Books by Faculty

Published during the 2017–18 academic year


Eco-Alchemy Anthroposophy and the History and Future of Environmentalism by Dan McKananEco-Alchemy: Anthroposophy and the History and Future of Environmentalism

Dan McKanan, Ralph Waldo Emerson Unitarian Universalist Association Senior Lecturer in Divinity

For nearly a century, the worldwide anthroposophical movement has been a catalyst for environmental activism, helping to bring to life many modern ecological practices such as organic farming, community-supported agriculture, and green banking. Yet the spiritual practice of anthroposophy remains unknown to most environmentalists. A historical and ethnographic study of the environmental movement, Eco-Alchemy uncovers for the first time the profound influences of anthroposophy and its founder, Rudolf Steiner, whose holistic worldview, rooted in esoteric spirituality, inspired the movement. Dan McKanan shows that environmentalism is itself a complex ecosystem and that it would not be as diverse or as transformative without the contributions of anthroposophy.

Published during the 2016–17 academic year


Congress of Wo/Men: Religion, Gender, and Kyriarchal Power by Elisabeth Schüssler FiorenzaCongress of Wo/Men: Religion, Gender, and Kyriarchal Power

Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, Krister Stendahl Professor of Divinity

Leading feminist scholar Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza challenges the tendency in feminist theory to leave behind religion—a space of struggle, resistance, and social transformation— as a place for feminist politics. She also confronts the tendency of religious feminists to view women as if they are all the same, or to limit them to complementary roles with men. Presenting an alternative vision for global justice within the landscape of neoliberal kyriarchy, Schüssler Fiorenza calls upon religious and nonreligious feminists to engage in transformation through struggle, friendship, and community.

A Documentary History of Unitarian Universalism, Volumes 1 and 2 by Dan McKananA Documentary History of Unitarian Universalism, Vols. 1 & 2

Dan McKanan, Ralph Waldo Emerson Unitarian Universalist Association Senior Lecturer in Divinity

A panel of top scholars presents the first comprehensive collection of primary sources from Unitarian Universalist history. The first volume covers the early histories of Unitarianism and Universalism, from the third century up to 1899. This volume contains more than a hundred distinct documents, with scholarly introductions by leading experts in Unitarian Universalist history. The selections include sermons, theologies, denominational statements, hymns, autobiographies, and manifestos, with special attention to class, cultural, gender, and sexual diversity. The second volume covers the history of Unitarianism, Universalism, and Unitarian Universalism from 1900 to the present, including a wealth of sources from the first 55 years of the Unitarian Universalist Association. From Arius and Origen to Jack Mendelsohn and Rebecca Parker, this two-volume anthology features leaders, thinkers, and ordinary participants in the ever-changing tradition of liberal religion.

The Future of Hindu-Christian Studies: A Theological Inquiry by Francis X. ClooneyThe Future of Hindu-Christian Studies: A Theological Inquiry

Francis X. Clooney, S.J., Parkman Professor of Divinity, Professor of Comparative Theology

Based on the Westcott-Teape Lectures Clooney delivered in India and at the University of Cambridge, this book explores the possibilities and problems attendant upon the field of Hindu- Christian studies, the reasons for occasional flourishing and decline in such studies, and the fragile conditions under which the field can flourish in the twenty-first century. The chapters examine key instances of Christian-Hindu learning, highlighting the Jesuit engagement with Hinduism, the modern Hindu reception of Western thought, and certain advances in the study of religion that enhance intellectual cooperation.

Ifá Divination, Knowledge, Power, and Performance by Jacob K. OluponaIfá Divination, Knowledge, Power, and Performance (African Expressive Cultures)

Jacob K. Olupona, Professor of African Religious Traditions, with a joint appointment as Professor of African and African American Studies in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences

This landmark volume compiled by Jacob K. Olupona and Rowland O. Abiodun brings readers into the diverse world of Ifá—its discourse, ways of thinking, and artistic expression as manifested throughout the Afro-Atlantic. Firmly rooting Ifá within African religious traditions, the essays consider Ifá and Ifá divination from the perspectives of philosophy, performance studies, and cultural studies. They also examine the sacred context, verbal art, and interpretation of Ifá texts and philosophy. With essays from the most respected scholars in the field, the book makes a substantial contribution toward understanding Ifá and its role in contemporary Yoruba and diaspora cultures.

The Market as God by Harvey CoxThe Market as God

Harvey Cox, Hollis Research Professor of Divinity

Drawing on biblical sources, economists and financial experts, prehistoric religions, Greek mythology, historical patterns, and the work of natural and social scientists, Cox points to many parallels between the development of Christianity and the market economy. At various times in history, both have garnered enormous wealth and displayed pompous behavior. Both have experienced the corruption of power. However, what the religious have learned over the millennia, sometimes at great cost, still eludes “The Market” faithful: humility.

Secularization and Religious Innovation In The North Atlantic World by David N. HemptonSecularization and Religious Innovation In The North Atlantic World

David N. Hempton (co-editor with Hugh McLeod), Dean of the Faculty of Divinity, Alonzo L. McDonald Family Professor of Evangelical Theological Studies, John Lord O’Brian Professor of Divinity

This book provides a systematic comparison between the religious histories of the United States and Western European countries from the eighteenth to the late twentieth century, noting parallels as well as divergences, examining their causes and especially highlighting change over time. This is achieved by a series of themes which seem especially relevant to this agenda, and in each case the theme is considered by the two scholars.