Redeemed Bodies: Women Martyrs in Early Christianity
By Gail P.C. Streete, the W.J. Millard Professor of Religious Studies; Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press; 192 pp. $24.95
Why do religious people choose paths that lead to their deaths as martyrs? Why do some who are killed for their faith become known and revered while others do not? Gail Streete asks these important and disturbing questions in the context of early Christianity, looking at the stories of martyred women such as Thecla, Perpetua and Felicitas, women whose stories helped shaped Christian faith for centuries, yet are all but forgotten in the modern world. Streete reclaims these stories and relates them to tragic instances of martyrdom in our own world, pulling from stories as diverse as the victims of Columbine and female suicide bombers in the Muslim world. What do their deaths mean, and why are their stories found to be moving?
Theatre and Religion on Krishna’s Stage
By David V. Mason, Rhodes Assistant Professor of Theatre; New York: Palgrave Macmillan; 208 pp. $74.95
The book examines the history and form of India′s râs lila folk theatre, and discusses how this theatre functions as a mechanism of worship and spirituality among Krishna devotees in India. From analyses of performances and conversations with performers, audiences and local scholars, Mason argues that râs lila actors and audience alike actively assume roles that locate them together in the spiritual reality that the play represents. Correlating Krishna devotion and theories of religious experience, this book suggests that the emotional experience of theatrical fiction may arise from the propensity of audiences to play out roles of their own through which they share a performance’s reality.
Resurrecting the Brother of Jesus: The James Ossuary and the Quest for Religious Relics
Edited by Ryan Byrne and Bernadette McNary-Zak, Associate Professor of Religious Studies Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press; 224 pp. $29.95
With contributions by Byrne and McNary-Zak along with Rhodes Religious Studies faculty Tom Bremer and Milton Moreland, the book offers a critical evaluation of the popular and scholarly reception of the James ossuary as it emerged from the dimness of the antiquities black market to become a Protestant relic in the media’s custody.
Know Your Story and Lead with It: The Power of Narrative in Clergy Leadership
By Richard L. Hester of Triangle Pastoral Counseling Center, Raleigh, NC, and Kelli Walker-Jones ’79, co-director of the Sustaining Pastoral Excellence project; Herndon: The Alban Institute; 182 pp. $18
The book aims to show leaders how to explore their story of reality, tell it to other group members and consider how it can be used as a resource for leadership.
Memphis and the Delta Blues: Great Destinations
By Justin and Melissa Stampley Gage ’99; Woodstock, VT: The Countryman Press; 301 pp. $19.95
This travel guide takes the reader through Memphis and the Mississippi Delta, tracing the history and living roots of the blues and rock ’n’ roll, with hundreds of lodging, dining, cultural and recreational recommendations; photos and detailed maps. As Citysearch’s travel editor, Melissa Gage wrote about destinations from Sun Valley to San Juan, Puerto Rico. She is currently a freelance writer and screenwriter. Justin Gage is the founder of Autumn Tone Records and the blog creator of Aquarium Drunkard. He is also a music writer, concert promoter and radio DJ. They live in Los Angeles.