In the CRCDS tradition of embracing activism and modeling social justice, CRCDS President Dr. Marvin A. McMickle and several faculty have offered to share their recommendations on inspirational reading for 2018. 

Dr. McMickle recommends The Ground Has Shifted: The Future of the Black Church in Post-Racial America, by Walter E. Fluker (New York University Press). Dr. McMickle comments, “This book looks at the dangers facing the black church in America as it is slow to respond to the changes occurring in society. Fluker suggests that the black church spends too much time basking in its central role in the community in the 1950s and 1960s, while failing to notice that the black church no longer occupies that same position of importance and trust in the 21st century. The ground has shifted.” Walter Fluker was Dean of Black Church Studies at Colgate Rochester Divinity School from 1991-1997.

Barbara Bruce, adjunct faculty, writes: ” The book I love and my students love it as well is, Soul Feast: An Invitation to the Christian Spiritual Life  by Marjorie J. Thompson (Westminister John Knox Press 2014). Marjorie is a gifted author and a profound guide in spirituality. I will keep this book and read it many more times.” 

Melanie A. Duguid-May, John Price Crozer Professor of Theology: “The book I recommend is Micah White’s The End of Protest: a New Playbook for Revolution (Alfred A. Knopf Canada, 2016). White, a co-creator of Occupy Wall Street, declares the era ‘the end of protest as we’ve known it and the beginning of a fundamentally different approach.’ In a time when Western democracies no longer respond to we the people, and when the survival of the human species is at stake, White calls us to move beyond critique to a new paradigm for activism. This new paradigm will be defined by a spiritual understanding of social revolution, a species-wide metanoia–from the ancient Greek word for a turnaround–capable of releasing the tremendous forces necessary for a social revolution. Unleashing the greatest creative force–the wild human spirit–the revolution will be marked by a spiritual reorientation…guided unity, liberty and mutual aid.”

David Y. Kim, Arthur J. Gosnell Associate Professor of Social Ethics, recommends two books: Peacemakers in Action: Volume 2: Profiles in Religious Peacebuilding, edited by Joyce S. Dubensky (Cambridge University Press, 2016). Dr. Kim notes, “This book is a companion to the celebrated first volume by the same title and presents exemplary case studies of grassroots religious peace-builders and their methods.”  Also, David Little, Essays on Religion and Human Rights: Ground to Stand On (Cambridge University Press, 2016).  This book is a collection of seminal essays by David Little, former professor at Harvard, Yale, and a member of the U.S. State Department Advisory Committee on Religious Freedom Abroad from 1996 to 1998. Dr. Kim remarks, “The essays address religion and human rights, especially in the context of global politics. Both books demonstrate the constructive and positive role religious actors (can) play in global and domestic politics.”

The Rev. Dr. Pat Youngdahl, Ph.D., Pastor at Downtown United Presbyterian Church, Rochester, New York, and Adjunct Professor at CRCDS, recommendsThe Fire Next Time by James Baldwin. “This past year, I collaborated with Windsor Asamoah Wade, a leading elder in our congregation, to lead a discussion of this book at Downtown Presbyterian Church.  What a liberating conversation we had!”