Friday, December 29, 2017

climate change reading list: extreme weather

Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851)

Brown, Don. Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans. 2015.

Conrad, Joseph. Typhoon and Other Stories. 1902. 

Emanuel, Kerry A. Divine Wind: The History and Science of Hurricanes. 2005.

Kostigen, Thomas. Extreme Weather: Surviving Tornadoes, Sandstorms, Hailstorms, Blizzards, Hurricanes, and More! 2014.

London, Jack. "Typhoon off the Coast of Japan." San Francisco Call. 1893.

Miles, Kathryn. Superstorm: Nine Days Inside Hurricane Sandy. 2014.

Neufeld, Josh. A.D. New Orleans After the Deluge. 2010.

Parker, Bruce B. The Power of the Sea: Tsunamis, Storm Surges, Rogue Waves, and Our Quest to Predict Disasters. 2010.

Streever, Bill. And Soon I Heard A Roaring Wind: A Natural History of Moving Air. 2016.

Winchester, Simon. When the Sky Breaks: Hurricanes, Tornadoes, and the Worst Weather in the World. 2017.

Extreme Events. (Joseph Conrad) (Jack London) (J.M.W. Turner)

Supplementary reading list for Climate-Change Forum IV – Credibility, Urgency and Caution: a continuation of “A Religious Response to Climate Change” - Saint Michael and All Angels Church, Tucson Arizona, Saturday 13 January 2018.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Holy Land reading list


The Bible

Jerome Murphy-O’Connor, The Holy Land.  An Oxford Archaeological Guide from Earliest Times to 1700. 5th ed.  (Oxford University Press, 2008).

Suad Amairy - Sharon and My Mother-in-law: Ramallah Diaries (New York: Pantheon Books, 2005)

Hanan Ashrawi, This Side of Peace: A Personal Account (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1995)

Sari Nusseibeh, Once Upon A Country: A Palestinian Life (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007)

Simon Sebag MontefioreJerusalem: The Biography (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2011).

Ari Shavit, My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel (New York: Spiegel & Grau, 2013).

Raja Shehadeh - Palestinian Walks: Forays into a Vanishing Landscape (New York: Scribner, 2008)

Avi Shlaim - The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World (New York: W. W. Norton, 2001)

Sandy Tolan, The Lemon Tree: An Arab, A Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East (Bloomsbury, 2006).

Lawrence Wright, Thirteen Days in September: Carter, Begin, and Sadat at Camp David (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2014).


Translations of the Quran:

The Koran Interpreted  by A. J. Arberry 

Readings in the Quran by Kenneth Cragg


Arthur Green, Judaism’s Ten Best Ideas: A Brief Guide for Seekers (Woodstock VT: Jewish Lights, 2014)


Ibtisam Barakat, Tasting the Sky: A Palestinian Childhood (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007)

Amos Oz, A Tale of Love and Darkness (London: Vintage, 2005).

Donald Nicholl, The Testing of Hearts: A Pilgrim’s Journal (London: Lamp Press, 1989).


Laurie R. King, O Jerusalem (New York: Bantam, 1999)


Karen Armstrong, Jerusalem: One City, Three Faiths (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1996).

Martin Van Creveld, The Land of Blood and Honey: The Rise of Modern Israel (New York: Thomas Dunne/St. Martin’s Press, 2010).

Historical perspectives

Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East by Scott Anderson 

A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East by David Fromkin 

Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph by T. E. Lawrence

Josephus, The Jewish War (Penguin)

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The radioman's prayer

Lord of the Universe

Please, increase your transmission strength
here I
can’t hear, don’t know
if once again you’ve stuck a metal flower in the antenna’s lapel.
You’re so gentle. Why
are you so soft, why are you always

Can you hear me clearly, over.
Roger, you too sound cut off, you
sound amputated, you

Are in a valley, deployed three-sixty. Hills
and a different Sea of Galilee. Please
apprise me of your transmission strength, with radar
we can’t see your face, why
are you not on treads, why
are you not fighting, should we
send you a mechanized patrol, I
am full of faith
that it won’t arrive and won’t come back...

The radioman’s prayer by Be'eri Hazak, Israeli reservist who died along the Suez Canal in 1973. From Pumpkinflowers: A Soldier’s Story, by Matti Friedman (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2016)  p. 130-131, a memoir and investigative study of the Lebanon security zone held by Israel until 2000.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Longest Night

Last night Susan Karant-Nunn, professor emeritus at the University of Arizona, remarked to me that the one word that encapsulates Luther’s theology for her is Trost: Consolation, or Comfort.

Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.
Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.
The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

Isaiah 40:1-3

Luther was passionately concerned with bringing consolation to a people devoid of it, a people frightened into compliance by a misguided attempt at an economy of grace that had devolved, for him as for the people of his pastoral concern, into a buy-and-sell of indulgences and blessings. So he advocated with all the sternness and anger at his disposal, for disposal of that very system, and an assurance, so evident in his Christmas sermons, of the love of God for humankind, embodied in a helpless baby…

(See Martin Luther’s Christmas Book, edited by Roland Bainton, 1950)

From the Camaldolese Hermits of America based at New Camaldoli Hermitage I received this gift at Hallowe’en:

Faithful hearts should be allowed to grieve for their loved ones,
But with a grief than can be healed.
Let them shed their tears that can be wiped away,
Tears that can quickly be checked by the joy of faith.

From a Sermon by St. Augustine.