Book Review: Work in the Spirit

Work in the Spirit: Toward a Theology of Work by Miroslav Volf (Eugene: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2001. 268 pp) Born in Osijek, Croatia, Miroslav Volf performed his undergraduate studies at Evangelical-Theological Faculty, Zagreb. For his master’s work, he studied at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California and, finally, completed his doctorate at the University of Tübingen under Jürgen Moltmann. Volf teaches at Yale Divinity School as the Henry B. Wright Professor of Systematic Theology and is the director of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture. Of his many books, Exclusion and Embrace: A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness, and Reconciliation won the 2002 Grawemeyer Award and After Our Likeness: The Church as the Image of the Trinity won… Read More →

Book Review: Economy of Grace

Economy of Grace by Kathryn Tanner (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2005. 172 pp) Working through the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels of Yale University, Kathryn Tanner recently returned home as a professor of systematic theology at Yale Divinity School. For her previous appointment, Tanner taught at the University of Chicago. Tanner focuses her research on constructive Christian theology relating to social, cultural, and feminist theory. On top of her numerous books and articles that have been published, Tanner serves on the editorial boards of Modern Theology, International Journal of Systematic Theology, and Scottish Journal of Theology. She is a member of the Theology Committee that advises the Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops and is currently researching financial markets through the Luce… Read More →

Book Review: Banker to the Poor

Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle against World Poverty by Muhammad Yunus (New York: Public Affairs, 1999. 312 pp) Born in 1940, Muhammad Yunus grew up in the Bengal Province of British India (now Bangladesh). Yunus studied economics at Dhaka University receiving a B.A. and M.A. in the field. Afterward, he accepted a Fulbright scholarship in order to study at Vanderbilt University receiving his Ph.D. in economics in 1971. While teaching at Chittagong University, Yunus observed the poverty epidemic in the rural villages around Chittagong and began a poverty reduction program which later became Grameen Bank. The bank, established in 1983, dealt specifically with the poor and marginalized loaning these citizens money in order to begin micro-enterprise. In… Read More →

Book Review: Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Go: A Novel by Kazuo Ishiguro (New York: Knopf Publishers, 2005. 304 pp) Born in 1954 in Nagasaki, Japan, Kazuo Ishiguro moved with his family to England in 1960. Ishiguro attended the University of Kent receiving a bachelor’s degree in 1978 and continued his education at the University of East Anglia obtaining a master’s degree in creative writing in 1980. A celebrated novelist, Ishiguro has been nominated four times for the Man Booker Prize, winning it in 1989 for his work, The Remains of the Day. Recently, Ishiguro’s novel, Never Let Me Go, was adapted to a full-length film featuring Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley, and Andrew Garfield. Ishiguro resides in London with his wife and daughter. The… Read More →

Television Show Review: Mad Men Season 4

Mad Men: Season 4 created by Matthew Weiner (Lionsgate Television, Weiner Bros., and American Movie Classics) Starring Jon Hamm, Elizabeth Ross, Vincent Karthieser, January Jones, Christina Hendricks, and John Slatterly. “The strongest principle of growth lies in the human choice.” — George Eliot Self Help. Shelves upon shelves are dedicated to this topic in libraries and bookstores across America. Daytime talk shows hosted by professionals with large personalities and larger degrees find popularity by focusing on this subject. It is the magical panacea capable of granting health, wealth, and relational success. You make the difference in the world and you are weak if you request help. Is another offshoot of Chicken Soup for the Soul capable of curing the turpitude… Read More →

Book Review: The Poisonwood Bible

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (New York: HarperFlamengo, 1998. 560 pp) Born in 1955 in rural Kentucky, Barbara Kingsolver earned biology degrees from DePauw University and the University of Arizona. Beginning in 1985, Kingsolver began writing as a freelancer and author. Starting with The Bean Trees in 1988 and Lacuna functioning as the most recent bookend in 2009, Kingsolver’s works have been translated into more than two dozen languages and adopted into high school curriculum. Kingsolver contributes essays and reviews in many renowned newspapers and magazines. She has received numerous awards including, the national book award of South Africa, the James Beard Award, and the National Humanities Medal. Kingsolver lives on a farm in Southern Appalachia with her husband,… Read More →

Album Review: Barton Hollow

Barton Hollow by the Civil Wars (Sensibility Music, 2011. 40 minutes) An indie-folk duo composed of Joy Williams and John Paul White, the Nashville-based band, the Civil Wars, formed after the two met at a songwriters camp. Having found success previously as solo artists, Williams and White discovered an instant connection allowing them to release a live recording of their second gig as a free download titled,Live at Eddie’s Attic. Partnering with producer Charlie Peacock, the band started recording its first studio EP, Poison and Wine. The band first encountered national recognition when the song, “Poison and Wine,” from the debut EP played in its entirety over a climactic montage on Grey’s Anatomy. Barton Hollow is the band’s first release… Read More →

Book Review: Cradle to Cradle

Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things by William McDonough and Michael Braungart (New York: North Point Press, 2002. 208 pp) Known best for his work in sustainable architecture and design, William McDonough is a world leader in sustainable business practices. Winner of the Presidential Award for Sustainable Development, the National Design Award, and the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award, McDonough’s philosophies on sustainability find popularity amongst companies desiring to go green. Additionally, McDonough is the founder of William McDonough + Partners, an international architecture firm, and co-founder with this book’s co-author of McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC). Michal Braungart is a German chemist who, in addition to co-founding MBDC, founded EPEA International Umweltforschung GmbH. Braungart holds the… Read More →

Album Review: Mine Is Yours

Mine Is Yours by Cold War Kids (Interscope, 2011. 44 minutes) Based in Long Beach, California, Cold War Kids is an American indie rock band featuring Nathan Willett, Jonnie Russel, Matt Maust, and Matt Aveiro. Formed in 2004 at Biola University, the band released its first EPs in 2005. After signing with Downtown Records in 2006, Cold War Kids released Robbers & Cowards to critical acclaim. Mine Is Yours, the band’s latest effort was released on Interscope Records in 2011. Made for the Radio In Cold War Kids’ latest release, Mine Is Yours, a gritty, blues-based indie sound is replaced with catchy and accessible tunes. Employing Jacquire King (he has worked previously with Kings of Leon, Tom Waits, and Modest… Read More →

Book Review: All the Pretty Horses

All the Pretty Horses, by Cormac McCarthy (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1992. 302 pp) Cormac McCarthy was born in Rhode Island in 1933. One of six children, Cormac’s family moved multiple times in his childhood as his father accepted different occupations. In 1951, McCarthy attended the University of Tennessee majoring in Liberal Arts. Midway through his studies, McCarthy served in the Air Force for four years. After his service, McCarthy returned to college writing his first short stories. In 1959 and 1960, he won the Ingram-Merrill Award for Creative Writing. Mccarthy’s first novel, The Orchard Keeper, was published in 1965. Several years, grants, and fellowships later, McCarthy published Suttree, Blood Meridian, and All the Pretty Horses marking his rise… Read More →