The ones I finally chose are authors who have not only written great books, but these particular books have agendas that resonate with me deeply. These are books and authors whose agendas I have, at least in some part, adopted as my own in life ... often before I had read the author and met a kindred soul.
- Vladimir Lossky (Eastern Orthodox): The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church. For not apologizing for loving beauty and mystery, for standing up for their place in serious theology in light of God's holiness.
- Eusebius the Historian (pre-Chalcedonian orthodox/catholic): The History of the Church. I "get" this author more than many other authors, and this book more than any other non-fiction book I have ever read. I can see his agendas running through his pages, through every word and organizational structure and repeated format in his works. A lot of my early patristics studies (pre-Eusebius era) is an effort to carry through with his monumental work that will never be quite finished.
- A.J. Heschel (Jewish): The Sabbath. For seeing the point of God's Law as being less about Obeying Rules and more about dancing under the myrtles.
- Lao Tzu (would he classify himself as a Taoist? I wonder): Tao Te Ching. Yes, I'm aware of the authorship disputes on the Tao Te Ching; don't be a grinch. For pursuing the ancient path as humility, gentleness, and simplicity.
- Ambrose Bierce (atheist): The Devil's Dictionary. For skewering pretentiousness and holding a mirror up to the parts of ourselves we'd rather not see -- but it would be better for us if we did see. One of the phrases that is always in the back of my mind is from the Devil's Dictionary:
1. One who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbor.
2. One who follows the teachings of Christ insofar as they are not inconsistent with a life of sin.
Anyone else up for a meme ("challenge")? I'd be glad to hear from you all; there are a couple of people I'm not tagging only because I doubt you do memes. If you want to participate, please do. The people I consider most likely to participate would be: Mark, Anastasia, Martin, Howard, and Proclaiming Softly.
Thank you, Dr. P. That was fun. :)