Commonplacing: New Books

One of the best parts about my job as a theology librarian is perusing new acquisitions before they reach the stacks. These four books piqued my interest as they crossed my desk this morning:

Scot McKendrick, In a Monastery Library: Preserving Codex Sinaiticus and the Greek Written Heritage. Distributed for the British Library. 48 p., 20 color plates. 8-2/3 x 9-1/2. Written 1600 years ago and discovered in a monastery on Mount Sinai in 1859, the Codex Sinaiticus is one of the earliest codices and for many scholars is the pre-eminent scriptural codex — hence its designation with an Aleph (“first”) in critical apparatuses. This recounting of its history and significance is a short and enjoyable read.

John Mark Mattox, Saint Augustine and the Theory of Just War, Continuum Studies in Philosophy (London/New York: Continuum, 2006). It surprised me to learn that the author is an active Lt. Colonel in the United States Army, only because we don’t tend to equate scholarship with the military. This work on Augustine’s just war theory, however, does not fit that preconception. It is a readable, responsible and informed treatment of Augustine’s approach and conclusions. It will be one to which I refer students for its descriptive accuracy. I wonder if the work’s hesitance to be prescriptive is in any way influenced by his active-duty status in the Army…

Although there is much in Augustine’s theory of just war that the author finds intellectually appealing and of contemporary applicability, this exposition is, nevertheless, intended to be a descriptive interpretation and analysis of his theory, and not necessarily an attempt to advocate his views in all of their particulars. (Preface, x.)

Because the author is a serving officer in the United States Army, it should be noted that the views expressed in this work are those of the author and are not necessarily those of the Department of the Army or any other United States Government entity. (from the Acknowledgements page).

Two thematically arranged collections of essays by the Lutheran scholar Robert D. Preus: Doctrine is Life: Robert D. Preus Essays on Scripture and Doctrine is Life: Essays on Justification and the Lutheran Confessions, both edited by Klemet Preus (St. Louis: Concordia, 2006). I have learned much from Preus’s Theology of Post-Reformation Lutheranism (1985) which I read for a Th.M. seminar on post-reformation developments. These particular volumes intrigue me for their discussions of the hermeneutics of the Formula of Concord (chapter 9, Essays on Scripture and a handful of chapters in Essays on Justification.

One Comment Add yours

  1. You will find some real gems in the Robert Preus essay collection.

    Cordially in Christ,
    Paul McCain
    Publisher and Executive Director of the Editorial Division
    Concordia Publishing House
    Saint Louis, Missouri

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