Liberi legendi: Books on my desk “requiring to be read”

I have a stack of books on my desk “requiring to be read” at the moment. I have read the first chapters of each, but despair of finding the time to read the whole works:

1) Ester Chung-Kim, Inventing Authority: the Use of the Church Fathers in Reformation Debates over the Eucharist (very interesting topic, but probably not high on my “read now” list)
2) Amy-Jill Levine, The Misunderstood Jews: the Church and the scandal of the Jewish Jesus (I thought this would go well with number 7 on this list; my kids think that a “Jewish New Testament Scholar” is a great joke, but I think we need more of them!)
3) Neil Ormerod, A Trinitarian Primer (nice and short – might be able to complete this one)
4) Isabel Moreira, Heaven’s Purge: Purgatory in Late Antiquity (great thus far – and shows what a huge area of study the development of the doctrine of Purgator really is for anyone who has the time and patience to get right into it)
5) C. Scott Dixon, The Reformation in Germany (a kind gift from William Tighe who seems to think I have more time for reading than I actually do! – Don’t let that stop you from sending them, William!)
6) Adam A. J. Deville, Orthodoxy and the Roman Papacy: Ut Unum Sint and the Prospects of East-West Unity (just arrived today from the Book Depository – looking forward to this very much. Adam is a Ukrainian Catholic. His main thesis appears to be that the West needs to develop a kind of patriarchial model such as the East has that leaves the Papacy free to act according to its essential tasks. Adam has a blog called “Eastern Christian Books”. I see this book as a good one to read alongside Aidan Nichol’s Rome and the Eastern Churches)
7) Pope Benedict XVI, “Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week”
8) N.T. Wright, Jesus and the Victory of God (still working on this one – it will be a long term project to finish)

In reality, it is probably only the latter that I will actually complete in the next week or so. I intend to make it my Holy Week reading at home on the holidays.

What are you reading at the moment?

About Schütz

I am a PhD candidate & sessional academic at Australian Catholic University in Melbourne, Australia. After almost 10 years in ministry as a Lutheran pastor, I was received into the Catholic Church in 2003. I worked for the Archdiocese of Melbourne for 18 years in Ecumenism and Interfaith Relations. I have been editor of Gesher for the Council of Christians & Jews and am guest editor of the historical journal “Footprints”. I have a passion for pilgrimage and pioneered the MacKillop Woods Way.
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9 Responses to Liberi legendi: Books on my desk “requiring to be read”

  1. Stephen K says:

    Hi, David. Here in economy class, I’m reading Nietsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Bill Bryson’s The Mother Tongue, translating the Ethicon Nikomacheion, a chilling Orwellian-like political satire called “One” by David Karp (Penguin 1953) – for the umpteenth time – and “Against the Wind”, the story of Eberhard Arnold.

    • Schütz says:

      Never read a word of Neitzsche myself – but I commend you for going to the primary source! He was the favourite philosopher (“the only philosopher worth reading”) of a long time commentator who I suspect continues to lurk here, one Past Elder, aka Terry.

      Bill Bryson on the other hand is one of my favourite authors, but I haven’t read “Mother Tongue”. A Chrissy gift for the Blogmeister, perhaps, dear members of the Commentary Table (in return for all the port?)

      • Stephen K says:

        Dear David, I have read and enjoyed quite a number of books (and TV programmes) on the story of English: one of my favourites is of course “Our Language” by the renowned Simeon Potter. And Fowler’s “King’s English” is always a good read or “into-dipper” (a neologism of my own!). But I’ve found Bill Bryson’s book the most enjoyable, and the most accessible, and I’m determined to read his other books. My new resolution is that in 2012 I will devote myself to learning Anglo-Saxon, with the aid of my Sweet’s Primer, and the “eower faeder pe art on heofonan, halig beo pin nama” etc.

        But let me share with you a little more the last of the books I mentioned. The story of Eberhard Arnold and the Bruderhof is very inspiring. I got this at a film screening about his life, run by the Bruderhof. The films were produced by their Communities in New Hampshire and in England and teenage children played the various parts. They were very good. Have you read anything of his or about him? He writes, amongst other things, in his essays on the Sermon on the Mount called “Salt and Light”: “…the essence of true religious experience: richness in God and poverty in oneself…..Wherever there is religious satiety and moral self-satisfaction, wherever political achievments or other good works create self-righteousness, wherever anyone feels rich or victorious, the happiness in the fellowship of the kingdom has been lost……..Those who believe in the justice of God’s future….try to reveal God’s invisible nature through their deeds…they pour mercy on all in need. They are on the side of all who suffer injury and they are ready to be persecuted with them for the sake of justice…” He calls “the people of the Beatitudes” the “people of love”. Anyway, I think he can stand in and amongst the very best – and truly courageous – of spiritual writers and apostles with words of inspiration, insight and/or consolation.

        • Schütz says:

          in 2012 I will devote myself to learning Anglo-Saxon

          The University of Adelaide (my alma mater) had a teacher of Anglo-Saxon and Old English (Chaucerian English). I never took the course, but my first wife did, and I had a few lectures from the professor in my other English courses. It would have been fun, if a little esoteric!

          No, I know nothing of the Bruderhof. Are they related to the Mennonites and the Amish?

          • Stephen K says:

            There are many sources on the Bruderhof. Briefly, Eberhard Arnold began in the Lutheran tradition, but early felt the influences of the Salvation Army and the Anabaptists. He was involved in the Student Christian Movement. The turning point came over the question of baptism, and he became convinced that baptism had to be adult and free, and only mandatory upon its recognition by a free will. As his thinking developed he had contact with the Kansas Hutterite Brethren and the Mennonites. His Bruderhof developed as his ideas about community became central to the meaning of the Sermon on the Mount. He believed the earliest Christian communities and people like Francis of Assisi provided the model for the Christian ethos. He believed in the communal table, the community of goods, communal work and complete non-violence and unconditional love to enemies. For this he and his fledgling communities were persecuted by the Nazis as a Communist suspect. The Bruderhof today exist in about 25-30 communities worldwide. They are authentic disciples of Jesus. The account of Eberhard is “Against the Wind” (by Markus Baum, Plough Publishing, 1996).

  2. Peter says:

    I am reading Jesus of Nazareth-Holy Week and The Spirit of the Liturgy,both by
    Josef Ratzinger and Spoilt Rotten by Theodore Dalrymple.

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