In There Shall Be No Poor Among You: Poverty in the Bible, Old Testament professor Leslie Hoppe, OFM, surveys the Torah, the prophets, Psalms, the New Testament, apocalyptic literature, and the Rabbinic tradition for a panoramic view of how the Bible addresses poverty and the poor. Hoppe helpfully situates his discussion within the socioeconomic realities of ancient Israel and Roman Palestine, but there is plenty here to help shape our current responses to poverty. Abingdon Press.
The Amen Corner
Now here’s a disc that invests spirituals and gospel tunes with all the soul and guts they require: How Sweet the Sound: Spirituals and Traditional Gospel Music, by Chanticleer. This 12-member a cappella men’s chorus (their name is a combination of French words meaning "to sing" and "clear"), along with guest singer Yvette Flunder, covers songs in new, spirit-filled ways. Don’t pass up your chance to hear "Jesus Hits Like an Atom Bomb." Warner Classics.
A 19th-century Japanese monk whispers spiritual wisdom into the welcoming ear of a 21st-century American monk - and she whispers back. Between Two Souls is a conversation in poetry between Buddhist Ryokan and Benedictine Mary Lou Kownacki and vibrates with the living liturgy of daily life. This collection is perfect for daily meditations and gives spiritual courage strong enough to face the real world. Eerdmans.
Rock of Ages
The songs in Close Harmony: A History of Southern Gospel Music focus on the message of Christian salvation, but this is also a historical collection, as it contains music and messages from Southern Gospel’s first generation: the Chuck Wagon Gang, the Blackwood Brothers, the Statesmen Quartet, among others. This long trip down memory lane covers groups that sang from 1920 to 1955 and is a musical companion to James Goff’s book of the same name. Dualtone.