We are so grateful for our library staff and the way they guide our community through the rhythms and seasons of the academic year. Here, Erin Quarterman, former Assistant Librarian, writes about Theological Libraries Month and some of the books, films, and TV series that have contributed to her own theological imagination.
October is designated by the American Theological Library Association as Theological Libraries Month. As a way to celebrate, we asked our faculty and staff to help us create a display of books and films that are meaningful to them theologically or that have been formative in their theological education or imagination. These items will be on display in the library through the month of October.
Below is a (by no means exhaustive) list of books and films that my own nebulous theology finds meaningful.
A theology of purpose…
The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
A Jesuit priest believes he has found the purpose for his difficult life by joining the team making first contact with an alien civilization and in meeting these new “children of God.” They meant no harm.
A theology of grief…
Rabbit Hole (Film)
After the tragic death of their young son, a couple must stumble through what to do with their grief while life goes on around them.
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
A father and his young son journey down the road, surviving against all odds and with no real hope of finding any goodness left in the world.
A theology of relationship…
Battlestar Galactica (TV Series)
This TV series provides a lens to examine the relationship of the created with the creator, free will and predestination, and religious practice and prejudice, all while telling the story of a group of humans who are searching for a new home after the destruction of their home world.
A theology of story…
The Unwritten by Mike Carey
What is the difference between what is told and what is real? Tom must discover the truth about his existence in order to save his life and the world around him.
A theology of art…
Dead Poets Society (Film)
A passionate teacher helps his students find their own voices and a love of the written word.
My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok
A young man feels torn between his orthodox religion and his artistic abilities—is it even possible to choose between the things that make up who you are?
A theology of worship…
An often despondent psychologist finds himself somewhat envying the vicious and wild way his young patient worships horses—even though the end result is gruesome.
A theology of prayer…
Unholy Sonnets by Mark Jarman
This series of poems is a take on John Donne’s Holy Sonnets, imagining God and communicating with God in strange ways.
A theology of heaven…
Community (TV Series) Season 2, Episode 7 – “Aerodynamics of Gender”
In this episode of a brilliant comedy series, two characters discover paradise in the form of a trampoline in a magical garden—the only requirement is that they must keep the garden secret from their friends.
A theology of sin…
Black Snake Moan (Film)
Can there be a freedom in bondage, or a dependence in liberty? A self-destructive young woman is taken captive by a broken-hearted blues musician to heal her addictions in this somewhat bizarre story.
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle
The Murray children must rescue their father from the clutches of IT on the planet Camatoz.
A theology of faith and doubt…
The X-Files (TV Series)
Two FBI agents investigate supernatural cases, often acting as a metaphor for belief and skepticism.
A theology of giving…
Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett
Annabelle finds a miraculous box with a never ending supply of extra yarn—but is it the box itself that is miraculous, or is it Annabelle’s giving heart?