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Big Bear Books

New books this month: Nihilism, ethics, foreign affairs, and Christian Heritage

January 6th, 2012 by admin

In one of our happiest Januarys yet, four brand new books are hitting the stores this month. And, for those professors out there, all of them are prime reading for your future classes.

And, here they are.

Shows about Nothing: Nihilism in Popular Culture

Thomas S. Hibbs

Probing deep into the canon of all things screen, Thomas Hibbs uncovers the disturbing truths about the contemporary media landscape. Beneath the shallow facade of evil lies the Nietzschean framework of nihilism—a nothingness that undermines notions of right and wrong while destroying any sense of meaning or purpose. Yet what makes this nihilism even more profound is Nietzsche’s warning that liberal democracies are especially susceptible to such nothingness. In his examples, Hibbs shows how the popular story lines and characters of our time often rule out any possibility of making a "right" decision. Ultimately, Shows about Nothing toes the line between something and nothing to suggest how popular culture can move beyond nihilism.

"Hibbs knows Hollywood—from its self-indulgent nihilism to its capacity of art that nourishes the soul. Shows about Nothing offers both a perceptive analysis of the artistic merits of a wide range of film and TV shows and a diagnosis of their cultural significance."
—William Peter Blatty, author of The Exorcist and, most recently, Dimiter

An Introduction to Christian Ethics: History, Movements, People

Harry J. Huebner

In this pedagogically astute introduction, Harry Huebner approaches Christian ethics as theology embodied in the lives of real people. And he maintains that matters of justice, poverty, power, and violence too often go without the appropriate Christian response—of the "Word becoming Flesh." In this comprehensive volume, Huebner skillfully addresses the ethical challenges raised by social philosophers as well as Latin American, African American, Aboriginal, feminist, and peace theologians. An Introduction to Christian Ethics spans the centuries—from Athens to contemporary America and beyond—and collects some of the most influential voices in Christian ethics on both classical theories and contemporary moral issues. Huebner's careful presentation allows each of these voices—and their distinctive cultural settings—to ring through history and across social boundaries. Huebner provides teachers and students with a solid foundation upon which to build a faithful approach to ethical thought and practice.

"By placing the great figures of Christian tradition historically and biographically, Huebner illumines both their unique particularity and the ways in which they are models for today. Readers will be rewarded with new insights into 'thinkers' who come alive as 'believers' and 'practitioners.'"
—Lisa Sowle Cahill, Monan Professor of Theology, Boston College

"Huebner's introduction presents an accurate, reliable, and comprehensive historical argument. Truly impressive in scope, it offers a recovery of Jesus in Christian ethics that is ecclesiologically engaged. I can only celebrate this huge accomplishment!"
—Glen Stassen, Lewis B. Smedes Professor of Christian Ethics, Fuller Theological Seminary

Religion and Foreign Affairs: Essential Readings

Dennis R. Hoover & Douglas M. Johnston

Dennis Hoover and Douglas Johnston here present the writings of leading scholars, revealing distinctive approaches to religion and global politics. Religion and Foreign Affairs offers readers a broad selection of essays, ranging across cultures and worldviews. From the ethics of force and peacemaking to globalization and American foreign policy, this compendium provides a solid introduction to the field of religion and foreign affairs that will stimulate discussion and encourage intelligent practice.

"An impressive, timely compilation of some of the best writings on religion and foreign affairs. Hoover and Johnston provide a critical overview and a helpful division of the articles into key issues areas, including secularization, democracy, conflict, development, human rights, globalization and peacemaking. Students and teachers of religion and global politics will find the volume immensely valuable as a unified source for grappling with the complexities of this topic."
—Monica Duffy Toft, Associate Professor of Public Policy and Director, Initiative on Religion in International Affairs, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Exploring Christian Heritage: A Reader in History and Theology 

C. Douglas Weaver, Rady Roldán-Figueroa & Brandon Frick

Exploring Christian Heritage provides students and teachers with a rich and substantial introduction to the texts that have shaped the Christian faith. Including significant works penned by Augustine, Aquinas, Martin Luther, John Wesley, John Calvin, and Karl Barth, among others, this collection also highlights essential movements—from the second to the twentieth centuries—often glossed over in primary sources readers. From Pentecostalism and the Baptists to feminism and religious liberty movements, Exploring Christian Heritage succinctly integrates the most influential voices throughout Christian history and theology into one invaluable and accessible resource.

"Exploring Christian Heritage meets a vital need for those who teach and study church history and theology. I highly recommend this book."
—W. Glenn Jonas, Charles B. Howard Professor of Religion and Chair of the Department of Religion, Campbell University

"The long and varied history of the church presents a dilemma for professors and students alike; the former wish to display the riches of the Christian tradition while the latter want to get to the point. Exploring Christian Heritage ably accomplishes both tasks by presenting the key ideas in primary documents from a broad representation of leading thinkers. Outside of the classroom, this book provides pastors with a wealth of sermon illustrations and laypersons with a greater sense of belonging to the larger family of God."
—Anthony Chute, Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Church History, California Baptist University, Riverside, California


Exploring Christian Heritage now available

December 7th, 2011 by admin

Exploring Christian Heritage: A Reader in History and Theology
Edited by C. Douglas Weaver, Rady Roldán-Figueroa, and Brandon Frick

"The long and varied history of the church presents a dilemma for professors and students alike; the former wish to display the riches of the Christian tradition while the latter want to get to the point. Exploring Christian Heritage ably accomplishes both tasks by presenting the key ideas in primary documents from a broad representation of leading thinkers. Outside of the classroom, this book provides pastors with a wealth of sermon illustrations and laypersons with a greater sense of belonging to the larger family of God."

—Anthony Chute, Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Church History, California Baptist University, Riverside, California

"The greatest strength of this excellent resource is the diversity of its sources. Not only are the standards included, but Exploring Christian Heritage provides a great variety of lesser known but necessary voices from the margin. The more voices, the better the history."

—Loyd Allen, McAfee School of Theology, Mercer University

"Exploring Christian Heritage meets a vital need for those who teach and study church history and theology. I highly recommend this book."

—W. Glenn Jonas, Charles B. Howard Professor of Religion and Chair of the Department of Religion, Campbell University

Exploring Christian Heritage provides students and teachers with a rich and substantial introduction to the texts that have shaped the Christian faith. Including significant works penned by Augustine, Aquinas, Martin Luther, John Wesley, John Calvin, and Karl Barth, among others, this collection also highlights essential movements—from the second to the twentieth centuries—often glossed over in primary sources readers. From Pentecostalism and the Baptists to feminism and religious liberty movements, Exploring Christian Heritage succinctly integrates the most influential voices throughout Christian history and theology into one invaluable and accessible resource.

Want to use Exploring Christian Heritage in your Christian heritage, history, or theology classes? Click here for instructions on requesting a copy for examination.

Monsters in America is now available

October 14th, 2011 by admin

The wait is finally over! This weekend, a haunting has come to your bookstore. Monsters in America: Our Historical Obsession with the Hideous and the Haunting by W. Scott Poole is now available in time for a fun Halloween read. 

Beginning next week, Scott will also be traveling to bookstores and other awesome venues, including the Music Box Theatre in Chicago, signing books and talking about monsters. Track his progress and find out when he'll be visiting a city near you at monstersinamerica.com

Do you have a book club or group that would like to read Monsters in America? Check out our group and classroom guides at monstersinamerica.com as well, and find out how you can schedule Scott to speak with your group. 

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