Wake up, let in the light and get a new perspective on the universe with these religion-themed books.
With Let in the Light: Learning to Read St. Augustine’s Confessions (Columbia University Press), James Boyd White ’60 offers an accessible guide to reading the early Christian bishop’s autobiography in Latin. White is a professor emeritus of law and English at the University of Michigan, and his 1973 book The Legal Imagination: Studies in the Nature of Legal Thought and Expression is considered the founding text of the “law and literature” movement.
In Awakenings: American Jewish Transformations in Identity, Leadership and Belonging (Behrman House), rabbis Joshua Stanton ’08 and Benjamin Spratt say that Judaism in North America is being “remixed and reimagined” through new and nimble religious organizations that embrace modern technology, cross-cultural connections and more inclusive practices. The two rabbis lead congregations in New York City and write a column together for Religion News Service.
Robert Rosenbaum ’73 retired from a 30-year career as a neuropsychologist, psychotherapist and behavioral medicine specialist to devote his time to studying and teaching Zen and qigong. His fourth book, That Is Not Your Mind!: Zen Reflections on the Surangama Sutra (Shambhala), interweaves passages of a 1,300-year-old Mahayana Buddhist scripture with modern insights from neuroscience and psychology, as well as instructive anecdotes from his own life.
As you may remember from the Fall 2020 Amherst magazine, A Universe of Terms: Religion in Visual Metaphor (Indiana University Press) began as an Amherst collaboration between Assistant Professor of Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought Mona Oraby—now an assistant professor of political science at Howard University—and illustrator Emilie Flamme ’20. The experimental book combines text and images to explore the significance of eight terms in the study of religion: spirit, economy, human, media, performance, space/place, modernity and enchantment/disenchantment.
Illustration by James Yang