New Titles Published by The University of Scranton Press

Sep 11, 2009

The University of Scranton has published a dozen new books this year. Among its offerings is The Catholic Church and American Culture: Why the Claims of Dan Brown Strike a Chord, by Eric Plumer, Ph.D., associate professor of theology/religious studies at the University. Although more than fifty books have been published debunking the religious claims of The Da Vinci Code, this is the first devoted to the fundamentally more interesting question: if those claims are so erroneous, why have they resonated so powerfully with millions of intelligent readers and filmgoers?

Dr. Plumer looks at ten major reasons why the Catholic Church is viewed with such skepticism and suspicion by many Americans today, and why so many claim to be searching for a spirituality more in line with contemporary values. In addition to exploring the appeal of The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons, this book provides a context for understanding Dan Brown’s latest novel, The Lost Symbol

Dr. Plumer has delivered numerous presentations to students, alumni and the greater community on this subject. His next campus presentation will be on Saturday, September 26, as part of Friends and Family Weekend.

The other books announced by The University of Scranton include:

The Grappling Hook and Other Stories from the War in Iraq by William F. X. Maughan, an alumnus of The University of Scranton, features 10 stories about the emotions experienced during wartime. Maughan, a veteran of the war in Iraq, is a theology teacher at Piux X High School in Bangor.

NAFTA and the Campesinos: The Impact of NAFTA on Small-Scale Agricultural Producers in Mexico and the Prospects for Change is edited by Juan Rivera, Ph.D., Manuel Chávez, Ph.D., and Scott Whiteford, Ph.D., and examines the effect the North American Free Trade Agreement has had on small family farms in Mexico. Dr. Rivera is a professor of accounting in the Mendoza College of Business and a faculty fellow of the Kellogg Institute for International Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Dr. Chávez is an assistant professor of journalism at Michigan State University. Dr. Whiteford is the director of the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Arizona.

Aparecida: Quo Vadis? is edited by Robert S. Pelton, C.S.C. and is a collection of 10 essays that analyze documents from the Fifth General Conference of the Bishops of Latin America and evaluate attendees’ strategies addressing globalization, the future for the Catholic Church in Latin America and more. Rev. Pelton is concurrent professor of theology, fellow of the Helen Kellogg Institute for International Studies, and director of Latin American/North American Church Concerns at the University of Notre Dame. 

Biosemiotics: An Examination into the Signs of Life and the Life of Signs by Jesper Hoffmeyer pioneers higher ground above opposing theories--evolution, creationism, or intelligent design—surrounding how teachers explain the beginning of the human race. Hoffmeyer is professor of molecular biology at the University of Copenhagen.

Augustine and Poinsot: The Protosemiotic Development by John Deely, Ph.D., discusses the connection between St. Augustine and Poinsot’s contribution to the field of semiotics. Dr. Deely holds the Rudman Chair in Thomistic Studies at the University of St. Thomas in Houston.

Called to Holiness and Communion: Vatican II on the Church edited by Rev. Stephen Boguslawski, O.P., and Robert Fastiggi addresses questions about the significance of the Second Vatican Council and whether it ultimately helped or harmed the Catholic Church. Rev. Boguslawski is a Dominican friar and rector of Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, while Fastiggi is associate professor of theology at the seminary.

Divine Subjectivity: Understanding Hegel's Philosophy of Religion by Dale M. Schlitt, O.M.I., is a classic work that that details and analyzes Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel’s thoughts on religion. Originally published in 1990, the book is available in paperback for the first time. Schlitt is rector of St. Paul University, Ottawa. 

Of Birds, Whales, and Other Musicians: An Introduction to Zoömusicology by Dario Martinelli introduces a new theoretical model for studying how animal behavior relates to sound communication. Martinelli is docent of musicology and semiotics at the University of Helsinki, Finland. 

The Passions of Christ's Soul in the Theology of St. Thomas Aquinas by Paul Gondreau follows the basis of Aquinas’s doctrine on Christ’s passions, examines the importance of the doctrine to his Christology, and details the context in which he developed his theology. Gondreau is associate professor of theology at Providence College in Rhode Island. 

Christianity, Wilderness, and Wildlife by Susan Bratton traces divine encounters—visions, spiritual guidance and more—in biblical literature highlighting nature’s importance in Christian thought. Bratton is chair of the environmental studies department at Baylor University.   

NT Greek: A Systems Approach by John Clabeaux is both a classroom text and a reference manual for those students pursuing degrees in theological and biblical studies. Clabeaux is associate professor of sacred scripture and biblical languages at the Pontifical College Josephinum School of Theology. 

The books are available for purchase at all major bookstores, or through The University of Scranton Press at 1-800-621-2736.

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