Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Big (and expensive) Book News

Today is the release date for my new book!  It was back in the spring of 2009 that I started exploring what it would take to edit a large collection of papers on science and religion.  It was my first year back as a teaching faculty member after spending five years in exile as an administrator.  I thought it would be a good way to get reconnected to the academic discipline I was most intrigued with.  After a few conversations with the luminaries I knew in the field, I put a proposal together and started talking with Blackwell Publishers.  They have a big series of "Companion" volumes, many of which are the best in the business.  Thankfully they didn't have a science and religion companion in the works.  It took some convincing to get them to restrict the scope of the book to Christianity.  That's not very politically correct.  But in reality the vast majority of the work in the field is related to Christianity.  Since I'm not so well known in the field, they wanted me to secure a co-editor who had more name recognition.  I was pleased to join forces with Alan Padgett, from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN who is very well connected in the field.  By Fall of 2009, we had a contract from Blackwell and started contacting others to invite them to contribute.  In all there are fifty-four chapters written by some of the best known philosophers, scientists, and theologians who have plied their considerable talents to issues at the intersection of science and Christianity.  And there are also more than a couple up-and-comers.  Find the table of contents here.  They had a year to get their original essays in, and then we had another year to get them edited.  As it went, quite a few took more than a year to get their essays in, but we got them edited and submitted to Blackwell a couple of months before our deadline.  Then there was the long process of getting the text laid out and copy-edited.  We got the proofs around Christmastime last year and had to go through them and create an index.  It was quite a process, involving a huge administrative effort to keep all the correspondence with these 54 people all over the world in order.  I really enjoyed it though.  And getting a few copies of it in the mail today is almost like seeing the birth of a baby after a long gestation and labor.  If you're looking for gifts for Memorial Day or Flag Day, you can find it on Amazon here.  The bad news is, it is only available in hardback at the moment, and as it is a reference book, they're not giving it away.  List price:  $199.  Hopefully, a paperback version will be coming out.

2 comments:

D.C. Cramer said...

It's cool that you got one of your "Significant Figures of the 20th Century in Science and Christianity" to contribute an essay to your volume.

Terry Linhart said...

Congratulations JB! This has to be gratifying for you after nurturing its development and progress. And, yes, it would make a lovely Memorial Day gift because most of us do give presents on Memorial day - and epic philosophical hardback reference books are the proper gift to give on Memorial Day. But seriously, congratulations and I trust the libraries of the world will be sure to shelve this great work.