Celebrating the First American Saint Patrick’s Day

According to an article at the Christianity.com website, the first American celebration of St. Patrick’s Day was held in 1737 and was sponsored by the Charitable Irish Society of Boston. As you know, there have been a great many celebrations ever since – from the famous parades in New York City and Boston, to the ‘wearin o’ the green’ most every where else.

I am finding that readers are locating this older post this weekend via Google so thought I would make a more general re-post for those who might like a reminder of what the day is about, and am revisiting my post on Saint Patrick from 2011 … hoping there are potentially enough new readers that you might not mind. Have a marvelous – and perhaps more mindful celebration!

I love sharing the story of St. Patrick and his role in the history of Ireland. We celebrate on March 17th as this is the anniversary of his death (and a reminder of his life).

Patrick was born near Dumbarton in Scotland in 387 to a wealthy Roman family but was kidnapped by Irish marauders when he was 16 and taken to Ireland as a slave. He became a shepherd and tended his master’s flocks for six years.

According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, “He relates in his “Confessio” that during his captivity while tending the flocks he prayed many times in the day: “the love of God”, he added,

“and His fear increased in me more and more, and the faith grew in me, and the spirit was roused, so that, in a single day, I have said as many as a hundred prayers, and in the night nearly the same, so that whilst in the woods and on the mountain, even before the dawn, I was roused to prayer and felt no hurt from it, whether there was snow or ice or rain; nor was there any slothfulness in me, such as I see now, because the spirit was then fervent within me.”

After the six years, Patrick felt prompted by an angel to escape and traveled 200 miles on foot to join a ship that was returning to his homeland. He quickly rejoined his friends but found that his heart had drawn close to God and his desire was to return to Ireland to preach Christianity and free people from the hold that the Druids had on the culture.

As you might imagine, there are many stories about Patrick’s life. You may have even heard one or two. Some scholars believe that there are actually two Patrick’s (Patrick and Palladius, who was sent to Ireland by Pope Celestine I in 431 to be the first bishop in Ireland) whose stories overlap. I don’t know. What I do know of Patrick is that he was faithful, even in adversity as a slave. He prayed for the people of Ireland and his heart was changed so that he returned to share the good news of Christ.
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New Books – March 2014

Apologies for a lack of recent posts …here are some recent titles added to our collections.

BF636.7.C76 H39165
Hays, Pamela A.
문화적 다양성과 소통하기 : 문화 상담의 이해
Translation of:
Addressing Cultural Complexities in Practice
American Psychological Association, 2008.

leoBR65.L42 E54.
Leo I, Pope, -461.
Leo the Great.
Routledge, 2009

tertullianBR65.T7 D86
Dunn, Geoffrey D., 1962-
Routledge, 2004

just usBR115.J8 P69.
Powe, F. Douglas.
Just Us or Justice : Moving Toward a Pan-Methodist Theology
Abingdon Press, 2009
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Reading Bookshelf

myidealbookshelf1_grandeI’m currently enjoying browsing through the recent My Ideal Bookshelf edited by Thessaly La Force and illustrated by Jane Mount  (available in Link+ for APU readers). The book provides 100 short essays from a wide variety of prominent people in popular culture on the books they are reading and why and each piece is illustrated with the colorful spines of the books.

I’m always curious about what others are reading. With that in mind, several years ago I proposed to our APU Life editor Maureen Taylor, the idea of asking APU faculty what they are reading and recommending (their Top 5 books) – and a brief list now appears in each issue.

I have permission to  reprint  these published lists, so here is the first one, from Dr. Don Thorsen, Professor of Theology and Chair, Department of Theology and Ethics, Graduate School of Theology (Don’s list appeared in the Summer 2013 issue and his photo is below):

don thorsen1.  Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis (HarperOne, 1943, 2012)*
2. Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster (HarperSanFrancisco, 1988)
3.  Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger by Ron Sider (Thomas Nelson, 1978, 2005)
4.  Strength to Love by Martin Luther King, Jr. (Fortress Press, 1963, 2010)
5. The Politics of Jesus by John Howard Yoder (Eerdmans, 1994)

*I’m sorry to say that all three of our copies are missing – but another is on order and on the way…

I’m always interested in hearing about book recommendations…what are some of your favorites?

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New Books – Theology

harveyBT10 .T55 2010.
The theology of Colin Gunton
edited by Lincoln Harvey.
T & T Clark, c2010.

delatorreBT21.3 .B49 2011.
Beyond the pale : reading theology from the margins
edited by Miguel A. De La Torre and Stacey M. Floyd-Thomas.
Westminster John Knox Press, c2011.

nelsonBT28 .T443 2013.
Theologians in their own words
Derek R. Nelson, Joshua M. Moritz, and Ted Peters, editors.
Minneapolis : Fortress Press, c2013.

grenzBT75.2 .G74 2000.
Grenz, Stanley J.
Theology for the community of God
Grand Rapids, Mich. : W.B. Eerdmans, 2000.

BT102 .F39 1985.
Ferguson, Sinclair B.
A heart for God
Colorado Springs, Colo. : NavPress, c1985.

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Remembering C.S. Lewis

C.s.lewis3While much of the U.S. is commemorating the death of John F. Kennedy, which happened 50 years ago today, the same date is also the death of noted Christian writer C.S. Lewis.

Born November 29, 1898, Clive Staples Lewis wrote many influential books including Mere Christianity, The Narnia stories (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe), his space trilogy (Out of the Silent Planet, et al), A Grief Observed…I could go on — Lewis wrote 30 books over his career. Lewis’s writings have been influential in my life, particularly Mere Christianity, which I have re-read annually for nearly 30 years.

The University Libraries has both circulating collections and many special collections items related to CS Lewis. The Hugh and Hazel Darling Library currently has a special exhibit on Lewis in the rotunda, with first editions of a number of his books.

Here are a few favorite quotations from his books:

“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”

“Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.”

“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.” Mere Christianity

Photograph of CS Lewis from en.wikipedia.org
Posted in Books, Quotes, This Week in Church History | 1 Comment

New Resources in the ATLAS database


The ATLA Religion database with ATLA Serials (ATLAS) continues to be expanded with new titles. Recent additions include:

  • Andover Review
  • Biblica (Pontificum Institutum Biblicum)
  • Conversations with the Biblical World
  • Journal of Biblical and Pneumatological Research
  • Orientalia (Pontificum Institutum Biblicum)
  • Pacific World (Institute of Buddhist Studies)
  • Proceedings (Eastern Great Lakes Biblical Society and the Midwest Region of the Society of Biblical Literature).

The ATLAS database has also recently added German titles, including:

  • Millenium Yearbook
  • Zeitschrift für Antikes Christentum (Journal of Ancient Christianity)
  • Der Islam
  • International Journal of Practical Theology (articles appear in English and German)
  • Neue Zeitschrift für systematische Theologie und Religionsphilosophie
  • Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft und die Kunde älterenKirche
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Dr. Richard Swinburne on campus this week

This week, Dr. Richard Swinburne visits our
campus as the keynote lecturer for the Sophiarichard_swinburne
Forum (sponsored by the Department of Philosophy).

He will be speaking in Munson Chapel on November 14th and 15th at 7pm. On Thursday evening he will speak “On God and Christian Morality” and on Friday evening “Why a Christian Life is the Best Possible Life.”

You’ll find a variety of articles on Dr. Swinburne’s philosophical contributions in the ATLAS,  Philosophers Index, and Proquest databases. His writing on his faith appears in the book Philosophers Who Believe: the Spiritual Journeys of 11 Leading Thinkers edited by Kelly James Clark. Books written by Dr. Swinburne can be located in the APU catalog here.

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For Veteran’s Day – Resources on the Military and Christianity


I was recently asked by our Office of Military and Veteran’s Resources to compile a list of some ways to search our libraries for resources related to the military and Christian faith. Wondering if this might be helpful for others, so as we honor those who have served and are serving, here are a few suggestions:


Subject headings which might be helpful:

Church Work with Military Personnel
Just War doctrine
Peace – Religious Aspects — Christianity
United States – Military Policy – Religious Aspects
War – Moral and Ethical Aspects
War – Religious Aspects – Christianity

Journal Searches:

ATLA, ERIC, Christian Periodical Index, Academic Search Premiere


bell3Bell, Daniel M, Jr.  Just War as Christian Discipleship: Recentering the Tradition in the Church rather than the State. Grand Rapids: Brazos Press, 2009.

brownBrown, Davis. The Sword, the Cross, and the Eagle: The American Christian Just War Tradition. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2008.

charlesCharles, J. Daryl. Between Pacifism and Jihad: Just War and Christian Tradition. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2005.

cloughClough, David. Faith and Force: A Christian Debate about War. Washington DC: Georgetown University Press, 2007.

Clouse, Robert G., ed. War: Four Christian Views. Downers Grove, IL:
InterVarsity Press, 1981.

coreyCorey, David D. and J. Daryl Charles. The Just War Tradition: An Introduction.
Wilmington, Del: ISI Books, 2012.

De Paulo, Craig J.N., Patrick A. Messina, and Daniel P. Tompkins. Augustinian Just War Theory and the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq: Confessions, Contentions, and the Lust for Power. NY: Peter Lang, 2011.

Harnack, Adolf von. Militia Christi: The Christian Religion and the Military in the First Three Centuries. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1981.

holmesHolmes, Arthur F., ed. War and Christian Ethics: Classic and Contemporary Readings on the Morality of War. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2005, 2nd ed.

prestonPreston, Andrew. Sword of the Spirit, Shield of Faith: Religion in American War and Diplomacy. NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2012.

reimerReimer, A. James. Christians and War: A History of Practices and Teachings. Augsburg Fortess, 2006. (on order for APU).

wetterstromThompson, David A. and Darlene F. Wetterstrom.  Beyond the Yellow Ribbon: Ministering to Returning Combat Veterans. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2009.

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New Books!

fee2BS475.3 .E34 2011.
The Eerdmans companion to the Bible
edited by Gordon D. Fee and Robert L. Hubbard, Jr.
W.B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 2011.

vanhoozerBS476 .V34 2009.
Vanhoozer, Kevin J.
Is there a meaning in this text? :
The Bible, the reader, and the morality of literary knowledge
Zondervan, [2009].
San Diego collection

BS478 .L36 1957.
Lampe, G. W. H. (Geoffrey William Hugo)
Essays on typology
G.W.H. Lampe [and] K.J. Woollcombe.
A.R. Allenson, [1957].

honorBS483.5 .G57 1997.
God’s little devotional book for leaders.
Honor Books,  1997.

smolinskiBS491.3.M383 .C67 2011.
Cotton Mather and Biblia Americana.
America’s first Bible commentary : essays in reappraisal
edited by Reiner Smolinski and Jan Stievermann.
Baker Academic, 2011.

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Saint John’s Heritage Edition Bible on Display

Year with St John's BibleThis academic year we are privileged to host two volumes from The Saint John’s Bible Heritage Edition in the Hugh & Hazel Darling Library. We are exhibiting the Pentateuch and Gospels & Acts volumes and are highlighting these beautiful works with classes, tours, and special events throughout the year. Currently, the Pentateuch volume is in a special case near the front entrance of the Darling Library. In the spring semester we will feature the Gospels & Acts volume.

SJ_Adam2 The Saint John’s Bible is the first hand written and hand illuminated Bible in 500 years and was commissioned by St. John’s Abbey and University of Collegeville, Minnesota. The Heritage Edition is one of 299 exact facsimiles and has been shown in museums and libraries throughout the world.

The exhibit is being curated by my colleague Luba Zakharov, and she has a variety of activities and special events planned throughout the year. She is highlighting these events on a blog she has created. If you would like to follow this for the most up to date information, click here. She also has more images and information about the artists behind these beautiful volumes. The photo below shows the Pentateuch volume in its case in the Darling Library (photograph supplied from Luba Zakharov).

Gospel Of John Frontispiece and Incipit, Donald Jackson, Copyright 2002, The Saint John’s Bible and the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library, Order of Saint Benedict, Collegeville, MN, USA.
Adam and Eve, Donald Jackson with contribution by Chris Tomlin, 2003, The Saint John’s Bible, Saint John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota, USA.


Posted in Art/Architecture, Special Collections | 2 Comments