A satisfying guide to comparable African and Christian teachings.
Awards & Accolades
A debut reference book connects themes in African proverbs to biblical passages.
South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu once quipped, “My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.” That Tutu, one of the most important Christian voices of the 20th century, often delivered his teachings in the form of proverbs points to the ways in which African wisdom can enrich Christian traditions. Organized thematically on more than three dozen topics that range from forgiveness and compassion to death and anger, this book offers readers a unique reference tool of complementary African proverbs and Bible verses. Focusing on Jesus’ golden rule to love your neighbor as yourself, Morehouse gives readers a myriad of African proverbs with parallel messages, including the Malagasy maxim “If you know what hurts yourself, you know what hurts others.” Similarly, where the Bible’s Gospel of Matthew urges people to avoid praying bombastically in public for their own glorification, a Swahili proverb reminds listeners that “Closing the eyes and prostrating is not praying; praying is in the heart.” Recognizing the importance of symbols to convey aphorisms in African spirituality, such as the Adinkra Sankofasymbol for learning from the past, the book delivers proverbs that are accompanied by almost 40 images in addition to useful maps and charts. The result is a user-friendly guide that not only draws on ancient wisdom from African and biblical traditions, but also highlights the “universal principles that find a voice in many cultures and societies.” While the volume mostly lets the proverbs and Bible verses speak for themselves, it features brief editorial commentary that contextualizes African cosmology for Western readers. This analysis is particularly adept at parsing the nuances of African culture, emphasizing the rich diversity of a heterogeneous continent. The inclusion of diasporic communities from the Caribbean and South America further reflects this complexity. While the author, an active Presbyterian, does not hide the Christian lens through which he views ancient wisdom, the proverbs listed in the book have much to offer to people of various faiths.A satisfying guide to comparable African and Christian teachings.
Pub Date: N/A
Page Count: 281
Review Posted Online: Feb. 15, 2023
Review Program: Kirkus Indie
Share your opinion of this book
Dillard’s story reflects maturity and understanding from someone who was forced to mature and understand too much too soon.
A measured memoir from a daughter of the famous family.
Growing up in the Institute of Basic Life Principles community, which she came to realize was “a cult, thriving on a culture of fear and manipulation,” Duggar and her 18 siblings were raised never to question parental authority. As the author recalls, she felt no need to, describing the loving home of her girlhood. When a documentary crew approached her father, Jim Bob, and proposed first a series of TV specials that would be called 17 Kids and Counting (later 18 and 19 Kids and Counting), he agreed, telling his family that this was a chance to share their conservative Christian faith. It was also a chance to become wealthy, but Jill, who was dedicated to following the rules, didn’t question where the money went. A key to her falling out with her family was orchestrated by Jim Bob, who introduced her to missionary Derick Dillard. Their wedding was one of the most-watched episodes of the series. Even though she was an adult, Jill’s parents and the show continued to expect more of the young couple. When they attempted to say no to filming some aspects of their lives, Jill discovered that a sheet of paper her father asked her to sign the day before her wedding was part of a contract in which she had unwittingly agreed to full cooperation. Writing about her sex offender brother, Josh, and the legal action she and Derick had to take to get their questions answered, Jill describes how she was finally able—through therapy, prayer, and the establishment of boundaries—to reconcile love for her parents with Jim Bob’s deception and reframe her faith outside the IBLP.Dillard’s story reflects maturity and understanding from someone who was forced to mature and understand too much too soon.
Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2023
Page Count: 288
Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online: Sept. 27, 2023
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2023
Share your opinion of this book
by Robert Greene ‧ RELEASE DATE: Sept. 1, 1998
If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.
The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.
Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.
Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998
Page Count: 430
Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998
Share your opinion of this book
More About This Book
BOOK TO SCREEN
Hey there, book lover.
We’re glad you found a book that interests you!