Summer Reading List

The Ancient Poet Who Can Save Your Life: Ken Keathley’s Summer Reading List

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As summer begins, we want to help you craft the perfect Summer Reading List. We asked Southeastern Seminary professors what books they would recommend, and we’ll share their recommendations in coming weeks.

Today, Center for Faith and Culture Director Ken Keathley recommends two books for your summer reading list.

'The Divine Comedy' was more than a speculation about life after death; it was very much a political diatribe.

How Dante Can Save Your Life: The Life-Changing Wisdom of History’s Greatest Poem
by Rod Dreher (Regan Arts, 2015)

Rod Dreher is one of the more provocative Christian writers today. In fact, I don’t agree with everything Rod Dreher has written. But one of his books that I have found personally helpful is called How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher writes in a way that is semi-autobiographical. He’s going through a personal spiritual crisis of his own, so he talks about how reading Dante impacted him. He explains that Dante was going through his own own personal crisis while writing The Divine Comedy. Moreover, The Divine Comedy was more than a speculation about life after death; it was very much a political diatribe in which Dante settled scores, dealt with political issues of the day, and made profound spiritual observations. So if you’ve ever wanted to become familiar with Dante’s Divine Comedy but didn’t have time to read (or understand) the whole poem, this book is a great introduction. It’s approachable, edifying, interesting. Dreher draws out the spiritual lessons in a way I found very helpful.

 

A World Ablaze: The Rise of Martin Luther and the Birth of the Reformation
by Craig Harline (Oxford University Press, 2017)

2017 marked the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther posting the 95 theses on the Wittenburg door. Many books about Martin Luther and the Reformation came out that year. One of the better books is Craig Harline’s A World Ablaze. If you’re interested in getting to know the history of the Reformation but you don’t have a lot of time to slog through the details, this book is for you. Harline is an academic, but he writes in the style and tone of a novel. The book is approachable, readable, engaging, and entertaining, but it’s also very informative. If someone is wanting to know about the Reformation or learn about the life of Luther, I don’t know of a better introduction than A World Ablaze.

 

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  • Summer Reading List
Ken Keathley

Senior Professor of Theology and the Jesse Hendley Chair of Theology

Ken Keathley is Senior Professor of Theology and the Jesse Hendley Chair of Theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina where he has been teaching since 2006. He also directs the L. Russ Bush Center for Faith and Culture. He is the co-author of '40 Questions About Creation and Evolution' (Kregel, November 2014). Ken and his wife Penny have been married since 1980, live in Wake Forest, NC and are members of North Wake Church. They have a son and daughter, both married, and four grandchildren.

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