April 26, 2013

I teach a Christian Ethics course with the subtitle, Sex, Politics & Violence. The cool thing about it is (beyond the obvious), I can pretty much do whatever I want with it. Sometimes I stress one facet over another, focusing on certain ‘areas’ more so than others. Sometimes it stays in the realm of marriage, family, sexuality and the state, other times I include race, class and gender. And sometimes I just talk about how awesome it would have been had Michael Foucault and Mother Teresa secretly had fraternal twins that were raised by Kurt Vonnegut. But, only sometimes.

I’m interested in knowing what you think are ‘must-reads’. I’ve used some pretty awesome books thus far, but I know there’s always more I’ve missed, looked over or ignored. Here’s a list of books I’m thinking about using in the Fall (not all of them, of course, I’m just beginning the ‘narrowing down’ process) as well as a few others I’ve used in the past. Yeah, they’re a bit all over the place, but, since I get bored easily, I tend to mix this course up each time I teach it. Here you go:

Margaret Farley, Just Love

Anne McClintock, Imperial Leather (I know, I know . . . way too dense for my undergrads . . . still tempted by it)

Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale

Nick Hornby, How to be Good

David McCarthy, Sex and Love in the Home

Susan Okin, Justice, Gender and the Family

Jennifer Knust, Unprotected Texts

Judith Butler, Gender Trouble (yeah, I know . . . too thick–it’s so helpful though)

Jenell Paris, The End of Sexual Identity

Stephanie Coontz, The Way We Never Were

Kathleen Sands, ed., God Forbid

Phyllis Trible, Texts of Terror

Carol Adams, The Sexual Politics of Meat

bell hooks, The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love (actually, I haven’t read this one yet, just ordered it)

Eugene Rogers, Theology and Sexuality

Thistlethwaite & Engels, ed.s, Lift Every Voice: Constructing Theology from the Underside

Erickson & Jones, ed.s, Surviving Terror: Hope and Justice in a World of Violence

Rob Bell, Sex God–aaaaaaaaaahahahaha, I’m just kidding. Just kidding. Oh man. I’m funny.

Wendell Berry, Sex, Economy, Community & Freedom

Wendell Berry, The Hidden Wound

Tripp York (hi), Living on Hope While Living in Babylon (of course, of course)

D. Stephen Long, Christian Ethics: A Very Short Introduction

Helen Prejean, Dead Man Walking

Hauerwas and Vanier, Living Gently in a Violent World

Nancy Eiseland, The Disabled God

Mark Taylor, The Executed God

JHYoder, The Politics of Jesus

Urusla Le Guin, The Dispossessed

James Cone, The Cross and the Lynching Tree (just started reading it…intense!)

Michael Ignatieff, The Needs of Strangers

Okay, those are some front-runners. Oh, and I’ll definitely use the film Breaking the Waves (it’s a must) and, maybe, the film, Priest.

So, yeah, think: sex, sexuality, race, gender, violence, politics, what have you. Fiction, non-fiction, memoirs, plays, films, documentaries (anyone seen, It’s a Girl, yet?), etc. And remember: these are undergrads (2-300 level), hence, why a number of books that I would consider using at a seminary or divinity school, I will not be using here (I’d love to use Coakley’s Powers and Submissions or Irigaray’s Sexes and Genealogies, but, you know . . . that won’t work). So, please, make suggestions with that in mind. Accessibility is definitely NOT overrated.

Have at it!! (Because, um . . . my book list was due last week).