THE MYTH OF PERSECUTION: HOW EARLY CHRISTIANS INVENTED A STORY OF MARTYRDOM
By Candida Moss
Published by HarperOne, $25.99
In the first few pages of The Myth of Persecution, I had the feeling that I had fallen into an argument already at full boil. A bit like switching on the recent presidential campaign three months before the vote.
WOMEN DEACONS: PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE
By Gary Macy, William T. Ditewig and Phyllis Zagano
Published by Paulist Press, $14.95
Women Deacons: Past, Present, Future is an eminently reasonable book. Plain and simple, at only 128 pages, it is a distillation of answers to the essential questions. To wit: Were there ever women deacons in the Catholic church? Is it presently possible to ordain women according to church teaching and the Second Vatican Council vision of the restored diaconate? What would the church look like with women deacons?
THE MEANING OF MARY MAGDALENE: DISCOVERING THE WOMAN AT THE HEART OF CHRISTIANITY
By Cynthia Bourgeault
Published by Shambhala Publications, $16.95
“Why France?” was the first chapter I turned to when I picked up Cynthia Bourgeault’s new treatment of Mary Magdalene. I was indulging a nearly forgotten girlhood fascination with medieval France, the land of troubadours and walled castle towns. I looked to see if my fairy-tale France was part of the story.
PASSAGES IN CAREGIVING: TURNING CHAOS INTO CONFIDENCE
By Gail Sheehy
Published by William Morrow, $27.95
Odds are you’re going to need this book someday.
It’s a grim topic: caring for a loved one until death. But Sheehy’s Passages in Caregiving is not a grim book. Instead, it is the kind of book that I want to press on friends and relatives, saying, “You must read this!” But I don’t give it away, because it is a book I still need. There are resources I can make use of right now, like an elder exercise program I plan to do with my 90-year-old mother. And there are lists I will need someday, when someone I love enters the last phase of life.