Welcome to the Gordon College Alumni Authors page. Gordon alumni have published books in many different fields. If you are a Gordon alumni author and would like to be featured on the website please email patricia.hanlongordon.edu.
Grace Akallo '07
Girl Soldier: A Story of Hope for Northern Uganda's Children (Chosen, 2007)
Girl Soldier breaks the silence about brutalities and injustices abroad. It tells the frightening truth about a brutal army of rebels that has been raiding villages in northern Uganda for several decades, kidnapping children and turning them into soldiers or wives of commanders. More than 30,000 children have been abducted over the last twenty years and forced to commit unspeakable crimes. Grace Akallo was one of these children. Girl Soldier tells her heart-wrenching story. This unforgettable book also provides readers with historical background and insights from Faith McDonnell, one of the clearest voices in the church today. It will inspire readers around the world to take notice, pray, and work to end this tragedy.
Akallo traveled to Washington, D.C. to testify before Congress on the dire needs of children in northern Uganda in April 2006. Akallo also told her story on the Oprah Winfrey Show in 2004 and has been featured in numerous newspapers and magazines, including The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, and Christianity Today.
Since her graduation from Gordon College with a degree in Communication Arts, Akallo continues to promote social justice and peace in Uganda. Akallo also serves as spokesperson for World Vision, a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice.
Luke Reynolds '03
A New Man (StoneGarden Publishing, 2007)
Inside Out & Outside In (StoneGarden Publishing, 2007)
A New Man identifies issues with the pornography industry and elucidates how the lies of this industry cripple men, abuse women and impact popular culture and society. In A New Man, Reynolds tells readers they are not passive individuals controlled by the forces of media and culture. Furthermore, his book challenges society to utilize their strength within to stop abuses in their own lives and in the culture at large.
Inside Out and Outside In is a compilation of writings by students from Farmington High School in Connecticut. Reynolds recalls, "When I first collected their essays, I laughed, I sighed and paused to think about my own life. More importantly, I truly--perhaps for the first time--saw theirs. I learned that teenagers have much to teach the rest of us in many avenues of our own lives, and they have much to say...for all of us. It was a 'coming home' moment."
Since his graduation from Gordon College with a degree in English Language and Literature, Reynolds now serves on the English Department faculty at Northern Arizona University and is currently completing a Masters of Arts Degree in English. For more information on Luke Reynolds and his work visit his website at http://www.lukewreynolds.com.
Ted Sider '88
Four-Dimensionalism (Oxford University Press, 2001)
Riddles of Existence (coauthored by Earl Conee, Oxford University Press, 2005)
Four-Dimensionalism is a scholarly philosophy book on the metaphysics of persistence over time. It argues that time is like space in that objects have temporal as well as spatial parts.
Riddles of Existence doubles as a textbook and a popular introduction to metaphysics; a philosophy that aims to describe the world at the most abstract and fundamental level. It presupposes no prior background in philosophy, and discusses nine topics in metaphysics including personal identity, free will, and the existence of God.
Since his graduation from Gordon College, Sider now teaches philosophy at New York University. He has held previous academic positions at Rutgers University (2002-2007), Syracuse University (1998-2002) and the University of Rochester (1992-1998). Sider's research is mostly in metaphysics, and occasionally in philosophy of language. He teaches courses in these areas and in logic and philosophical logic as well. Further information about Ted Sider can be found on his website.
Brad Davis '76
Though War Break Out (Antrim House, 2005)
Short List of Wonders (Hill-Stead Museum, 2005)
Song of the Drunkards (Antrim House, 2007)
No Vile Thing (Antrim House, 2007)
Like Those Who Dream (Antrim House, 2008)
Davis' four books for Antrim House are a series of 150 poems in loose conversation with the 150 biblical Psalms. Though War Break Out covers the first book of the Psalms, Song of the Drunkards covers the second book of Psalms. His book, No Vile Thing, covers both the third and fourth book of Psalms, and Like Those Who Dream covers the fifth. The poems are not devotional, though they each aim at an honest, human, and imaginative response to the sacred text and the human mind of the text.
Since graduating, Brad earned an MDiv (Trinity School for Ministry) and MFA in writing poetry (Vermont College of Fine Arts); served as an Episcopal priest for 25 years; worked for InterVarsity in Birmingham, AL, and FOCUS in Boston, MA; and taught at The Stony Brook School (NY), Pomfret School (CT), Eastern Connecticut State University, and the College of the Holy Cross (MA). His poems have been published in many journals and won three awards: an AWP Intro Jounral Award, the Sunken Garden Poetry Prize (selected by Dick Allen), and the IAM (International Arts Movement) Poetry Award (selected by Brett Lott). He and Deb reside in New England and have one son who is married and living in New York City. He would love to hear from Gordon friends (davis.bradley.cgmail.com).
"Brad Davis' poems are modest and intense at the same time. His subject - all of us, and everything, considered as they are, sorrowful and joyful, and as they might be - invites us to remember the old irreplaceable story of our making: its divinity, its possibility. His poems are in every way a comfort, a reminder, and a prod."--Mary Oliver, 1984 Pulitzer Prize winning poet
"Beautifully felt and thought, with a religious element that pervades but never overwhelms." --Dick Allen, poet and judge of 2005 Sunken Garden Poetry Prize
"The poems show us not only that we must not look away from the world, from its terror, but that we also must not ignore its ravishing beauty." --Vivian Shipley, poet and editor of The Connecticut Review
Christian Smith '83
Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers (Oxford University Press, 2005)
Moral, Believing Animals: Human Culture and Personhood (Oxford University Press, 2003)
The Secular Revolution: Power, Interests, and Conflict in the Secularization of American Public Life (University of California Press, 2003)
American Evangelicalism: Embattled and Thriving (University of Chicago Press, 1998)
The Emergence of Liberation Theology: Radical Religion and Social Movement Theory (University of Chicago Press, 1991)
Soul Searching is based on findings from the largest and most detailed study of the religious lives of American teenagers. This study was conducted by the National Study of Youth and Religion (NSYR), for which Dr. Smith was the principle investigator and director. The study encompassed a nationwide telephone survey of teens and their parents, as well as lengthy face-to-face interviews with more than 250 of the survey respondents. Soul Searching was recently turned into a film, which was featured at Gordon College in October 2007.
Key findings of Dr. Smith's research survey include:
1. Religion is a significant factor in the lives of many American teenagers.
2. Teenagers are far more influenced by the religious beliefs and practices of their parents and other adults than commonly thought.
3. Greater teenage religious involvement is significantly associated with more positive adolescent life outcomes.
4. Religion is widely practiced and positively valued by teens, but also de-prioritized and very poorly understood by them.
5. Authors identify and define a new faith in the U.S called "Moralistic Therapeutic Deism"-"the belief that religion is about doing good and being happy, watched over by a distant and benign Creator whose purpose is largely to help us feel better about ourselves," explains Andy Crouch of Christianity Today in a 2005 review of Soul Searching.
Since his graduation from Gordon College with a degree in sociology, Smith is the 'William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Sociology' at the University of Notre Dame. From 2000-2005 he served as Associate Chair of the Department of Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Smith holds a M.A. (1987) and Ph.D. (1990) in Sociology from Harvard University and has studied Christian historical theology at Harvard Divinity School and other Boston theological schools. Before moving to UNC Chapel Hill in 1994, Smith taught for six years at his Alma Mater, Gordon College.
In recognition of his many accomplishments and work as one of the leading Christian sociologists in the country, Smith was presented the 2007 "Alumnus of the Year" award by Gordon College.
Becky LeBlanc '93
Thoughts on Blindness: One Spouse's Perspective on Losing Vision and Living Life (Noble Paw Press, 2004)
There are a lot of books out there that talk about blindness from a medical perspective. However, it's tougher to find books that discuss first-hand what living with blindness is like...tougher still to find books that describe blindness from a sighted family member's perspective. Thoughts on Blindness: One Spouse's Perspective on Losing Vision and Living Life sheds light on the personal impact of blindness by granting a glimpse into the lives of a husband slowly losing his vision. Above all things, this book is about living with hope and striving to keep a healthy perspective and sense of humor even when it seems impossible.
"We hope that by sharing our honest experiences, other couples and families who are dealing with a variety of struggles will find comfort and companionship in the journey. I dedicated this book to my husband who is an excellent example of strength and courage and life well lived," says Becky LeBlanc.
The Carroll Center for the Blind distributed LeBlanc's book to over 800 ophthalmologists offices throughout Massachusetts. In 2004, the Perkins School for the Blind made Thoughts on Blindness available in both braille as well as an audio-only version of the publication.
Since her graduation from Gordon College with a degree in social work, LeBlanc works in instructional design and writes training programs for various organizations.
Charles Marsh '80
Wayward Christian Soldiers: Freeing the Gospel from Political Captivity" (Oxford, June 2007)
The Beloved Community: How Faith Shapes Social Justice, from the Civil Rights Movement to Today (Basic, 2005)
The Last Days: A Son's Story of Sin and Segregation at the Dawn of a New South (Basic, 2001)
God's Long Summer: Stories of Faith and Civil Rights (Princeton, 1997)
Reclaiming Dietrich Bonhoeffer: The Promise of His Theology (Oxford, 1994)
After publishing his first book, "Reclaiming Dietrich Bonhoeffer: The Promise of His Theology" Marsh began to consider the religious and moral paradoxes of his white southern Protestant upbringing. He was struck by the complex ways theological commitments and convictions came alive during the Civil Rights Movement. He was also intrigued by ordinary people of faith during this movement and their theological beliefs and social practices. As he studied this area further, he began to write his second book, "God's Long Summer: Stories of Faith and Civil Rights," which won the Grawemeyer Award in Religion in 1998.
His memoir, "The Last Days: A Son's Story of Sin and Segregation at the Dawn of a New South," is a coming of age account of a Southern Baptist minister's son in a small southern town in the late sixties.
"The Beloved Community: How Faith Shapes Social Justice, from the Civil Rights Movement to Today," offers a fresh interpretation of the American search for authentic community in the decades following the Civil Rights Movement . "Beloved Community" also includes a narrative of the rise and fall of the evangelical counter-culture.
Marsh's most recent book, "Wayward Christian Soldiers: Freeing the Gospel from Political Captivity," finds him once again engaged in the life and writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, now in the form of a theological analysis of the contemporary religious situation in the United States.
Since his graduation from Gordon College with degrees in English Language and Literature and Philosophy, Charles Marsh is currently a Professor of Religious and Theological Studies at the University of Virginia where he is also the Director for the Project on Lived Theology . He holds a Master's Degree from Harvard Divinity School and a PhD from the University of Virginia; both degrees are in Philosophical Theology. His contributions to the academic community include research for the University of Zürich as well as the Baptist Theological Seminary in Rüschlikon, Switzerland. He also conducted his post-doctorate studies in philosophical theology at the Free University of Amsterdam and at the University of Heidelberg. Before joining the faculty at the University of Virginia, Charles was a Professor at Loyola College in Maryland, and held the position of "Theologian-in-Residence" at the Episcopal Cathedral of the Incarnation in Baltimore.
Gary Schmidt '79
Anson's Way (Clarion Books, 1999)
Ciaran: The Tale of a Saint of Ireland (Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2000)
First Boy (Henry Holt, 2005)
In God's Hands (Jewish Lights Publications, 2005)
John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress (Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1994)
Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy (Clarion, 2004)
Mara's Stories (Henry Holt, 2001)
Robert Frost (Sterling Publishing Company, 1994)
Straw Into Gold (Clarion Books, 2001)
The Blessing of the Lord (Eerdmans Publishing, 1997)
The Great Stone Face: A Retelling of a Tale by Nathaniel Hawthorne (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2002)
The Sin Eater (Dutton Publishers, 1996)
The Wednesday Wars (Clarion, 2007)
The Wonders of Donal O'Donnell (Henry Holt, 2002)
Trouble (Clarion, forthcoming--2008)
In addition to children's literature, Schmidt has published numerous scholarly books, textbooks, fiction novels, and academic articles. His outstanding work has been recognized and awarded through writing circles and literary organizations. Most recently, Schmidt was honored in 2007 by the Kirkus Review to the "Editor's Choice List" for his contributions and literary book, The Wednesday Wars.
Since his graduation from Gordon College with degrees in English Language and Literature and Political Studies, Schmidt is now teaching at Calvin College as a professor of English.
Wendy MacGown '78
Little Sister (Authorhouse, 2006)
Big Sister (Authorhouse, 2007)
Upcoming Release: The Crystal Fishbowl
Little Sister follows the story of Wong Ying Fa, a Chinese silk embroiderer. On the day her nephew is born, Wong Ying Fa considers her future. Blessed with a lucky face and a loving family, she wants to meet a man who can hold an intelligent conversation. Li Gwai Ha is that man--traveled, sophisticated and handsome. Best of all, he is interested in a relationship with her, and not solely because his uncle, their Party Boss, demands an heir. Her dreams die when she bears a girl. Betrayed by her family, they are faced with a cruel choice in order to survive.
Big Sister is the sequel to Little Sister. This book tells the story of a family twice blessed by adoption. Mark and Rena, the American couple who adopted the baby Mooi Mooi (now called Jennie) from Little Sister, live in Chelmsford, Massachusetts. While adopting Jennie satisfied Rena's yearning for a child, adopting Lily (their second daughter) blew apart a marriage already edging toward divorce. Little Sister won "Honorable Mention" in the 2005 Arizona Author's Association Literary Contest.
Since her graduation from Gordon College with a degree in mathematics, MacGown now works as a technical writer for an e-commerce startup.
James Davison Hunter '77
American Evangelicalism: Conservative Religion and the Quandary of Modernity (Rutgers University Press, 1983)
Cultural Analysis: The Work of Peter Berger, Mary Douglas, Michel Foucault, and Jurgen Habermas. R. Wuthnow. Written with, A. Bergesen, and E. Kurzweil (Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1984)
Evangelicalism: The Coming Generation (University of Chicago Press, 1987)
Culture Wars: The Struggle to Define America (Basic Books, 1991)
Before the Shooting Begins: Searching for Democracy in America's Culture War (Free Press, 1994)
The Death of Character: Moral Education in an Age without Good or Evil (Basic Books, 2000)
Is There A Culture War? A Dialogue on Values and American Public Life. Co-written with Alan Wolfe (The Brookings Press, 2006)
Culture Wars presents a riveting account of how Christian fundamentalists, Orthodox Jews, and conservative Catholics have joined forces against their progressive counterparts (secularists, reform Jews, liberal Catholics and Protestants) in such fields as art, education, law and politics. Culture Wars shows how this impassioned culture affects not only the active participants, but also those who hold the middle ground. Hunter points to ways in which these conflicts are an opportunity for enriching democratic debate.
In addition to the aforementioned books, Hunter has a lengthy list of published academic articles and essays. He has received wide recognition for his many works. In 2005 he received "The Richard M. Weaver Prize for Scholarly Letters" and in 1995, Gordon College honored Hunter as "Alumnus of the Year." His book Culture Wars won the 1992 Critic's Choice Award from Christianity Today magazine and it also received the L.A. Times "Book Prize."
Since his graduation from Gordon College with a degree in sociology, Hunter received a Master of Arts Degree and a Ph.D. from Rutgers University. He is currently the "LaBrosse-Levinson Distinguished Professor of Religion, Culture and Social Theory" at the University of Virginia.
Edward Brown '75
Our Father's World: Mobilizing the Church to Care for Creation (2006, Doorlight Publications; revised edition due out April, 2008)
Our Father's World is a passionate and practical assessment from one of the leaders of the evangelical creation care movement. His book offers a biblical framework for creation care as well as a practical guide for students, churches, mission agencies and individuals. Valuable for both believers and skeptics, Our Father's World explains what the Bible teaches us about creation care and our responsibility as Christians. Our Father's World has been praised by biologist and environmentalist E. O. Wilson as "Beautiful and inspiring… Christians and secular environmentalists need to read it and understand the power that Christianity has to help save the living environment--not just in voting numbers, but also out of strength from spirituality and rational argument".
Since his graduation from Gordon College with a degree in English Language and Literature, Edward R. Brown has held positions with the Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies, and has worked with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and as a pastor both in the U.S. and overseas. Brown has a Master's Degree from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary and is the founding director of Care of Creation Inc. He is a leader and inspiration for the growing evangelical creation care movement. His organization, Care of Creation, is the first evangelical environmental missions organization, with projects in Kenya and plans to expand to other East African Countries and Latin America in the near future. For information on Rev. Edward R. Brown and his book, visit his website http://ourfathersworld.org.
Pauline Brown '50
Jars of Clay: Ordinary Christians on an Extraordinary Mission in Southern Pakistan (Doorlight Publications, 2006)
In 1954 Pauline A. Brown, her husband Ralph, and two other families went to the Sindh Province in southern Pakistan with the goal of sharing God's message of love with Muslim Sindhis in the area. "Jars of Clay: Ordinary Christians on an Extraordinary Mission in Southern Pakistan" is not just about North Americans abroad. It is the story of a fellowship of ordinary people in Pakistan crossing cultural and linguistic barriers to take on the extraordinary challenge of establishing the Church in the Sindh desert. "Jars of Clay" is a story of laughter and tears, of danger and deliverance, of despair and hope, of victory and defeat. Above all, it is a story of grit, perseverance and faith in the face of great odds.
In addition to her book, Brown has also published several articles in Conservative Baptist Foreign Mission Society's publication "IMPACT" and in Gordon College's "Stillpoint" magazine over the years. As a missionary she co-authored a pedagogical grammar of the Sindhi language: "Functional Sindhi: a grammar of the Sindhi language for English speakers."
After graduating from Gordon College with a degree in Biblical Studies, Pauline and her husband Ralph went on to serve in Pakistan from 1954 to 1988 with the Conservative Baptist Foreign Mission Society, now known as WorldVenture. She and Ralph have 5 children (two of which are Gordon alumni) and 17 grandchildren.