Recent Books by Alumni

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The Rev. Celeste Kennel-Shank Groff (MDiv'13) has published her first book.  What You Sow Is a Bare Seed: A Countercultural Christian Community during Five Decades of Change.  is a group biography that tells the stories of ordinary but extraordinary people who were engaged in movements for renewal in the church and justice in broader society. People such as Dora Koundakjian Johnson, an Armenian-Lebanese linguistics scholar and activist, and Doug Huron, an attorney who won a landmark US Supreme Court civil rights case. They were among those who came together as the ecumenical Community of Christ in Washington, DC. Planted in the inner city in 1965--when many churches were leaving--the Community "distinguished itself from the more organized church without rejecting it," as one former member says. They believed that helping each other identify their gifts was a compelling way to shape their collective ministry beyond themselves. The Community initially intended not to own property but later bought a building and opened it up as a community center. As a final act of ministry, the Community gave its building away to a nonprofit partner when it closed in 2016, leaving a legacy that continues today.

Kenneth Atkinson (MDiv'94) has coedited and contributed to two recent works:  Misusing Scripture: What are Evangelicals Doing with the Bible? and Essays on the Psalms of Solomon: Its Cultural Background, Significance, and Interpretation.  Dr. Atkinson is Professor of History at the University of Northern Iowa.

Misusing Scripture: What are Evangelicals Doing with the Bible? and  Essays on the Psalms of Solomon: Its Cultural Background, Significance, and Interpretation book covers


Computing and Technology Ethics book cover

Computing and Technology Ethics

Emanuelle (Mandy) Burton  (PhD'15) and Sara-Jo Swiatek (PhD'22) have published a textbook entitled: Computing and Technology Ethics: Engaging through Science Fiction.  The book introduces the major ethical frameworks: deontology, utilitarianism, virtue ethics, communitarianism, and the modern responses of responsibility ethics, feminist ethics, and capability ethics. It then applies these frameworks to many of the modern issues arising in technology ethics including privacy, computing, and artificial intelligence. A corresponding anthology of science fiction brings these quandaries to life and challenges students to ask ethical questions of themselves and their work.   


Gender Essentialism and Orthodoxy: Beyond Male and Female

Gender Essentialism and Orthodoxy: Beyond Male and Female

From Bryce Rich (PhD’17). Within contemporary Orthodoxy, debates over sex and gender have become increasingly polemical over the past generation. Beginning with questions around women’s ordination, arguments have expanded to include feminism, sexual orientation, the sacrament of marriage, definitions of family, adoption of children, and care of transgender individuals. Preliminary responses to each of these topics are shaped by gender essentialism, the idea that male and female are ontologically fixed and incommensurate categories with different sets of characteristics and gifts for each sex. These categories, in turn, delineate gender roles in the family, the church, and society.

Gender Essentialism and Orthodoxy offers an immanent critique of gender essentialism in the stream of the contemporary Orthodox Church influenced by the “Paris School” of Russian émigré theologians and their heirs. It uses an interdisciplinary approach to bring into conversation patristic reflections on sex and gender, personalist theological anthropology, insights from gender and queer theory, and modern biological understandings of human sexual differentiation. Though these are seemingly unrelated discourses, Gender Essentialism and Orthodoxy reveals unexpected points of convergence, as each line of thought eschews a strict gender binary in favor of more open-ended possibilities.


Disobedient Women

Disobedient Women: How a Small Group of Faithful Women Exposed Abuse, Brought Down Powerful Pastors, and Ignited an Evangelical Reckoning

Sarah Stankorb (MA’05) outlines how access to the internet—its networks, freedom of expression, and resources—allowed women to begin dismantling
the false authority of evangelical communities that had long demanded their submission. Stankorb gives long-overdue recognition for these everyday women as leaders and as voices for a different sort of faith. Their work has driven journalists to help bring abuse stories to national attention. Stankorb weaves together the efforts of these courageous voices in order to present a full, layered portrait of the treatment of women and the fight for change within the modern American church.


A Revolutionary Faith book cover

A Revolutionary Feith: Liberation Theology Between Public Religion and Public Reason

In A Revolutionary Faith Raúl E. Zegarra (PhD’20) examines the process of articulation of religious beliefs and political concerns that takes place in religious organizing and activism, focusing on the example of Latin American liberation theology and the work of Peruvian theologian Gustavo Gutiérrez.