Theology buffs have more of a Christmas gift dilemma than science and philosophy readers. The latter do not subscribe as much to the decline narratives as much as the former. For way too many Catholic theology readers Vatican II was a decline in theological quality and now the age of Francis is a decline from the decline. Rubbish.
Admittedly, refuting this theory would take the luxury of a longer series in about contemporary theology for which I probably don’t have time for (but it would start with William T. Cavanaugh for sure).
I don’t have time for it, because I’m too busy working a second job translating books. My first translation of the year, The Archparadox of Death: Martyrdom as a Philosophical Category, is currently 55% off on Amazon (these price reductions don’t last long, so grab it while you can), which makes it a prime Christmas gift candidate, well, that and its content:
The book deals with martyrdom understood as a philosophical category. The main question pertains to the evidential value of the Christian witness through death. The author approaches an answer through a philosophical interpretation of the belief in the evidential role of martyrdom. Numerous historical documents confirm that ancient martyrdom might have been considered as a kind of proof also by people unaffiliated with the Church. The author observes the theology and the reality of martyrdom through the perspective of the ancient philosophy of death and radical personal transformation. He believes that the Christian stance in the face of persecutions could have been understood as the realization of the unrealized ambitions of philosophy, thereby proving indirectly the veracity of the teaching revealed by Jesus Christ.
It will take a couple of more months before my other Karlowicz translation on early Christian theology as a philosophical way of life, Socrates and Other Saints, makes its way onto your bookshelves, despite what the Amazon publication date says. So go with The Archparadox of Death: Martyrdom as a Philosophical Category so long as the Amazon gods smile upon your wallet.
Here are other strange and wonderful books whose titles are odd enough to cause scandal at your Christmas Day breakfast table:
- The Sexuality of Christ in Renaissance Art and in Modern Oblivion by L. Steinberg
- The World from Dust by B. McFarland
- Noah’s Flood: The Genesis Story in Western Thought by N. Cohn
- Wandering in Darkness: Narrative and the Problem of Suffering by E. Stump
- Sinning in the Hebrew Bible: How the Worst Stories Speak for Its Truth by E. Segal
- Laughter at the Foot of the Cross by M. Screech
- Mediaeval Socialism by B. Jarrett, OP
- Hope Without Optimism by T. Eagleton
- Miracle Cures: Saints, Pilgrimage, and the Healing Powers of Belief by R.A. Scott
- Sacred Pain: Hurting the Body for the Sake of the Soul by A. Glucklich
If you, or someone you know, is a fan of HBO’s Westworld, then you might want to check out The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World for a contemporary theory of the bicameral mind that makes sense of the series better than the original bicameral theory in Jayne’s The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind (frequently mentioned and used in the show).
Oh, and for something truly gross, but unintentionally funny, you can turn to the Heidegger-Arendt love letters.
If these books aren’t enough, you can always reach for my other thematic TOP10 booklists:
- 11 Most Important Critiques of Modernity According to Thomas Pfau
- He Emptied Himself: A Kenosis Reading List
- TOP10 Books On Theology and Neuroscience
- TOP10: A Christmas Gift for Catholics from Wipf & Stock
- Derrida and Theology + Phenomenology as Catholic Philosophy = The French Theological Turn
- TOP10 Books for Explaining Original Sin to Interested Nonbelievers
- TOP 10: Religion and World Politics Reading List
- TOP10 Books on Religion and Ecology
- TOP10 Books: The Girard Option of Interdisciplinary Influence
- Science & Religion: Beyond the Ham-Nye Rye Sandwich
Since the secular holiday was yesterday you might want to read: The Medieval Catholic Origins of Human Rights (Day)
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