Random Book Ideas

Does anybody else do this? Keep a list of random books you’d like to write just as soon as you have the liesure to do so? Maybe not… Anyway, here are three for today:

* An Early Medieval English Catechism
This would be a set of introductions and translations from Ae’s homilies and letters with maybe a Vercelli or two thrown in for good measure. It could look at such things as General understanding of Christianity, The Creeds, Lord’s Prayer, Ten Commandments, the Sacraments, the Saints, Mary, the 4 Last Things, clerical duties, etc. This could be useful for 1)Church History students who normally just get a drive-by that totally skips the early medieval period and that is only interested in the *thoughts* of the *big names* not in how Christianity was perceived and lived out. Or for 2) Medievalists who tend to know next to nothing about Christianity. (The medievalists I know tend to fall into one of two categories–they either are pre-Vatican II Catholics/Anglo-Catholics or maintain an active and willful ignorance of Christianity. Unfortunately, Christianity so informs the cultres that the second group has no choice…) 3) Anglicans interested in finding out what the Ecclesia Anglicana really did believe…

* A Handbook of Historical Magical Texts
This would be for fantasy authors and other generalists. One of my *biggest* pet peeves as a fantasy reader is when an author inserts some kind of magic *thing* that is totally alien to the culture. It’s not like the texts aren’t available but they’re not terribly common and most non-professional medievalists/classicists probably wouldn’t know where to find them right off. Please, y’all, if you’ve got a druid thing goin’ on, don’t have ’em start out by invoking the four elements–nails on a chalkboard…

* The definitive English language work on lectionaries and homiliaries
This one’s just begging to be written and may well be the first post-dissertation project…


About Derek Olsen

I'm a layman within the Episcopal Church with a PhD in New Testament and an interest in most things medieval, monastic, and liturgical. My chief job is keeping up with my priestly wife and our two awesome kids. In addition to that, I earn a living, run the St Bede's Breviary, listen to loud goth/industrial music, and do some stuff for the church. I currently serve as Secretary to the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music where I'm also co-chair of the Calendar committee and chair of the Digital Publications committee.
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7 Responses to Random Book Ideas

  1. LutherPunk says:

    I do that too. Here is the short list:

    1. A History/Ethnography of Continuing Anglicans.

    2. A popular biography of Luther/history of the Lutheran Reformation (because Bainton is too anti-Catholic and Oberman is too hard for most pew sitters to get).

  2. Anastasia says:

    i would want to write a book on vampires and also benny hinn. not the same book though. i’m pretty sure benny hinn is alive and not undead.

  3. Caelius says:

    1. A popular work on the Cenomanian of the Cretaceous entitled Age of Storms .

    2. An epic poem on “the founders of cities” called the Oikistead.

  4. texanglican says:

    That early English catechism would be awesome! Do it, sir, do it.

  5. LutherPunk says:

    i’m pretty sure benny hinn is alive and not undead.

    Really??? With that hair? That smacks of time spent in a crept!

  6. LutherPunk says:

    oops, I mean crypt.

  7. Annie says:

    Uh … yeah, I do! But they are all fiction.

    I am eagerly awaiting all three! Especially the handbook. I realize you do have a current writing project, but otherwise please do not wait until you “have the time,” which is usually never.

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