Monday, 15 March 2010

Once more with book titles...

Sorry, I know this is becoming a bore. But I wanted to post the latest shortlist of possible book titles (based on earlier suggestions, and some newer ones):

  • Secular Parables: Sketches in Theology and Culture
  • Drawing in Dust: Sketches in Theology and Culture [someone suggested that dropping the definite article made this title sound less Williamsesque]
  • In Pieces: Fragments of Theology and Culture
  • In Pieces: Fragments of Faith and Theology

28 Comments:

Mike McVey said...

Out of the four, Drawing in Dust is my pick.

Austin said...

I kind of like the allusion to your blog...

myleswerntz said...

Parables of the Secular, by far.

Ben Myers said...

Sorry, you just alerted me to a typo: that was meant to be "Secular Parables".

David W. Congdon said...

Secular Parables.

Anonymous said...

Secular Parables sound best. 'In Pieces' and 'fragments' say the same thing. why repeat? I doubt if In Pieces would attract buyers. I too like the allusion to the blog. can you mix fragments (or snippets) of faith and theology with Secular Parables?

Paul Fromont said...

In Pieces: Fragments of Theology and Culture gets my vote

Steven Demmler said...

I'm with several of the guys above: the allusion to your blog would be clever.

Drawing in Dust: Sketches of Faith and Theology (?)

Looking forward to the actual content, by the way!

Myk Habets said...

Drawing in the Dust: Sketches of Faith and Theology

I like the definite article and the allusion to your blog -a nice connect I think.

nate kerr said...

Secular Parables. Though I'm not sure you've yet found just the right subitle from among the many options.

kim fabricius said...

Stay away from the "Dust". Definite article or no definite article, it's too Williamsesque.

Anonyomus is right about the synonymity of "pieces" and "fragments".

I might like phrase "Secular Parables" - if I knew what the heck it means! As if there were "religious" parables? The whole exercise has gotten completely out of hand.

I'd go back to your original (or one of mine ;))

Emerson said...

Whatever you do Ben, please try to make your title sound as "non-emerging" as possible. Avoid flashiness and smoothness.

And please, please, please cull any over-used catch phrases from your book. Please! Unless those catch phrases are there to be condemned and disowned, be to us a prifitable theologian, will you?

No talk of "narrative", please don't use that wretched word "story". Avoid "conversation", "community", "postmodernism", "modernity".

You may also want to not use the word "platonic", as that word has been thrown around as a sort of negative bash on classical theology....most often by those who have never seriously studied Plato.

the don said...

ben, i dig the last title that is listed...

Mike Higton said...

"Secular Parables" - my guess is that there's one (fairly small) audience for whom this will have a specific theological resonance, another who will like it because it sounds kinda cool (without knowing what it means), and another - including some people who might otherwise want to read the book - who will go, 'Huh?'

"Drawing in (the) Dust" - fine, as long as you can answer the following multiple choice question. Are you (a) Jesus, (b) Rowan Williams, or (c) a vacuum cleaner?

Be bold: live without a subtitle.

Ben Myers said...

Thank you Mike, I needed that: your comment finally dealt the death-blow to "Drawing in the Dust"! =)

Terry Wright said...

It's not overly catchy, but perhaps Fragments in Faith and Theology is sufficient...

Terry Wright said...

By the way, have you consulted your children on what they think? They're a bright bunch, from what you say!

Mike Wilson said...

Drawing in Dust sounds awkward without the definite article. Secular Parables is the best out of that bunch as it stands.

joel mason said...

I have the desire to combine a few:

In Pieces: Secular Parables (for a theological world)

Fat said...

That's not bad Joel.
With or without the brackets.

roger flyer said...

Scrap it. It will come to you.

Sean Winter said...

Ben
What about just Fragments: Essays on Faith, Theology and Culture

Sean

Anonymous said...

I support Kim's original suggestion of 'This, that and the Wholly (or was it Holy) other'

T. Webb said...

Ben... again, I'll say, down with the "pretentious academic colon that is a refusal to give a book only one name". Either give it one name ("Fragments of Faith and Theology") or three+ ("In Pieces: Drawing in Dust: Fragments of Faith and Theology"). Of course, I don't mean that you're pretentious, I just tire of reading a list of Cascade books that all have colons.

kim fabricius said...

I now recommend leaving it titleless, followed by : I Couldn't Think of a Goddam Title.

Fat said...

T.Webb - Could such colonitis be diagnosed as irritable vowel syndrome?

Kim - That would be uncalled for.

Ben - Have you made a decision?
Release of your choice may bring another flood of clever ideas and perhaps the one you search for may be among those.

Anonymous said...

Why not just use the title "Ecrits"? Perhaps
Editions Gallimard would pick it up, then
the cover would be white with a thin red rectangular line about the edge and black lettering. If you published subsequent volumes, they could all have the same title, with new volume numbers for each.

Ben Myers said...

To be honest, I've nearly despaired of ever deciding on a title! But for the time being, I'm using "Fragments of Faith and Theology" as a working title.

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