Cindy Staff 2011Summer is a great time for catching up, relaxing, exploring, starting new projects, or perhaps completing work in progress. Reading, of course, is key to all of these. With this in mind, we asked the librarians at St. John’s about books they will be reading over the next few months. The library has put up a display of the answers we received — it’s on the 3rd floor of St. Augustine Hall.

We’ll be posting the individual entries here throughout the summer. Cynthia D. Chambers is an associate professor and Head of the University Libraries’ Information Management (Cataloging) Department. She also teaches as an adjunct in the Theology and Religious Studies Department. (St. John’s College).  Professor Chambers writes:

I recently read an interesting book by the theologian Marcus Borg. In Evolution of the Word: the New Testament in the Order the Books Were Written.  Borg presents the books of the New Testament (using the NRSV translation) in the order that many contemporary scholars believe they were written, beginning with the letters of Paul. After preliminary chapters about oral tradition and the Pauline writings, Borg briefly introduces each biblical book, establishing its cultural and historical context. Reading the New Testament in this revised order gave me a fresh perspective that encouraged me to think about how the early Christian faith developed.

Over the summer I plan to read a book about one of my other interests – animals. Chasing Doctor Dolittle: Learning the Language of Animals by Con Slobodchikoff is about current scientific studies on the “languages” that different animals use to communicate. In Slobodchikoff’s own research with colonies of prairie dogs he found they are able to use combinations of different warning calls to describe predators by size, color, shape, and speed of approach. I am looking forward to learning what scientists are discovering about animals’ ability to communicate – a topic that those of us who have companion animals know something about already.