Textbooks: Fall 2014
I noticed that Kimberly Majeski posted the texts she is using this fall for her classes. What a great idea. I’m a book nerd, as most of you know, so I love choosing texts. In the selection of texts, I keep a few criteria in mind: Relevance to the course, which is obvious. It would be pretty silly to choose a science text on quantum physics for a class on the American novel—I think. Accessibility for students—it will engage them and stretch them and approachable for a generation of non-reader students. Price—textbooks are spendy—way more than when I was a student. (That’s why you see the ISBN numbers; students can buy their texts anywhere.) I guess I also choose texts that are appealing to me--texts that challenge me and unsettle me and help me to grow as a person who follows Jesus.
I’m teaching three courses in the traditional program this fall: CM 140, Exploring God’s Calling and REL 320, Spirituality, Character and Service. I’m co-teaching a Freshman Year Learning Community (FYLC) combined course with Prof. Stephanie Mathis: REL 160x, Faith, Justice, and Portland: Advocating for Social Change, and EN 101 College Composition. I’ll list the texts for the REL 160 course as well. These are all really great courses—even if I do say so myself! I’m including the catalog descriptions to give you a taste of what’s going on, but you only get a taste. The texts are ALL wonderful. I heartily recommend them all.
CM 140 Exploring God’s Calling. Course description: "The first of a series of five courses designed to prepare students for entry into Christian ministry. The course will focus on the person, character, spirituality, and role of the minister. Key topics include the nature of the call to ministry, spiritual gifts, ordination, and scripture in the life of the minister. We will consider a variety of expressions of Christian ministry."
Feiler, Bruce. (2002). Abraham, A Journey to the Heart of Three Faiths. New York:
William Morrow/Harper/Collins. ISBN: 0380977761.
Markle, David, ed. (2001). First Steps to Ministry, A Primer on a Life in Christian
Ministry. Anderson, IN: Warner Press. ISBN: 0871628990.
The New Oxford Annotated Bible. (1994). New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN:
Norris, Kathleen. (1996). The Cloister Walk. New York: Riverhead Books. ISBN:
REL 160X Faith, Justice, and Portland: Advocating for Social Change. Course description: "How can your personal story be used to promote social change? What do the ancient Scriptures say about the injustice we see in our community today? What does it mean and look like to be a Christ-centered, responsible, engaged citizen? Paying careful attention to the Biblical narrative, this class develops a rich Biblical definition of “justice” that is rigorously tied into examples from the city of Portland. In addition, by drawing from self-reflective writing, experiential exploration of social issues in Portland and Oregon, community organizing training, sharing life stories, navigating the political process, and reflective discourse, students will be expected to educate and engage the campus around current injustices and its legislation. This course will analyze the holistic implications of systemic social concerns, develop an understanding of Scriptural, systemic response to those issues, and develop critical and creative thinking to produce ethical, realistic, and respectful stewardship through advocacy. This is not just a class but also an opportunity to “seek the peace for the city” (Jeremiah 29:7) and offer opportunities for young advocates for real-life, hands-on social change."
Gutenson, Charles and Jim Wallis. (2011). Christians and the Common Good: How Faith
Intersects with Public Life. Grand Rapids: Brazos Press. ISBN#978-1-58743-
Marshall, Chris. (2005). The Little Book of Biblical Justice. Intercourse: Good Books.
REL 320 Spirituality, Character and Service. Course description: "This is a course that invites and facilitates personal discernment about vocation (understood as finding purpose, meaning, and direction in life) within a framework of spirituality, character, care for one’s neighbor—and the interconnectedness of each. It offers students opportunities and experiences that invite critical self-reflection in the context of writings, beliefs, and practices of diverse views and contexts and participation in service-learning in the city."
Bass, Dorothy C. and Susan R. Briehl. (2010). On Our Way, Christian Practices
for Living a Whole Life. Nashville, TN: Upper Room Books. (ISBN:
Davis, Adam, editor. (2009). Hearing the Call Across Traditions: Readings on
Faith and Service. Woodstock, VT: Skylight Paths Publishing. (ISBN:
Nerburn, Kent. (1994). Neither Wolf Nor Dog, On Forgotten Roads with an
Indian Elder. San Rafael, CA: New World Library. (ISBN: 1880032376)
Nouwen, Henri J. M. (1992). The Return of the Prodigal, A Story of
Homecoming. NY: Doubleday Image Books. (ISBN: 0385473079)
Friday, August 1, 2014
a three-panel mirror: I saw myself three times
and wondered who are you? who are you?
who are you?
There was no answer.
Only a suspicion: I am not one of these three.
I am a fourth, another one behind the mirror. Hidden.
A shy soul fearing discovery.
One is my public self.
One is the self others want me to be—or think I am.
The other one is my wannabe self—my jealous self.
These three are not who I am. There is another.
But who is that fourth one hidden behind the other three
now only peripherally visible to me?
A composite of the three? A trinity. No.
Each of the others is a false self.
I have lived a life in four stages:
The open self of childhood; the closing
self of adolescence; the closed self
of adulthood; the aging self of new discovery.
There is a moment with Yorick when Hamlet
Considers a skull and, doing so, considers himself.
It is a momento mori—a key sea change. I have
No naked skull buried for years, yet
I stand before these mirrors, a momento
mori of another kind, naked, and look
into the eyes of each false self; each looked
side-eyed as I did this—what were they thinking?
Fearful, perhaps, that I might shut one down
in favor of the other—or break each into shards
so that the other one can stretch out. Or
the real one may emerge.