Faculty Books


Making March Madness: The Early Years of the NCAA, NIT and College Basketball Championships, 1922-1951

Chad Carlson, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Kinesiology

Making March Madness: The Early Years of the NCAA, NIT and College Basketball Championships, 1922-1951

University of Arkansas Press

Long before it became a national phenomenon, the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament — commonly dubbed “March Madness” — had its humble beginnings in modestly populated Midwestern gymnasiums to little fanfare and hype. It’s this early history that Dr. Chad Carlson recounts in his new book, which was published as part of University Arkansas Press’ Sports and Society series. Carlson — a former Hope basketball player and now the college’s men’s junior varsity coach — weaves first a regional tale, then a national story, about a competition that went from baby steps to giant leaps.

Church and State: Documents Decoded

David K. Ryden, Ph.D.

Professor of Political Science

Jeffrey J. Polet, Ph.D.

Professor of Political Science

Church and State: Documents Decoded


How did the language regarding “separation of church and state” come about, when this phrase does not appear anywhere in the U.S. Constitution? Dr. Jeffrey J. Polet and Dr. David K. Ryden address this question, and many others, as they trace the history of myths and facts about church-state relations in the United States, from colonial times to the present day. This collection of annotated documents and court cases sheds light on how interpretation of the U.S. Constitution affects a wide range of issues, including the safeguarding of individuals’ rights to religious expression and the use of public funds for faith-based schools and hospitals.

Colonial Food in Interwar Paris: The Taste of Empire

Lauren Janes, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of History

Colonial Food in Interwar Paris: The Taste of Empire

Bloomsbury Publishing

In 2017, Bloomsbury Publishing issued the paperback version of this book, which challenges the claim that empire was central to modern French identity. As post-World War I France suffered severe food shortages, colonial food was positioned as a powerful symbol, representing the significance of the colonial project to the French empire. Dr. Lauren Janes argues that distrust of colonial food, from Indochinese rice to tropical fruit, reflected French society’s disinterest in the empire. Included in the book is an analysis of the role of food in contemporary debates about the place of Muslims in France today.

From Cairo to Christ

Kent A. Van Til, Ph.D.

Lecturer of Religion

From Cairo to Christ

InterVarsity Press

“If I were to become a Christian, it would mean not only changing my religion but changing my whole identity and bringing shame upon my family. My whole family is Muslim, and my society and culture were Muslim &hellips Changing from Islam to Christianity would mess up my life forever.” So writes Abu Atallah, who grew up in Cairo as an Egyptian Muslim. As he came of age, he began to encounter people who followed a different way, who called themselves Christians. Dr. Kent A. Van Til tells the story of how one Muslim man was drawn to the Christian faith, and how he later became active in Christian ministry in the Muslim world.

Piers Plowman and the Poetics of Enigma: Riddles, Rhetoric and Theology

Curtis Gruenler, Ph.D.

Professor of English

Piers Plowman and the Poetics of Enigma: Riddles, Rhetoric and Theology

University of Notre Dame Press

Dr. Curtis Gruenler proposes that the concept of the enigmatic can help readers better understand many medieval literary works, including William Langland’s “Piers Plowman,” a 7,000-line allegorical poem that explores biblical themes. According to a Times Literary Supplement review, “Gruenler’s learned and wide-reaching study is poised to transform future readings not only of Piers Plowman, but of many other works of medieval literature. The framework he advances for identifying the poetics of enigma at work in Piers Plowman admirably addresses the way that the poem both defies and invites interpretation.”

Lynn Japinga, Ph.D.

Professor of Religion

Preaching the Women of the Old Testament: Who They Were and Why They Matter

Westminster John Knox Press

More than 40 biblical women are featured in this book, which Dr. Lynn Japinga designed as a resource for pastors who want to know more about the women of the Old Testament and how to better incorporate them into their sermons. Each of the women receives a chapter, which begins by sharing where in the Bible her story is found and then whether or not it’s included in the lectionary that provides a guide for readings to use in preaching. Japinga presents a synopsis of each woman’s story, reflects on previous commentary about it, and concludes by suggesting possible sermon themes.

A Short History of the Ancient World

Heidi E. Kraus, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Art and Art History

A Short History of the Ancient World

University of Toronto Press

Coauthored with Dr. Nicholas Rauh of Purdue University, this college-level book traces the emergence of urban civilizations in Africa, Asia and Europe from ancient times through the fall of the Roman Empire. With a broad-based social historical approach, Dr. Heidi E. Kraus and Rauh examine the unique social, cultural, religious, economic and political characteristics of each civilization, and explore the connections between societies in the Roman Mediterranean, East Africa, India and China. The volume concludes by reflecting on patterns common to the civilizations during both their existence and their collapse.

Visions of Technological Transcendence: Human Enhancement and the Rhetoric of the Future

James Herrick, Ph.D.

Guy VanderJagt Professor of Communication

Visions of Technological Transcendence: Human Enhancement and the Rhetoric of the Future

Parlor Press

Central to this book is transhumanism — the idea that mental and physical enhancements through biotechnology and computer science will, and should, lead to improved human lives and even a post-human species. According to Dr. James Herrick, it’s a world that will see direct human-computer interface, genetic splicing and engineering, and sophisticated artificial intelligence — and it’s not far away. While skeptical about transhumanism’s goals, Herrick creates a holistic overview that shares different perspectives, with chapters that explore narratives of progress, technological immortality, and space colonization as human destiny.

Also in 2017, Routledge published the sixth edition of Herrick’s The History and Theory of Rhetoric: An Introduction. This college-level book, which traces the traditional progression of rhetoric from the Greek Sophists to contemporary theorists, offers a conceptual framework for evaluating and practicing persuasive writing and speaking in a wide range of settings. The sixth edition includes greater attention to non-Western studies, as well as contemporary developments such as the rhetoric of science, feminist rhetoric, the rhetoric of display and comparative rhetoric.

If god were gentle


David James, M.F.A.

Adjunct Associate Professor of English

David James turns life into poetry. In Split Level, a chapbook of his poetry published in early 2017, James (who writes as D. R. James) chronicles life from boyhood to middle age. Eighteen poems take the reader from James’ childhood in a growing suburb west of Chicago during the Kennedy era, to pride and wistful recollection as the parent of grown children and the son of an aging parent, to thoughts on teaching, faith and the effects of getting older. All of the poems in Split Level were previously published in a variety of journals.

James’ second full-length poetry collection, If god were gentle (Dos Madres Press), was also published in 2017. It features poems that explore the bittersweet experience of life viewed from middle age. Of this book, Hope professor emeritus of English Jack Ridl writes: “Never considering turning away, or back, James’s narrator trudges through one circle of soul-destructive experience after another. If you want your poems to save you, that ain’t gonna happen here. If you want lemonade out of lemons, you’ll end up with the bitterest of bitters. If you want ‘It was worth it in the end’ you’ll be left with a question. What you will discover here, however, is a strangely comforting form of optimism, assuring that you really can just keep going on.”

In addition to teaching writing and literature, James is the coordinator of academic coaching with Hope’s Academic Success Center.

Murder My LoveFortune's FoolDeath by Armoire

Albert Bell Jr., Ph.D.

Professor of History

When he’s not in the classroom, you might find Dr. Albert Bell Jr. putting the final touches on yet another novel. A prolific writer of fiction, the history professor published three mysteries in 2017 alone: Fortune’s Fool: A Sixth Case from the Notebooks of Pliny the Younger; Murder My Love; and Death by Armoire: A Palmetto Antiques Mystery. Fortune’s Fool is the latest in Bell’s “Cases from the Notebooks of Pliny the Younger” series, a set of six historical mysteries that take place in ancient Rome. It’s a setting that Bell knows well, thanks to years of scholarship in Roman history. Bell’s approach to writing is simple: He writes books that he would enjoy reading himself.

Coming in 2018

Civil Dialogue on Abortion

Jack Mulder Jr., Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Philosophy

Civil Dialogue on Abortion


Dr. Jack Mulder’s recent book is a brave and balanced foray into one of society’s most divisive debates. Civil Dialogue on Abortion, scheduled for March 2018 release by Routledge, provides an engaging discussion between two philosophy scholars — one on each side of the abortion issue.

Mulder argues for his pro-life view but recognizes that for the pro-life movement to be consistent, it must urge society to care more for the vulnerable. Coauthor Dr. Bertha Alvarez Manninen, an associate professor of philosophy in Arizona State University’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, argues for her pro-choice view but also urges respect for the life of the fetus. The two come together to civilly discuss their opposing views in a chapter-by-chapter give-and-take, but their discourse does not end there. They also find common ground in their thoughts on economic and social justice, as well as sexual ethics, all pertinent to the abortion debate. In doing so, the two authors show how differing positions can nevertheless rest upon converging convictions and thus provide a way forward through a divide that has only seemed to widen in recent years.

“This issue is important because it is a matter of justice to both of us,” says Mulder as he explains his reasons for writing the book with Manninen. “It’s an issue that is not going to go away any time soon. And I think people’s desires to make it go away often cut short the dialogue we should be having in a genuine democracy. We should always be talking, civilly, about where we disagree.”

“Independently of how thorny the issue is, though, abortion is a fascinating debate for philosophers,” Mulder continues, “because we get to talk about personhood, about rights and how far they extend, and about what makes a just society. There’s a huge morass of philosophical questions in the abortion debate.”

This book will prove essential reading for students across multiple disciplines, including applied ethics, medical ethics and bioethics, but will also be of interest to students of philosophy, religion and women’s studies.