The Sisters of Sinai: How Two Lady Adventurers Discovered the Hidden Gospels - Janet Soskice

An enthralling account of scholarship and adventure, The Sisters Of Sinai (Knopf, $27.95) tells of Agnes and Margaret Smith, wealthy identical Scottish twins. Victorians and devout Calvinists, the pair spent their lives acquiring languages and traveling the Holy Land. With neither husbands nor university degrees, they traveled alone to Saint Catherine’s Monastery on Mount Sinai, where they discovered and translated a Syriac palimpsest that remains one of the earliest manuscripts of the New Testament scriptures. Celebrity preachers and cunning dragomen share the pages of this history, the tone of which mimics the formal novelty of Victorian travel adventures in a tongue-in-cheek manner. British scholar and narrator Janet Soskice uses a bevy of letters, close readings of Agnes Smith’s (mediocre) novels, and an encyclopedic knowledge of Cambridge to contextualize the twins’ discovery (and lives) within the broader climate of Victorian anxiety about Scripture’s authenticity and authority.

The Sisters of Sinai: How Two Lady Adventurers Discovered the Hidden Gospels By Janet Soskice Cover Image
ISBN: 9781400034741
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Vintage - August 24th, 2010

A Book of Silence - Sara Maitland

After an early life of raucous dinner-table sparring and an involved public feminist intellectualism, all of which was decidedly “noisy,” in her middle years the English writer Sara Maitland converted from Anglicanism to Catholicism, and actively sought out a life of silence. Maitland is interested in her own growing love of silence and solitude primarily as it enacts an essential tension of the spiritual life. Is silence life-affirming, or deathly? Is it an absence, or a presence? Is it essentially either “’mad’ …or ‘bad’ (selfish, antisocial)”? A Book Of Silence (Counterpoint, $25) is Maitland’s effort to comprehend the magnetism of quiet, and to settle upon a “rule” for her own practice of it. In Sinai and Scotland, her narrative dwells upon gardens, Genesis, psychoanalysis, landscapes, monks, menopause, and supporting anecdotes from literature, world religions, and her own colorful life.

A Book of Silence By Sara Maitland Cover Image
ISBN: 9781582436135
Availability: Backordered
Published: Counterpoint - August 17th, 2010

Resurrecting Hebrew - Ilan Stavans

Resurrecting Hebrew ($21) is the story of how Eliezer Ben-Yehuda’s efforts to rescue a dead language, Hebrew, and restore it as a spoken language, were central to the Zionist effort. Ilan Stavans shows how the tensions between the Diaspora and Israel play out in the arena of language. Stavans recalls his personal journey as well as offering a compact history of modern Hebrew.

Resurrecting Hebrew (Jewish Encounters Series) By Ilan Stavans Cover Image
ISBN: 9780805242317
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Schocken - September 16th, 2008