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Friends Journal Book Reviews, October 2017

This month’s reviews include “Lilli de Jong” by Janet Benton, “A Leisurely Introduction to How a Bible-believing Christian Can Accept Gay Marriage in the Church” by Becky Ankeny, and “Transfigurations—Transgressing Gender in the Bible” by Peterson Toscano.

 

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lilli-de-jong

Lilli de Jong

By Janet Benton. Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, 2017. 335 pages. $26.95/hardcover; $9.99/eBook. Lilli de Jong, a historical work of fiction set in late nineteenth-century Philadelphia, is the debut novel of Janet Benton. Lilli is a young Quaker and a teacher at a Friends school who loses her mother and turns to a young man in her […]

Danielle Hoffman is a former intern and assistant editor, and currently an editorial volunteer, at Friends Journal.


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leisurly

A Leisurely Introduction to How a Bible-believing Christian Can Accept Gay Marriage in the Church

By Becky Ankeny. Meetinghouse, 2017. 42 pages. $3/pamphlet; free eBook. Evangelical Friends in Northwest Yearly Meeting have for some time experienced schismatic turmoil over the issue of same-sex marriage—or, as Becky Ankeny puts it, “full inclusion of LGBTQ persons in the life of the church.” Although it goes unmentioned in A Leisurely Introduction, it is […]

Mitchell Santine Gould is the leading authority on Walt Whitman’s Quakerism, and runs the website leavesofgrass.org. His analysis of transcendentalism as the secularization of Quakerism has appeared in Quaker History and in Quaker Theology. He is an attender at Multnomah Meeting in Portland, Ore.


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Transfigurations

Transfigurations—Transgressing Gender in the Bible

Written and performed by Peterson Toscano; directed by Samuel Neff. Barclay Press, 2017. 103 minutes. $20/DVD; $14.99/download; $2.99/online rental. I first saw Peterson Toscano’s play, Transfigurations—Transgressing Gender in the Bible, shortly after it premiered in late 2007. A character revelation in the last scene brought me to tears at that show—and half a dozen times […]

Kody Gabriel Hersh is a queer, trans, young adult, Christian, Quaker, youth worker, writer, and activist. They are a member of Miami (Fla.) Meeting (Southeastern Yearly Meeting), currently living in Philadelphia, Pa.


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PHp_445

Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions? A Quaker Zionist Rethinks Palestinian Rights

By Steve Chase. Pendle Hill Pamphlets (number 445), 2017. 30 pages. $7/pamphlet. Which side are you on? In the Israel–Palestine struggle, this is often the first, main, and only question. A fierce battle for loyalties is being waged and emotions run high. For those who would stand with the oppressed, this choice of sides can […]

Pamela Haines is a member of Central Philadelphia (Pa.) Meeting.


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book-of-joy

The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World

By His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu with Douglas Abrams. Avery, 2016. 368 pages. $26/hardcover; $13.99/eBook. I know I am not alone among f/Friends in my desire to cultivate more joy in my own life and in the lives of those around me. In The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a […]

Lauren Brownlee is a member of Bethesda (Md.) Meeting and the DC Peace Team. She also serves on Baltimore Yearly Meeting’s Peace and Social Concerns Committee.


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iwantyoutobe

I Want You to Be: On the God of Love

By Tomáš Halík, translated by Gerald Turner. University of Notre Dame Press, 2016. 189 pages. $25/hardcover; $11.99/eBook. Tomáš Halík, a psychoanalyst and “a hidden priest” of the Roman Catholic Church during the Communist years in Czechoslovakia, is currently a professor of sociology at the Czech Republic’s premier Charles University. In reading this fine book, I […]

Tom Paxson is a member of Kendal Meeting in Kennett Square, Pa. Kendal Meeting is a member of Western Quarterly Meeting of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting.


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indivspiritual

Individual Spiritual Discernment: Receiving, Testing and Implementing Leadings from a Higher Power

By Jerry Knutson. Pendle Hill Pamphlets (number 443), 2017. 31 pages. $7/pamphlet. Pendle Hill pamphlets are by nature short, and this pamphlet neatly divides up an important topic into headings that touch on important questions that Quakers ask when we feel led. Is it from ourselves, or from God? Will it require us to do […]

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9781455562596

A Gathering in Hope

By Philip Gulley. Center Street, 2016. 258 pages. $24/hardcover; $14.99/paperback; $9.99/eBook. I had the pleasure of hearing Phil Gulley offer a plenary talk at my yearly meeting’s annual session a few years ago. And yes, he included stories! This prolific Quaker pastor and storyteller has been at work again, peopling his latest novel with the […]

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frackopoly_final

Frackopoly: The Battle for the Future of Energy and the Environment

By Wenonah Hauter. The New Press, 2016. 276 pages. $27.95/hardcover. Food & Water Watch is a national organization with state chapters; as such, it is nimble enough to organize on local issues. In this book, founder and executive director Hauter discusses fracking, which she says “looms as the environmental issue of our times,” state by […]

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faithful-families

Faithful Families: Creating Sacred Moments at Home

By Traci Smith. Chalice Press, 2017. 211 pages. $19.99/paperback or eBook. It’s not uncommon to be aware of the sacredness of the ordinary, such as daily life with children. As we know, children experience openings and have powerful spiritual experiences at times. Faithful Families, a new and expanded version of the 2014 title Seamless Faith, […]

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