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Nathan Davis Hunt

In Jesus-Christ.
For Shalom.
Through Love. 
Toward Solidarity. 
With Joy & Grace. 

Top 10 Books for Shalom Makers I Read in 2017 (and some bonuses)

I had a fantastic reading year! After the better part of a year away from seminary, I was ready to kick it hard with my many paged pals by the time last January rolled around. 

A few themes stood out as the areas I wanted to dig into:

  1. Atonement Theology - The election of Donald Trump left me with a distinct sense that the ideas swimming around in the minds of American Christians about what Jesus' accomplished through his death and resurrection are not only deeply inadequate, they fail to speak to our actual historical experiences and existential needs in the 21st century. What has Jesus' death to do with rampant fear? With economic inequality? With alienated, racialized, nationalized selves?

  2. Economics - It was time to live up to my new job title! I've never taken a formal economics class, but I'm out here trying to build a just economy. I wanted to both understand the mindset and theories of neoclassical (dominant) economics, and explore alternative paradigms for economies that are just, equitably distributive, and ecologically regenerative.

  3. Race - I'll never be done here, and I don't want to ever stop steeping my imagination in voices from the margins.

  4. Spirituality - I'd left seminary head-full and heart-dry. I've said before, I think that was ok, as a seasonal state, but it wasn't ok to stay that way. Along with learning economics, my other major life-goal was developing a 'spiritual rule of life.' I didn't get that far, but I did read some incredible books on the contemplative life and lean more deeply in the practice of centering prayer.

The following 10 books were tough to pick from an incredibly rich slate of reads this year. But these were standouts for the unique contribution they have to make for those of us struggling to spread shalom in dark times. Hope you enjoy, and take a look at the other gems at the bottom.


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The Slavery of Death, by Richard Beck


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Recovering the Scandal of the Cross, Mark Baker and Joel Green

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The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century, Grace Lee Boggs

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Theology of the Built Environment


The Listening Life


Kindred, Octavia Butler

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Rethinking the Economics of Land and Housing

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The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin



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Merton's Palace of Nowhere


Spirituality & the Contemplative Life

  • The Way of the Heart, Henri Nouwen

  • The Heart of Centering Prayer: Nondual Christianity in Theory and Practice, by Cynthia Bourgeult

  • Everything Belongs, Richard Rohr

  • Merton's Palace of Nowhere, James Finley


  • The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century, by Grace Lee Boggs

  • This Changes Everything

  • J is for Junk Economics

  • Urban Fortunes

  • Principles for a Pluralist Commonwealth

  • Rethinking the Economics of Land and Housing


  • Trouble I've Seen

  • The Hidden Wound

  • The Fire Next Time


  • Marginality,

  • The Crucified God, Jurgen Moltmann

  • The Prophetic Imagination, Walter Brueggemann

  • The Land: Place as Gift, Promise, and Challenge in Biblical Faith, Walter Brueggemann

  • Recovering the Scandal of the Cross

  • Theology of the Built Environment, Timothy Gorringe

  • The Slavery of Death, by Richard Beck


  • Kindred, Octavia Butler

  • Remembering: A Novel, Wendell Berry

  • .....2018 life goal: read more fiction ;)


  • Team of Rivals

  • The Darker Side of Western Modernity

  • The Listening Life

  • Healing the Heart of Democracy, Parker Palmer

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