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Reading a Different Story: A Christian Scholar's Journey from America to Africa (Turning South: Christian Scholars in an Age of World Christianity)
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Reading a Different Story: A Christian Scholar's Journey from America to Africa

(Turning South: Christian Scholars in an Age of World Christianity)

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  16 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Christianity's demographics, vitality, and influence have tipped markedly toward the global South and East. Addressing this seismic shift, a noted Christian literary scholar recounts how her focus has shifted from American to African literature.

Susan VanZanten began her career working on nineteenth-century American literature. A combination of personal circumstances, curr

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Paperback, 134 pages
Published January 21st 2014 by Baker Academic (first published January 14th 2014)
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Rebecca
I was expecting a comparison of American and African theology, somewhat like Fr. Vincent J. Donovan’s Christianity Rediscovered. Instead, this is primarily an English professor’s memoir of trading Moby-Dick (her dissertation topic) for African literature.

From a Dutch-American family in Washington state, VanZanten “was an insatiable and ubiquitous reader...I read completely inappropriate books for my age.” By the time she was a PhD student at Emory (where the authors of local interest were Faulkn
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Tim Hoiland
Jan 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: faith, memoir, africa
There has been much talk in recent decades about the shift in the center of gravity in global Christianity from the west and the north to the south and the east, and books like The Next Christendom by Baylor historian Philip Jenkins have brought the conversation to a popular level. Indeed, the numbers are indisputable. While churches in much of Europe and North America have seen declining and stagnating attendance levels, respectively, the pattern does not hold elsewhere in the world. Rather, th ...more
Mary
Jan 25, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir
This book is part of a series called "Turning South--Christian Scholars in an Age of World Christianity." A friend of mine, Mark Noll, has just handed in a manuscript for another volume in the series.

This book is not an autobiography or spiritual memoir as such. It is an account of VanZanten's academic career taking her from her growing up in Lynden, Washington to small liberal arts Christian Colleges to Seattle Pacific University. The important aspect of this career for this book is her intere
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Jason
Jan 01, 2014 rated it liked it
I won this in a Good Reads / First Reads giveaway.

Curiously, this will not be a rave review. Curiously, because, in many ways, I am the perfect reader for this book: a Christian with an MA in English Literature, a former college and university English instructor who sometimes ran afoul of accepted methods and approaches through making empathy and social justice the centerpieces of my teaching, an enthusiast of Commonwealth literature. And yet -- the book is much too dry, and too scattershot, eve
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Michelle Kidwell
Feb 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Reading A Different Story
Susan Vanzanten
Copyright 2014

Reading A Different Story starts out with the authors growing up years, and the steps of faith she took, it talks about memories of when JFK was shot when she was in First grade and about when Neal Armstrong walked on the moon a few years later. Susan talks about her growth in faith, how she learns that her intellectual search does not mean she can not have faith in Christ.

Susan Vanzanten goes into detail on her studies in litterature in g
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Jonathan Hiskes
May 06, 2014 rated it liked it
A literature professor describes her growth from an Anglo-focused teacher to a scholar of "cosmopolitan Christianity." An uncommonly clear argument-through-memoir.
Kayla
Jan 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaway-wins
A great read, even for the non-religious.
Aileen Maddox
Mar 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
I know the author so it was interesting to read about her life and career.
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Susan VanZanten (PhD, Emory University) is professor of English at Seattle Pacific University in Seattle, Washington, and leads faculty workshops and retreats across the country. She is the author or editor of seven books, including Joining the Mission: A Guide for (Mainly) New College Faculty, Mending a Tattered Faith: Devotions with Dickinson, and Truth and Reconciliation: The Confessional Mode ...more

Other books in the series

Turning South: Christian Scholars in an Age of World Christianity (3 books)
  • Journey toward Justice: Personal Encounters in the Global South
  • From Every Tribe and Nation: A Historian's Discovery of the Global Christian Story (Turning South: Christian Scholars in an Age of World Christianity)