The Common Good
August 2008

New and Noteworthy

by Molly Marsh | August 2008

It’s My Life! A Guide to Alternatives After High School, by Janine Schwab and the AFSC; Women in Church History, by Joanne Turpin; Johnny Cash and the Great American Contradiction, by Rodney ...


Military recruiters aggressively target high schools, and for students who don’t have a clear post-grad plan, this option looms large. But the lively It’s My Life! A Guide to Alternatives After High School, put together by the American Friends Service Committee and edited by Janine Schwab, is full of information about internships, volunteer and travel opportunities, and jobs—including a large section on peace and social justice positions.

Church Mothers

In Women in Church History: 21 Stories for 21 Centuries, Joanne Turpin starts with Prisca the Evangelist in the first century and ends with Dorothy Stang in the 21st, offering short, interesting reflections on each. Some are well-known, others not—Pulcheria of Constantinople ruled wisely and generously, Hildegard of Bingen pushed tirelessly for reforms in the church—but all were influential. St. Anthony Messenger Press.

Walk the Line(s)

There are great contradictions in our American life, says author Rodney Clapp—our longing for tradition and progress, holiness and hedonism, and violence and peace. For Clapp, Johnny Cash and his music embody those conflicts, and in Johnny Cash and the Great American Contradiction, Clapp outlines America’s peculiar history using Cash’s life and songs. Clapp finds in Cash’s music an unsentimental faith, and in Cash someone who is “never entirely out from under the shadow of Christ’s cross.” Westminster John Knox Press.

A Sound from Another World

Who knew the Cistercian monks of Stift Heiligenkreuz, a monastery in Vienna, Austria, would be the U.K.’s latest chart-topping group? Universal Music put out a call for the best practitioners of Gregorian chant, and, with the help of a friend, the monks submitted their winning entry—via YouTube. Chant: Music for Paradise contains excerpts from the Latin Bible, sung with grace and reverence. A great gift for a loud world.

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