Summer Reading, Vol.11: Khalia Williams

For reading recommendations this week, we consulted Assistant Dean of Worship and Music, Assistant Professor in the Practice of Worship, and Co-Director of the Baptist Studies Program, Khalia J. Williams! An ordained minister, Khalia serves as an associate minister and First Lady at the historic Providence Missionary Baptist church in Atlanta. With a deep passion for the intersection of worship, womanist theology and embodiment, she is a lead consultant for multiple denominations in the area of liturgical transformation.

Khalia’s first reading recommendation is no surprise in consideration of her pivotal role as a leader the church and higher education. She share’s Shelly Hart’s (Director of Academic Administration and Registrar) endorsement of Another Way: Living and Leading Change on Purpose written by leaders of the Forum for Theological Exploration, Stephen Lewis, Matthew Wesley Williams, and Dori Baker. This book offers practices to facilitate change through a holistic approach to leadership. The authors propose a 21st century model that honors the self, the community, and even the stranger as we work together for purposeful change in the midst of turbulent times. Find a copy of this book online in both paperback and ebook formats!

If you’d prefer a fictional saga, Khalia recommends Marion Zimmer Bradley’s The Mists of Avalon. This book follows the tumult and adventures of Camelot’s court through the eyes of the women who bolstered the king’s rise and schemed for his fall. This the great Arthurian epic filled with a diverse cast of characters will keep you hooked as Christianity takes over the island-nation of Britain. Find this book online or on the shelves at Emory or at your local public library!

Khalia’s last pick is the acclaimed post-apocalyptic novel from award-winning author Octavia Butler, Parable of the sower. Set in a time of global climate change and economic crises that led to social chaos in the early 2020s, this story follows fifteen-year-old Lauren Olamina who lives inside a gated community with her preacher father, family, and neighbors, sheltered from the surrounding anarchy. This powerful fight for survival in any environment full of dangers leads to the birth of a new faith and a startling vision of human destiny. This book is available at Emory Libraries, your local public library, or online for purchase.

Next week we will wrap up our summer reading series with recommendations from Candler’s incoming Professor of Hebrew Bible, Roger S. Nam! Catch up on the whole series on the Pitts Librarians blog.