Notable LSTC Alum Herbert Anderson Announces Re-Publication of Three Texts

March 1, 2023

Three covers of books by Herbert Anderson: The Divine Art of Dying, Jacob's Shadow, and Mighty Stories, Dangerous Rituals

In the March 1, 2023 issue of the Christian Century, Editor/Publisher and Senior Pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Davenport, Peter W. Marty takes on the cultural centrality of the hypermasculine. He argues that hypermasculinity must be put aside in favor of prioritizing the values of nurturing our capacity to love and working towards making the world a fairer place for everyone. In these days of local, national, and international political turmoil and divisive rhetoric that is often gendered in nature, his words take on a special poignancy.

Central to Marty’s argument is the work of Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago Alum Herbert Anderson (1962, BD), and his recently re-published text Jacob’s Shadow: Reimagining Masculinity (Wipf and Stock). In this text, Marty says, “Anderson challenges ideologies of male power in which swagger, aggression, tough talk, and the swallowing of tears are regularly extolled. Not until we locate ourselves in Jacob’s flawed humanity, his thirst for power, and his eventual woundedness, argues Anderson, do we have a chance of experiencing God with the depth that Jacob did.” This is the vision for the new masculine humanness presented in Anderson’s work; these are the times in which such considerations are more important than ever. 

The continued relevance of Anderson’s research is one reason that Jacob’s Shadow is just one of three texts by Anderson to be recently re-published: Anderson is also re-releasing The Divine Art of Dying: Living Well to Life’s End, which he wrote with Karen Speerstra, and Mighty Stories, Dangerous Rituals: Weaving Together the Human and the Divine, written with Edward Foley, Professor Emeritus at Catholic Theological Union (both published by Fortress Press). Both texts have proven invaluable to theologians, laypeople, and students. In Mighty Stories, Dangerous Rituals Anderson “conceptualizes the relationship between ritual and pastoral care that is vital and integrated.” In The Divine Art of Dying, Anderson explores “the considerations that may lead a person to discontinue treatments to prolong life and consciously make the ‘turn toward death’ while still embracing life,” says Kathleen Billman, John H. Tietjen Professor of Pastoral Ministry at LSTC.

Anderson himself is well versed in embracing life to the fullest. He was the recipient of the 2022 LSTC Lifetime Achievement Award and continues to be active in his ministry of teaching and writing. As evidenced by the recent re-publication of several of his seminal texts and the public engagement with his important ideas, the best is certainly yet to come. 

You can see a complete list of Dr. Anderson’s publications here.

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