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

Acedia & Me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer's Life - Kathleen Norris

At once a memoir, an essay, and a history, Kathleen Norris’s Acedia And Me (Riverhead, $25.95) is a captivating exploration of an enigmatic concept.  Norris traces the notion of acedia, loosely defined as a spiritual inability to care, from the earliest Christian monks to the present.  Rather than focusing on acedia as a solely historical or theological phenomenon, Norris weaves her own life story into a rich narrative about caring and uncaring, the artistic process, and familial and communal relationships.  In an age of unparalleled interest in issues of mental health and depression, this beautifully written book is a timely call for rethinking our relationship to action and inaction. Drawing on the work of great literary masters, the monastic tradition, and her own experience as a poet and wife, Norris creates a unique portrait of a widespread affliction.

Acedia & me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer's Life By Kathleen Norris Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594484384
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - March 2nd, 2010