I tend to read eclectically most of the time, so “summer” reading is not much different from any other season.
My current work on the book of Joshua has me thinking about the land, about morality in interpretation, and all the historical-literary issues surrounding the book of Joshua. So a few titles I’m working through are:
- Craig G. Bartholomew, Where Mortals Dwell: A Christian View of Place for Today
- William T Cavanaugh, Being Consumed: Economics and Christian Desire
- John Inge, A Christian Theology of Place
- Christoph Bachhunber and R. Gareth Roberts, Eds. Forces of Transformation: The End of the Bronze Age in the Mediterranean
- David M. Carr, The Formation of the Hebrew Bible: A New Reconstruction
On a more theoretical level, I like to enrich my basic practice of biblical exegesis by reading outside the usual boundaries of “hermeneutics” manuals. All this gets one pondering how we do theological interpretation, so I am also hoping to get through these:
- Jean LeClerq, The Love of Learning and the Desire for God: A Study of Monastic Culture
- Richard S. Briggs, The Virtuous Reader: Old Testament Narrative and Interpretive Virtue
- John Gardner, On Moral Fiction
- Bruce W. Holsinger, The Pre-Modern Condition: Medievalism and the Making of Theory
That last title is important also because my son is starting a Ph.D. at the University of Virginia and Holsinger is one of the faculty he’ll meet there. Any Christian scholar who wants a thoroughly theological approach has to invest some time in the history of early Christianity, its exegesis and theology. I just finished reading this very provocative book:
- Phillip Jenkins, The Jesus Wars: How Four Patriarchs, Three Queens and Two Emperors Decided What Christians Would Believe For the Next 1500 Years
For my own growth, I’m reading in the English reformation and my favorite Anglican, Bishop Stephen Neill:
My daughter is quite the lover of all things French, so at her behest I’m enjoying the quirky and delightful:
- Jean-Benoît Nadeau & Julie Barlow, Sixty Million Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong: Why We Love France but not the French
Naturally it wouldn’t be summer without fiction. I’m re-reading Steinbeck’s East of Eden, and last night took up a massive novel about the court of Henry VIII, Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall.
Dr. Stone is Professor of Old Testament at Asbury Theological Seminary. He was a John Wesley Fellow during his doctoral studies at Yale Unversity and has served in Kenya teaching and doing student ministry and discipleship in rural villages. His publications have appeared in the Journal of Biblical Literature, the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, the Dictionary of the Old Testament: Historical Books (IVP), and the Dictionary of Major Biblical Interpreters (IVP) as well as contributing to Biblica: The Bible Atlas—A Social and Historical Journey Through the Lands of the Bible. He is a translator for the New Living Translation of the Bible, and author of a commentary on the book of Judges released this year in the Cornerstone Biblical Commentary series published by Tyndale House.