I’ve returned to the blogosphere as I excitedly await the release of my first book, Leaving Silence: Sexualized Violence, the Bible, and Standing with Survivors. This book has been gestating inside of me for at least 5 years now, as first my PhD work and later my teaching led me deeper and deeper into the question of, “What does it mean to reclaim a Bible that itself is often violence and painful to read in the wake of trauma?”
I wanted to write a book that would ask that question, and ask it (and hopefully provide some answers!) in a way that not just people with PhDs would want to read it, but people sitting in pews and outside the walls of the Church who just want to understand more. Some of the best questions I’ve ever heard about the Bible come from people who don’t have any formal training in Scriptural interpretation or theology. As Church congregations have supported me for many years as I’ve gone through school and discerned vocation, I wanted to give myself back to the Church. I hoped I could write something that would become a resource to congregations who want to ask the hard questions about sexualized violence and solidarity with survivors.
The only problem was, I didn’t know how to publish a book for a general audience! My Google searches told me about literary agents and proposals, and as I scrambled to finish my PhD and start my big girl job as a pandemic began and the busy-ness of motherhood continued, I didn’t know how I could find time to navigate these new waters.
I couldn’t have been more surprised or thrilled when Herald Press, an imprint of MennoMedia, emailed me just after my new position of Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary became public. The acquisitions editor at Herald let me know that they’d been hoping to publish a book like the one of my dreams, and that they thought I was the person to write it. I wasted no time in writing back an enthusiastic “Yes!” and from the conversations that followed and a whole lot of squeezing writing sessions into nap times, I birthed Leaving Silence.
I’m so excited to share this book, so long in coming, with all of you.