion). In Being Both, Miller draws on original surveys and interviews with parents, students, teachers, and clergy, as well  as on her own journey, to chronicle this controversial grassroots movement.

 


evolutionofthewordLaura Ruth has been reading this book by Marcus Borg.
We’ll use this for Bible study Oct. 18, Oct. 25 and Nov. 1By presenting the New Testament books in the order they were written, bestselling Bible scholar Marcus Borg reveals how spiritually and politically radical the early Jesus movement began and how it slowly became domesticated.

 


raceandignoranceLaura Ruth has also read: Race and Epistemologies of Ignorance, ed. Shannon Sullivan and Nancy Tuana

Offering a wide variety of philosophical approaches to the neglected philosophical problem of ignorance, this groundbreaking collection builds on Charles Mills’s claim that racism involves an inverted epistemology, an epistemology of ignorance. Contributors explore how different forms of ignorance linked to race are produced and sustained and what role they play in promoting racism and white privilege.

 


slaveryofdeathHere’s another Laura Ruth pick:

According to Hebrews, the Son of God appeared to “break the power of him who holds the power of death – that is, the devil – and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death” What does it mean to be enslaved, all our lives, to the fear of death? And why is this fear described as “the power of the devil”? And most importantly, how are we-as individuals and as faith communities-to be set free from this slavery to death? In another creative interdisciplinary fusion, Richard Beck blends Eastern Orthodox perspectives, biblical text, existential psychology, and contemporary theology to describe our slavery to the fear of death, a slavery rooted in the basic anxieties of self-preservation and the neurotic anxieties at the root of our self-esteem.


Between-the-World-and-MeBoth Laura Ruth and Ellen just read this instant classic. Move over James Baldwin!

Written as a series of letters to his teenaged son, his new memoir, Between the World and Me, walks us through the course of his life, from the tough neighborhoods of Baltimore in his youth, to Howard University—which Coates dubs “The Mecca” for its revelatory community of black students and teachers—to the broader Meccas of New York and Paris. Coates describes his observations and the evolution of his thinking on race, from Malcolm X to his conclusion that race itself is a fabrication, elemental to the concept of American (white) exceptionalism. Ferguson, Trayvon Martin, and South Carolina are not bumps on the road of progress and harmony, but the results of a systemized, ubiquitous threat to “black bodies” in the form of slavery, police brutality, and mass incarceration. Coates is direct and, as usual, uncommonly insightful and original. There are no wasted words. This is a powerful and exceptional book.