The Taser's Edge

The Return of Tuesday Reading Roundup

Tuesday Reading Roundup used to be a beloved staple, then it screwed with my tags because things returned too often, and then it disappeared.  But in the interest of blogging more often in the New Year, it makes sense to have a returning feature or two.  This time round, I want to make sure that I’m only naming books which I’m actively reading (although the “Current and Recent Readings” tab will help you keep track of books I’m halfway through).

Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt
by Anne Rice (Knopf, 2005)

Anne Rice famously wrote lots of vampire novels, then converted (returned?) to Christianity, then left organized religion again.  But beginning in that return to Christianity, she started a series of novels on Jesus Christ, and this is the first of them (with a second published and a third apparently still in the works).

Thus far, it’s a fascinating take.  Rice pulls on all the sources, from the apocryphal Gospels to the accepted Gospels to historical Jesus stuff.  No, it’s not concerned with a historically orthodox Christ, but it thus far has a lot going for it in terms of recreating a time and a place and a man who is indeed both human and God.

Also, I’m surprised to say (perhaps unfairly, as I’ve never read anything about Lestat) that it’s really well written thus far.



by John Cassian (this translation)

John Cassian is considered a Church Father both in Eastern and Western Christianity, although he was accused of being a semi-Pelagianist (as West will continually accuse East).  In Conferences, he relates dialogues with various Desert Fathers, and it’s pretty fantastic.  I would offer a quote, but I don’t have one at hand.







Radical Optimism: Practical Spirituality in an Uncertain World
by Beatrice Bruteau (Sentient, 2002)

Froofy title with froofy cover art indeed.  The cover to the left is from a different edition.  This book was recommended to me by my spiritual director after I talked to her about a recent (2 years+) trend in the work of the Holy Spirit in me, of God and I working together to cultivate joy.

The title becomes less froofy when you realize that Bruteau means both Radical and Optimism in their literal senses.  Radical, like radish, means rooted.  Optimism has to do with our vision.  So, we are rooted in the ground of reality (‘in Him we live and move and have our being‘), and when we have true sight, that is what we see.

Bruteau approaches this from her own background which is an integration of the sciences, mathematics, philosophy, and Eastern and Western religions.

So far, so good, but, yes, it still might turn out to be quite froofy.

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