Some of you are aware that this last week I started a self imposed reading discipline to undergird my desire to understand more fully why, from a faith perspective, community is important. I have a stack of books a mile high in front of me and recommendations coming in every day. Some of them are faith oriented, some are secular. I am still looking for books that deal with community and faith historically, as well as theologically and practically. I am also looking for books that discuss community models today and in the past – monastic communities, intentional communities and even virtual communities. I also want to look at books on community organization as well as those on community within organizations. So if you have any other suggestions of must read books I would love to hear from you. It’s a good thing that I am an avid and fast reader.
As you look over the list you may notice that many of the links are to amazon.com That is because often I could not find a good review or description elsewhere. However if you plan to purchase these books I would highly recommend doing so from a local independent bookstore or from the author directly.
I started this week with a couple of very stimulating books
The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leadership Organizations Ori Brafman and Rod Beckstrom is a very important book about the power of decentralization within organizations. I have also read Organic Community and The Search to Belong by Joseph Myers which both talk about how to shape an environment in which community can emerge naturally. Now I am into Created for Community: Connecting Christian Belief with Christian Living by Stanly Grenz.
Next on my list are
Community: The Structure of Belonging by Peter Block
Better Together: Restoring the American Community, Robert Putnam and Lewis Feldstein
The Becoming of G-d, Ian Mobsby
The Consuming Passion: Christianity and the Consumer Culture, Edited by Rodney Clapp
Community Organizing in a Diverse Society, by Felix Rivera and John Erlich
Church After Christendom, Stuart Murray
StormFront: The Good News of God, Brownson, Dietterich, Harvey and West
The Forgotten Ways, Alan Hirsh
Water from a Deep Well, Gerald L Sittser
Making Room: Discovering Hospitality as a Christian Tradition, Christine Pohl
Dissident Discipleship by David Augsburger
Journey Inward/Journey Outward by Elizabeth O’Connor
A Different Drum: Community Making and Peace by M. Scott Peck
Authentic Relationships: Discover the Lost Art of One Anothering: Wayne & Clay Jacobsen
Followed by books that describe various communities
Communities: The Story and Spirituality of Twelve European Communities, Jeanne Hinton
Fire, Salt and Peace: Intentional Christian Communities Alive in North America, David Jenzen
Celtic Christain Communities: Live the Tradition, Ian Bradley
Then I plan to revisit some of the old classics or at least what I think of as classics as well as books on the monastic traditions that still have so much to offer as we reflect on the place of Christian community today.
Community and Growth, by Jean Vanier
Reaching Out, by Henri Nouwen
Compassion: A Reflection on the Christian Life, Nouwen, McNeill & Morrison
The Community of the King, Howard Snyder
Companions to the Poor , Viv Grigg