Summer Reading, vol. 6: Susan Reynolds

This week Pitts consulted Dr. Susan B. Reynolds, Candler’s Assistant Professor of Catholic Studies, to add to your list of summer reading and resources! Dr. Reynolds provided several poignant recommendations that speak to theology and spirituality.

First, Dr. Reynolds suggests Jean Vanier’s Becoming Human (Paulist Press, 2008). Vanier, who died in May at age 90, was the founder of L’Arche (French for “the ark”), the global network of small communities in which persons with and without intellectual disabilities live together in relationships of friendship and care. Reynolds notes that “there is a wonderful L’Arche community here in Decatur.” Vanier wrote extensively on topics of vulnerability, community, otherness, and Christian theology and spirituality. Becoming Human is one of his most enduring classics.

Second, Reynolds notes the memoir and final work of James H. Cone, Said I Wasn’t Gonna Tell Nobody (Orbis Books, 2018). Cone, who died in 2018, is widely recognized as the founder of black liberation theology, and this posthumous publication describes the obstacles he overcame to find his voice. Reynolds asserts that “both those familiar and unfamiliar with Cone’s work will be moved and challenged by this stunning, personal account of his formation as one of the most prophetic voices of our time.”

Also currently on Dr. Reynolds’ bookshelf is Cuban-American theologian Imperatori-Lee’s Cuéntame: Narrative in the Ecclesial Present (Orbis Books, 2018). Reynolds describes this as a “beautifully written and eminently readable work in which the author uses story, song, memory, art, and social reality to construct a Latinx theology of church. I’m partway through it and can’t recommend it highly enough.”

Finally, plug in your headphones for Deliver Us, a 12-episode podcast produced this year by America Media and hosted by Maggi van Dorn. This series provides a deeply pastoral look at the clergy sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic church. Reynolds explains that this is “the epitome of a timely, relevant, theologically rich, pastorally sensitive podcast and relevant to listeners beyond those who are Catholic.”

Next week we’ll hear from Elizabeth (Liz) Miller, Pitts Theology Library’s Reserves and Circulation Specialist!