Introducing NCR's blog series 'Take and Read: The Most Important Book I Ever Read'

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Dianne Bergant

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Michael J. Daley

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Editor's note: "Take and Read" is NCRonline's newest blog series. It will feature each week a contributor's reflections on a specific book that changed their lives. Good books, as blog co-editors Congregation of St. Agnes​ Sr. Dianne Bergant and Michael Daley say, "can inspire, affirm, challenge, change, even disturb."

"Take and Read" will be published every Monday at

"Boring." It's the death knell we fear hearing upon suggesting a book be read by others or assigning one to students.

Yet, our lives are testaments to the power of a book -- a good book. We know firsthand how they can inspire, affirm, challenge, change, even disturb, persons. This is what we seek to convey and celebrate in “Take and Read: The Most Important Book I Ever Read.”

In this ongoing series of reflections contributors are invited to engage in "biographical theology" whereby they convey theological substance through autobiographical expression. In this case it will be done through the lens of a specifically meaningful book. Hopefully, in the process, it will personally engage the reader and invite her or him to do the same.

The majority of the works will be religious and/or spiritual; yet some will come from other fields like literature, science, education, psychology, and philosophy. 

In the end, we want the reader to experience -- through the contributors' own words -- the life and vitality, the energy and enthusiasm, that books, specifically theological and spiritual ones, can have for them as well. Far from being paper weights, these books will be seen as must reads.

Take and Read launches with an inaugural reflection by Fr. Charles Curran on Bernard Häring’s The Law of Christ.

[Dianne Bergant, C.S.A. is Carroll Stuhlmueller, CP Distinguished Professor Emerita of Biblical Studies at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. She was President of the Catholic Biblical Association of America (2000-2001) and has been an active member of the Chicago Catholic/Jewish Scholars Dialogue for the past thirty years. She is currently working in the areas of biblical interpretation and biblical theology, particularly issues of peace, ecology and feminism. Michael J. Daley teaches theology at St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is the co-editor (with Bill Madges) of Vatican II: Fifty Personal Stories and (with Thomas Groome) of Reclaiming Catholicism: Treasures Old and New.]

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