Monday, 13 August 2007

Recommended reading meme

Aaron tagged me in his recommended reading meme (and you can see other responses here). The meme asks: “What books do you find yourself continually recommending?” Here are some of mine:

  • George Herbert, The Temple – I recommend this whenever possible, since it’s the best devotional work ever written
  • John Milton, Paradise Lost – to go through life without having read this book would be a fate worse than celibacy
  • Friedrich Schleiermacher, Brief Outline on the Study of Theology – I reckon this is still the greatest attempt to define the field of theological study
  • Stanley Hauerwas, The Peaceable Kingdom – I always recommend this to people who are interested in Christian ethics
  • John Webster, Barth – I regularly recommend this to people who are looking for an introduction to Barth’s theology
  • Wolfhart Pannenberg, Jesus – God and Man – I always use energetic hyperbole to recommend this book (“the best work on christology ever written,” etc.)
  • John Updike, Roger’s Version – I always recommend this to theologians, since it’s a uniquely brilliant theological novel
  • David Bentley Hart, The Beauty of the Infinite – one of my missions in life is to recommend this book to everyone; unfortunately, several people who have followed my recommendation have later told me that they had to give up on the book, since it’s impossibly difficult (sorry!)

12 Comments:

T.B. Vick said...

Victor Hugo's Les Miserables, greatest novel ever wriiten (IMHO).

byron smith said...

a fate worse than celibacy
Is the gift of singleness a tragedy?

Chris TerryNelson said...

A fate worse than celibacy? Try I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris. Maybe we should start a worst reading meme.

Geoff Smith said...

All I have read of Herbert is his list of Proverbs and The Country Parson, the first Pastoral Theology I read that recommends becoming a medical doctor in your spare time because a pastor should be smart enough to do so. I'll go about reading the Temple now.

Petter Ö said...

Pär Lagerkvist: Barabbas

Anonymous said...

the runaway bunny by margaret wise brown

Jessica said...

I'm in the middle of "Beauty of the Infinite" right now... Any tips on how to get through it within the next decade? Not that I'm not enjoying it. It's a rare thing, a supremely challenging book that doesn't discourage. Thanks for the recommend, I would have never picked up this book had it not been for your blog.

Ben Myers said...

Hi Jessica -- glad to hear you're wrestling (and it is a wrestle!) with Hart's book. Of course, if the opening section is proving too heavy-going, you could always skip straight to the "dogmatica minora", which is really the best and richest part of the book.

Paul Buckley said...

Fr Alexander Schmemann, For the Life of the World.

And, though it's not a book, I often find myself pushing George Orwell's essay "Politics and the English Language," which I would make yearly required reading for preachers, teachers, and other theologians:

http://orwell.ru/library/essays/politics/english/e_polit

David Williamson said...

Great list! Look forward to plunging into some of these.

Mine would include:

Marilynne Robinson, Gilead - a unsentimental portrayal of a life of a faith in the modern age

Karl Barth, Dogmatics in Outline - I've always found this a more accessible introduction to Barth's thoughts than any "intro" book

Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse 5 - An Irish writer said it's very difficult to join the IRA when you've read Vonnegut; his fascination with Christ sparked some of the most moving meditations I've read

Joseph Ratzinger, Introduction to Christianity - it's worth reading alone for the opening allegory of a man dressed as a clown trying in vain to warn laughing villages of a fire sweeping across the fields in their direction

Alister McGrath, Christian Theology: An Introduction - This unfolding story of Christian thought reads like a thriller. The only book I've consumed so voraciously was...

Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises - Never has being chased by bulls seemed so romantic!

Marvia said...

This is a great Meme idea...must borrow:-)

Jessica,
When I 'wrestled' with Hart a few years It was on my 'required reading list'. Major challenge it was! I did it several chapters at each sitting followed by a written reflection on what I was attempting to process and still had time to pick certain claims apart (the fun part) :-)

And my reading list still includes these that I'm always talking about:-
God's Power - Anna Case Winters
Cost Of Discipleship & Letters & Papers from Prison - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Transforming Mission - David J. Bosch
Liberation Theology After the End of History - Daniel M. Bell, Jr.
Women & Christianity (Vol 3 in particular)Reformation - 21stCentury Mary T. Malone

Tough job keeping this short(ish)
Thanks again for another great post!

Marvia said...

Sorry but I had to come back to add
On Religion - John D Caputo!

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