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Paul Sparks, Tim Soerens, and Dwight J. Friesen (InterVarsity Press)

“The authors explore how the limitations of staying rooted in a particular place actually provide opportunities for transformation and mission. This is counterintuitive for churches that have bought into the mobile and transient values of our culture.” —David Swanson, pastor, New Community Covenant Church (Chicago)

Fiction

Lila

Marilynne Robinson (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

“Robinson slowly unfolds the story of Lila, a woman not quite defeated by a brutal, hardscrabble life, who discovers hope and security as the wife of an elderly pastor. Together, they wrestle with questions of the meaning of existence and the ultimate fate of humanity. Readers who loved Robinson’s earlier novel, Gilead, will discover the same breathtaking writing, beautifully painted scenes, and strong working knowledge of theology.” —Cindy Crosby, author of By Willoway Brook

Award of Merit

The Invention of Wings

Sue Monk Kidd (Viking Adult)

“Based on the life of abolitionist Sarah Grimke and a fictional slave girl, Handful, the novel skillfully joins fiction and history, African American resilience and Southern white hypocrisy, Charlestonian exuberance and Quaker idealism. Kidd reminds us that the foundation of social injustice is ordinary human selfishness.” —Betty Smartt Carter, author of Home Is Always the Place You Just Left

History/Biography

Strange Glory: A Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Charles Marsh (Knopf)

Strange Glory is the best book in English on Bonhoeffer. It is honest about his failings (both personal and public) and forthright about his distance from modern readers. Still, Marsh’s sensitive portrayal of a clearly flawed saint doing great things for others in the name of Jesus Christ yields a rare combination of delight and moral urgency.” —Douglas Sweeney, professor of church history, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

Award of Merit

The Great and Holy War: How World War I Became a Religious Crusade

Philip Jenkins (HarperOne)

“This sweeping yet carefully researched book makes sense of a global conflict too often recalled as some intrigue about empires that we Yanks eventually barreled into and won. Jenkins persuasively argues that the Great War is better understood as a holy war in which several crusading nations competed to advance their millennial goals. The ensuing collision, and its unfathomable destruction, redrew the global map and reshaped all the major faiths involved.” —Elesha Coffman, professor of church history, University of Dubuque Theological Seminary

Missions/Global Affairs

The Rebirth of Latin American Christianity

Todd Hartch (Oxford University Press)

“This is essential background reading for understanding the history of the church in Latin America today—Catholic, Protestant, and Pentecostal. Hartch demonstrates a particular sensitivity to translation: how indigenous culture, theology, the gospel, and church life relate.” —Mark Gornik, director of City Seminary of New York, author of Word Made Global

Award of Merit

China, Christianity, and the Question of Culture

Yang Huilin (Baylor University Press)

“Huilin puts theology, missiology, and church history in conversation with the social sciences to clear away many of the common mischaracterizations surrounding the historical and contemporary role of the church in China.” —Judd Birdsall, fellow, Center on Faith & International Affairs

May
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