The Common Good
July 2008

New and Noteworthy

by Molly Marsh | July 2008

Crazy Talk: A Not-So-Stuffy Dictionary of Theological Terms, by Rolf Jacobson; Renewal: Stories from America's Religious-Environmental Movement; Being Consumed, by William Cavanaugh; and Dare ...

Say What?

In Crazy Talk: A Not-So-Stuffy Dictionary of Theological Terms, editor Rolf Jacobson and others put plain English (and fun) back into theological terms from absolution to YHWH—the latter defined as, “Th Hbrw nm fr Gd, whch w dn’t xctly knw hw t prnnc bcs th vwls wr lft t.” Or here’s monotheism: “The practice of worshiping one god (not counting the one in the mirror).” Each definition is followed by a brief but beefy explanation of the term. Augsburg Books.

Visions of a New Earth

The film Renewal: Stories from America’s Religious-Environmental Movement contains eight compelling stories of faith-based activism around the country—including how evangelicals have mobilized against mountaintop removal in Appalachia, the ways Catholics and Native Americans have joined to protect natural resources, and what a Jewish camp teaches kids about the environment. The 90-minute doc is great for small groups, as the eight segments can stand alone.

Beating the Bling

In Being Consumed: Economics and Christian Desire, theology professor William Cavanaugh proposes a “theological microeconomics”—but don’t let that scare you. In this slim book, he takes on the free market, consumerism, globalization, and scarcity, arguing in clear prose that Christians should foster economic practices that are in line with the gospel, not the market. He also offers concrete ways to link theology with practice. Eerdmans.

Living History

In Dare Not Walk Alone, director Jeremy Dean trains his camera on St. Augustine, Florida, a major battlefield during the civil rights movement. Combining footage of the protests in 1964 with present-day interviews of key players in the conflict—including the white man who poured acid into a swimming pool filled with black and white activists—Dean shows the city’s tumultuous history and how the legacy of racism still results in unequal treatment for residents today.

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