The website promoting this piece of art says, "For the first time, the worlds most influential religious texts are brought together and presented on the same level, their coexistence acknowledged and celebrated”. The shelf is made of reclaimed wood that contains seven religious books. The designers have put them – literally – on the same level.
Well, pish posh! I think that some books ARE better than others! How about you?
1. What book have you read in the last six months that has really stayed with you? Why? I was pretty taken with God's Advocates, an anthology of interviews edited by Rupert Shortt, religion editor of TLS. Shortt is a first-rate interviewer and his interviewees are spectacularly articulate. It was just a great way to see, quickly, something of "what's going on" in theology at the moment. Or Jaroslav Pelikan, either The Melody of Theology or Christianity and Classical Culture. I love Pelikan because he is the master, or the collaborator, of his sources; he as all the horses in his team, and he drives them to perfection.
2. What is one of your favorite childhood books? I can think of a couple. One was Rainbow Valley. I was quite a lot older before I realized that the "Anne" in it was the famous "Anne of Green Gables"!!! And years afterward I lent my precious copy to a friend, for her daughter to read...and never got it back...heartbreak! A second one was The Secret Garden. I borrowed it from a school-friend, got caught reading it surreptitiously after bedtime, and was made to take it back the next day, UNFINISHED... this is getting too sad, it's time to move on to the next question obviously!
3. Do you have a favorite book of the Bible? Do tell! UM...Genesis for the stories, which are much funnier in Hebrew (how do they do that?); First and Second Kings, again, for the plots...; among the Gospels Luke, perhaps, or John...I'd be hard pressed to choose one over the other. And Hebrews.
4. What is one book you could read again and again? Jane Eyre or Pride and Prejudice or any of the Austen Six. And at the moment I've embarked on re-reading all of Charles Dickens for a year-long project.
5. Is there a book you would suggest for Lenten reading? What is it and why? Oh my. In the parish we're going to read Sam Wells, Power & Passion: Six Characters in Search of Resurrection. But me personally? I have so many books piled up here with bookmarks in them, about page 19...maybe my Lenten discipline will be to FINISH the top 2 or 3 in the heap!
And because we all love bonus questions, if you were going to publish a book what would it be? Who would you want to write the jacket cover blurb expounding on your talent? The temptation is to say, "the TOTALLY ACCURATE novel that would BLOW THE LID OFF the church/this diocese/this parish"....and who would write the blurb? Come now, Rowan Williams, obviously!!!