Ashes & Dust / Vol. VI, Issue 6

April flew by — I can’t believe it’s almost May already! There’s a lot to share this month, so welcome to my April review of documentaries, podcasts, stories and books of note:

Trailers & a Podcast

Beating Guns: A documentary on faith and guns in America — I reviewed the book last month. This month, I’m recommending the documentary based on the book. I can’t think of a topic more relevant to today’s issues than this one!

What’shername” — In 2017, Olivia Meikle was walking through Boulder’s Columbia Cemetery when she noticed a slab that read only “Mother.” Two years later, Meikle runs a podcast about notable women throughout history.

Dawnland — Released last spring, this documentary tells the all-too-recent story of Maine social services forcibly removing children from indigenous families and placing them with white families.

Coexist — This 53-minute documentary examines the question of how Rwanda has attempted to recover from its 1994 genocide. As of April 7, it’s been 25 years since the genocide began.

“The Catonsville Nine” — In 1968, nine Catholic activists burned draft files in protest of the Vietnam War. Here’s a short clip of members of the group being interviewed:


The Confidence Man & Moby Dick by Herman Melville — On the recommendation of Prof. Glenn Morris, I listened to unabridged version of The Confidence Man last month. Stunning. Fully begun “on a Melville kick,” I checked out Melville’s masterpiece, Moby Dick, on Hoopla. It took professional voice actor Pete Cross nearly 24 hours to read the book, which is perhaps a statement in itself. Ahab, the unhinged captain of the whaling ship, Pequod, dominates the second half of the book, and, in my opinion, his character both masterfully represents the American psyche and anticipates the embodiment of this psyche in our current U.S. president and his supporters.

The Voice of the Eagle: The Heart of Celtic Christianity: John Scotus Eriugena’s Homily on the Prologue to the Gospel of St. John translated with an introduction and reflections by Christopher Bamford — A book with two subtitles is either really good or really academic or both. This one is really good. An accessible and yet thorough summary of the gifts offered to us by Celtic Christianity and by one influential Celtic theologian’s approach to the Gospel according to John. Had skimmed through it before, but revisited it last month in preparation for a sermon I preached, and am very glad I did!

On My List

Unashamed: A Coming-Out Guide for LGBTQ Christians by Amber Cantorna — Heard the author share her story last week and look forward to reading this follow-up to her memoir, Refocusing My Family: Coming Out, Being Cast Out, and Discovering the True Love.

Discovering Indigenous Lands: The Doctrine of Discovery in the English Colonies by Robert J. Miller, Jacinta Ruru, Larissa Behrendt, and Tracey Lindberg — A scholarly treatment of a topic that has been much on my mind lately. Thank you, interlibrary loan program!

Pagans in the Promised Land: Decoding the Doctrine of Christian Discovery by Steven T. Newcomb — Ditto, the above. Have heard this book referred to on many occasions.

Resipiscence 2019: A Lenten Devotional for Dismantling White Supremacy edited by Vahisha Hasan and Nichola Torbett — Meant to get to this during Lent, but didn’t quite get there. Will have to wait until next year, I guess.

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