Book Marks: New releases on the LCWR, American presidents, and Jesus as God
Summer is quickly approaching! Consider these good reads to fill your road-tripping, park-sitting, and summer-vacationing book list:
Spiritual Leadership for Challenging Times: Presidential Addresses from the Leadership Conference of Women Religious
Edited by Annmarie Sanders, I.H.M.
Women religious’ selfless service and spiritual leadership has made a great impact in the lives of people from around the world. Spiritual Leadership for Challenging Times (Orbis, 2014)  is a collection of 10 presidential speeches from the Leadership Conference of Women Religious’ annual assemblies from 1977 to 2012. On topics from the changing dynamics of religious life to the 2012 Vatican notification that the LCWR had been charged with doctrinal and pastoral errors, these faithful women have much to teach readers through their words of wisdom.
What They Wished For: American Catholics & American Presidents, 1960-2004
By Lawrence J. McAndrews
As the most populous religious denomination in the United States, Catholics have been active in working through politics on issues of war and peace, social justice, and life and death. What They Wished For (The University of Georgia Press, 2014)  maps these movements of presidential policies and politics, and shows how American Catholics have successfully shaped the political dialogue starting with the election of President John F. Kennedy.
Connecting Pulpit and Pew: Breaking Open the Conversation about Catholic Preaching
By Karla J. Bellinger
As a preacher from the pulpit, are you struggling to connect the Good News to the congregation? Or are you a person in the pew wishing there was some bond between the homily and your everyday life? Either way, Connecting Pulpit and Pew (Liturgical Press, 2014)  can help. Bellinger explores what’s going on in the listener’s head during the homily, how to connect the gospel message to young people, and other important questions whose answers will spruce up homilies.
How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee
By Bart D. Ehrman
Jesus didn’t claim to be God when he was alive nor did his original disciples think of him in that way during his lifetime. So why do Christians think of him as God nowadays? In How Jesus Became God (HarperOne, 2014)  Ehrman shares how Jesus’ divinity became official church dogma three centuries after his life. All Christians—religious historians and laypersons alike—will gain insight into Jesus’ divinity, a foundational part at the heart of the Christian faith.
Illustration by Angela Cox