Reading as one way of nurturing both the head and heart is an ongoing process. There are, however, rhythms and cycles of our work and life that create the opportunity to concentrate some of our reading. Below is my current reading list. I hope you will pursue it and find one or more of these volumes useful if you have not already read them. Finally, I commend these words to you from John Wesley: “Whether you like it or not, read and pray daily. It is your life.” Enjoy! +Bishop Gregory V. Palmer
Christ in Crisis: Why We Need to Reclaim Jesus by Jim Wallis - In Christ in Crisis, Jim Wallis provides a path of spiritual healing and solidarity to help us heal the divide separating Americans today. Building on "Reclaiming Jesus"--the declaration he and other church leaders wrote in May 2018 to address America's current crisis--Wallis argues that Christians have become disconnected from Jesus and need to revisit their spiritual foundations. By pointing to eight questions Jesus asked or is asked, Wallis provides a means to measure whether we are truly aligned with the moral and spiritual foundations of our Christian faith.
Exclusion and Embrace: A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness, and Reconciliation by Miroslav Volf - It’s a disturbing reality that otherness—the simple fact of being different in some way—has come to be defined as, in and of itself, evil. Author Miroslav Volf contends that if the healing word of the gospel is to be heard today, Christians must learn that salvation comes not only as we are reconciled to God, and not only as we “learn to live with one another,” but also as we take the dangerous and costly step of opening ourselves to the other, of enfolding him or her in the same embrace with which we’ve been enfolded by God.
Passionate for Justice: Ida B. Wells as Prophet for Our Time by Catherine Meeks and Nibs Stroupe - Reflections on current affairs through the lens of history - A resource for social justice and resilience Ida B. Wells was a powerful churchwoman and witness for justice and equity from 1878-1931. Born enslaved, her witness flowed through the struggles for justice in her lifetime, especially in the intersections of African-Americans, women, and those who were poor. Her life is a profound witness for faith-based work of visionary power, resistance, and resilience for today's world, when the forces of injustice stand in opposition to progress. These are exciting and dangerous times.
Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don't Know by Malcolm Gladwell - Talking to Strangers is a classically Gladwellian intellectual adventure, a challenging and controversial excursion through history, psychology, and scandals taken straight from the news. He revisits the deceptions of Bernie Madoff, the trial of Amanda Knox, the suicide of Sylvia Plath, the Jerry Sandusky pedophilia scandal at Penn State University, and the death of Sandra Bland---throwing our understanding of these and other stories into doubt. In his first book since his #1 bestseller, David and Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell has written a gripping guidebook for troubled times.
Tenacious Solidarity: Biblical Provocations on Race, Religion, Climate, and the Economy by Walter Brueggemann – The chapters are deeply biblical while also concerned with the identities, practices, and obligations of religious communities in contemporary contexts within the United States. Brueggemann consistently attempts to weave the biblical texts--vested as they are with the authority of a storyteller--into the deep contours of his readers' experiences, in order to foster a tenacious solidarity that might overcome both the psychic numbness cultivated by a 24-hour news cycle as well as the anxious possessiveness nurtured by so many privatized spiritualities.