Sister Laurie Brink

Sister Laurie Brink Authors Book “The Heavens Are Telling the Glory of God: An Emerging Chapter for Religious Life, Science, Theology, and Mission”

 

From left: Srs. Jean McSweeney and Laurie Brink. Sr. Jean was on Sr. Laurie’s advisory committee as she wrote the book.

From left: Srs. Jean McSweeney and Laurie Brink. Sr. Jean was on Sr. Laurie’s advisory committee as she wrote the book.

CHICAGO, Ill.—Dominican Sister of Sinsinawa and professor of New Testament Studies at Catholic Theological Union Laurie Brink, OP, released her book “The Heavens Are Telling the Glory of God: An Emerging Chapter for Religious Life, Science, Theology, and Mission” in January.

Building on the work of Teilhard de Chardin, the New Cosmology integrates scientific facts and theories, including discoveries about the expanding universe and evolution, and proposes that creation is developing into greater complexity. But how are we to understand concepts like “original sin” and “redemption” if creation isn’t complete and humanity is still in process? How does one “retrofit” religious tradition and Scripture into this scenario? Is there room for the historical Jesus in the New Cosmology? While a ready concern for all Christians, this question has unique implications for Catholic Sisters whose lives are centered on the person and mission of Jesus Christ. How is a Catholic Sister to understand her vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience in light of a cosmology in which the need for redemption and the role of Jesus are significantly redefined?

“The Heavens Are Telling the Glory of God” probes these questions and offers possible answers. Beginning with the experiences of Catholic Sisters and their encounter with the New Cosmology (or Universe Story), this book seeks to mediate among the various perspectives and proposes how informed and reflective engagement with science, tradition, and theology can bridge the generational divides and foster a spirituality that is both emergent and incarnational. Access to online discussion and reflection questions is included. Published by Liturgical Press, the book is available for $34.95 in paperback and eFormats at https://litpress.org/Products/6724/The-Heavens-Are-Telling-the-Glory-of-God.  

"Religious life has been in flux since the close of the Second Vatican Council,” reflected Sister Ilia Delio, OSF, who serves as Josephine C. Connelly Endowed Chair in Theology at Villanova University. “What was once a static and fixed life has become an open system of emerging communities and ministries. Laurie Brink’s new book brings the heart of religious life into deep dialogue with the sciences in a scholarly and thoughtful way. By weaving together new life in God with new life in the universe, we can begin to appreciate the value of the Gospels with new depth and breadth. This is an important book as religious communities diminish in size yet expand with new possibilities of communal and intercommunal life. Framing religious life with a scientific worldview will not detract from the life but expand it in creative and novel ways. The Spirit who calls us into new life in God is breathing through a dynamic and vibrant universe; indeed, God is doing new things throughout the entire cosmos."

"In this challenging and hopeful volume Dominican theologian Laurie Brink, who has been involved in the formation of newer religious for some years, brings into conversation three topics that are in potentially creative tension among religious today: the diversities and potential complementarity among different cohorts/generations of religious; the diverse influence of the 'New Cosmology' on these different cohorts; and her own hopeful vision of their mutual contribution to the emergence of the religious life of the future,” said Sister Sandra M. Schneiders, IHM, professor emerita of New Testament and spirituality at Santa Clara University. “Dr. Brink's impressive competence in the first two areas makes her constructive, but perhaps controversial suggestions about the future of the life in the third section, worthy of serious consideration.”

Laurie Brink, Ph.D., also serves as an associate editor for “The Bible Today” and has authored numerous articles and books on Scripture, religious life, and spirituality. As a member of the Dominican Order, she is keenly interested in promoting biblical literacy and has given presentations and workshops throughout the United States and in Australia, Bolivia, Jamaica, New Zealand, the Philippines, Solomon Islands, and Trinidad.

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