Our family often goes on holiday during August, as we did this year as well. The last-but-one week Nancy and I took day trips to Port Dalhousie in the Niagara Peninsula and to Toronto's Art Gallery of Ontario to see the special exhibit devoted to the impressionist paintings of Mary Cassatt and Helen McNicoll. The following week all three of us travelled to the Chicago area and Michigan for extended family gatherings. One of these saw us lay my late parents' remains to rest at the cemetery in our home town. It was a time of sadness as well as renewal of relationships with relatives we hadn't seen since before the pandemic. And of course it was reminder of our own mortality: God has given us a limited time on this earth to serve him as we live in hope of the resurrection of the righteous at the return of Christ.The table of contents can be found here. I do not yet know what the timeline will be as we head towards publication, but I will let everyone know when I learn more. I am grateful to the many people who have made this new book possible, especially those who read the manuscript and offered their input. The acknowledgements include those of you who receive this newsletter and have supported my work financially. Thank you! As we head into year's end, I will be happy to add others to the list.
A new book, Discovering Dooyeweerd, has just been released by Paideia Press located in our beautiful Niagara Peninsula. It's a collection of 61 brief chapters on Herman Dooyeweerd's philosophy edited by Danie F. M. Strauss. I contributed one chapter, titled, "Political Idolatry: Assessing the Ideologies of Our Day." I have found Dooyeweerd helpful in my own field of political science and wrote my dissertation on him at Notre Dame in the 1980s.
I recommend two books that I have read in recent weeks, the first of which takes me outside my field of competence. My good friend Bill Witt, who teaches at Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge, Pennsylvania, which I visited in February, gave me a copy of a book he and colleague Joel Scandrett co-authored: Mapping Atonement: The Doctrine of Reconciliation in Christian History and Theology. It's an informative survey and analysis of the various understandings which Christians have articulated over the past two millennia to explain how Jesus' birth, life, death, and resurrection effected our salvation. I briefly review the book here. I myself am not a theologian, but I appreciate what the authors have done with this important volume.
The second book is closer to my own field: The Zhivago Affair: The Kremlin, the CIA, and the Battle Over a Forbidden Book (New York: Random House/Vintage, 2014). I read Boris Pasternak's Doctor Zhivago many years ago, and of course prior to that I had seen David Lean's 1965 cinematic version on the big screen. However, I was largely unaware of the precise circumstances surrounding its publication in 1957. This book by Peter Finn and Petra Couvée offers a riveting account of the Soviet leaders' desperate efforts to prevent publication and the Central Intelligence Agency's contrary efforts to release it to the public. Here are my own reflections on Finn and Couvée's fascinating story. Incidentally, my copy of Doctor Zhivago was given to my mother by her father on Christmas 1958.
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Yours in God's service,
David Koyzis, Global Scholar