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The poor you will always have with you, says Jesus Christ in the Gospels of Mark and Matthew. In God Knows, Holman (academic research writer & editor, Francois-Xavier Bagnoud Ctr. for Health & Human Rights, Harvard Sch. of Public Health; The Hungry Are Dying) surveys how Christians have historically responded to poverty and discloses her own journey to awareness. The result: a unique fusion of memoir and research. Holman filters each example of Christian reactions to human need and social welfare through three paradigms: sensing need, sharing the world, and embodying the sacred kingdom. Holman's historical analysis of ancient writers (e.g., Gregory of Nazianzus, John Chrysostom) will prove to be didactic for 21st-century social activism and ecumenical approaches to addressing poverty. It will find its appropriate home with students of religion, theology, and social work.
In the River They Swim also addresses the Gordian knot of poverty and features a foreword by Rick Warren, who reminds readers of this sober truth: three billion people live in poverty. Government handouts are not the answer; instead, the "enterprise solutions" offered in these essays are empowering, for they provide knowledge, training, and opportunities for the poor. Contributors speak a combined 20 languages, and they include Rwandan president Paul Kagama, American Express VP David Rabkin, and Malik Fal, who heads Microsoft's Business Marketing and Operations Group, which spans 49 African countries. Contributors share their personal journeys of working in abject conditions, along with their tribulations and successes in implementing enterprise solutions to poverty. In short, thiswork is a global and holistic approach to a perennial problem, and the message is clarion clear: governments, businesses, and churches must align, collaborate, and innovate to combat destitution. Overall, this eclectic and challenging title is recommended for both students and lay readers.
—C. Brian Smith