It is reading week. What do professors do during reading week? Read, of course! Check out my blog from a few years ago for my favorite authors. Here is a book review of a book I read last year.
Book review of a new Canadian author: Silas Krabbe, A Beautiful Bricolage [Wipf & Stock, 2016]
I got a free book in exchange for a review so here it is wipf & stock eat your heart out and add your own punctuation because i write this way not because i am trying to be postmodern well maybe partly but simply because i am lazy and it’s late at night so a beautiful bricolage is a book by an alumnus of where i teach columbia bible college silas krabbe who was one of those handful of exceptionally brilliant minds i have had the privilege of having in my classes although he should have named my colleague in his acknowledgements because she too is brilliant and i suspect that this book is an expansion of some of his graduate work because it reads like it unfortunately because the subject matter—an introduction to theopoetics if you don’t know what that is turn to page 12 where it says that it is the belief that how we articulate our experiences of the divine can alter our experiences of the divine which he stole from the best introduction to theopoetics which is keefe-perry’s way to water—is one that more people need to know about like when he says that no one in his congregation will ever read the book why not write it for them and all the other people who could be transformed by this subject rather than just writing for all the insiders who already understand your language this is my critique of the book and my compliment is that it is a good summary of all the major speakers writers poets prophets etc of the theopoetics movement my favorite of those is ruben alves whom i had not read before whose poetry was at the beginning of every chapter and i was also glad that at the beginning and the end it mentioned that theopoetics and theopoisis are basically the same thing because i do not think this distinction is meaningful my favorite chapter is aims and not answers perhaps because the points are numbered so that a modernist like me can understand and follow because theopoetics is nicely explained in 8 points 1 it attempts to hold things together 2 it plays with and extends exuberance 3 it offers space or gellasenheit my favorite word from anabaptist class maybe he first heard it there although he doesn’t give me credit 4 it retains transcendence 5 it is about embodiment 6 it protects the individual 7 it takes responsibility for human agency 8 it resists idolatry which is the best thing about theopoetics and i also like his sense of humor and the river imagery although we could have done without the river suddenly becoming a baseball game in the second last chapter what’s with that i was convinced before reading the book but i agree with his conclusion when he says he would be thrilled if the reader is beginning to think that theopoetics with its beauty its play and its daring movement into the future is a relevant and viable way for engaging with and incorporating the divine into the questions of our time but i’d like to add that we need a poet who the regular person on the street can understand not another academic book for the elites to banter about so the author should be challenged to take this up as his next project