Shadows & Dust, Vol. III, Issue 12

With all the hype surrounding the upcoming Star Wars movie, I’ve been reminded of a quote I’ve kept for a long time from Steven Spielberg, “I’ve discovered I’ve got this preoccupation with ordinary people pursued by large forces.” (That’s forces, small “f”, not large “F,” although Spielberg’s quote could accommodate the famous spirituality of George Lucas’s epic science fiction series.) Here are some recommendations in that vein, involving individuals who had the courage to stand up to “large forces”:

  • Silas Soule: A Short, Eventful Life of Moral Courage by Tom Bensing —  Soule is one of the central characters in the modern re-telling of the Sand Creek Massacre of 1864, and this book’s subtitle summarizes his role well.
  • Miguel de Unamuno: The Agony of Belief by Martin Nozick — Sometimes you just need a good existentialist read.
  • Christ the Center by Dietrich Bonhoeffer — Very outline-y, very ordered — Bonhoeffer was German, after all — but this translated collection of the German theologian’s work still speaks to us today on how to find, or recover, the authentic part of ourselves through the person and power of Christ.
  • Einstein’s God: Conversations about Science and the Human Spirit by Krista Tippett — I love Tippett’s On Being podcast for its range and for making me think, and have found this book to be equally stimulating.
  • The Many Faces of Christ: The Thousand-Year Story of the Survival and Influence of the Lost Gospels by Philip Jenkins— I haven’t read The Many Faces yet, but as one of my favorite historians of Christianity, I never hesitate to recommend Philip Jenkins’s work. He likes to deal with controversial topics and this book is no exception.
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