Thursday Food for Thought Recap

The library wrapped up its quarterly Thursday Food for Thought program this afternoon with Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott, co-directors of SPU’s Center for Relationship Development, reading from their newest book The Good Fight: How Conflict Can Bring You Closer. In addition to discussing the counter-intuitive message of the book, they revealed practical ways in which to use conflict to your advantage. You can purchase a copy of the new book here.

Last week, Rick Steele read a report of his experience of teaching – and learning from – offenders who are trying to live their Christian faith under the conditions of incarceration, written for his work in progress, Ambassadors in Chains: Teaching Christian Prison Literature in a State Prison.

Books featured at Thursday Food for Thought may be available for checkout at the SPU Library. See the previous post for call number information and links to the catalog to view availability.

We had a great turnout this quarter—thanks to all the speakers and those who attended for your participation and the stimulating conversation. The next list of speakers will post on the Thursday Food for Thought website later in the summer, so check for updates shortly.

Thursday Food For Thought


Spring Quarter’s Thursday Food for Thought lineup is three weeks in, with topics ranging from theater, to journalism, to young adult dystopian. Here is a list of our recent speakers, with links to the featured or associated books discussed:

If you haven’t yet made it out to the library’s Thursday Food for Thought program this quarter, join us next week May 2nd, for Rick Steele’s new book project, Ambassadors in Chains: Teaching Christian Prison Literature in a State Prison. Our final session will conclude on May 9th, with Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott reading from The Good Fight: how Conflict Can Bring You Closer. We look forward to seeing you there!   

Thursday Food For Thought Recap

This quarter’s lineup of TFFT topics ranged from theology and pop culture to jazz music, from the creation of a magazine to philosophical and then on to Pacific Northwest regional history. With such a variety of perspectives, each session was filled with unique conversation. Here is a list of the books featured this quarter, complete with a brief bit about what was discussed:

January 24-Priscilla Pope-Levison, professor of theology, and other contributors

Written by professors from disciplines as distinct as health sciences and religion, literature and marriage counseling, Sex, Gender, and Christianity provided perfect jumping-off points for rich discussions.

January 31-Paul de Barros, instructor of music

Longtime Seattle Times jazz and world music critic Paul de Barros, instructor of music at SPU, read his biography of the incomparable jazz pianist Marian McPartland, Shall We Play That One Together?: The Life and Art of Jazz Piano Legend Marian McPartland.

February 7-Hannah Notess, editor of Response

Managing editor Hannah Notess read from articles inside SPU’s award-winning magazine, discussed telling stories through words and images, and talked about the role of print magazines in our digital culture.















February 14-Tom Trzyna, professor of English

Professor Tom Trzyna read from his new book Le Clézio’s Spiritual Quest, which examines the Nobel Prize-winning author’s attempt to create a new philosophy and a new spirituality from three marginal world traditions: Islamic Sufism, the pre-Socratic philosophy of Parmenides, and Aztec religion.

February 21-Bill Woodward, professor of history

Before 21st century American leaders created the Department of Homeland Security to prevent another 9/11, 19th century leaders installed a system of shore guns to prevent another 8/14. Now quaint state parks, these artifacts of a past obsession with “Never again!” raise questions about threats both imagined and real. Bill Woodward read excerpts from a manuscript in preparation.

Thursday Food for Thought recap

Last week was our wrap up for our autumn quarter library Thursday Food for Thought sessions. We’ve had a great run, with subjects ranging from movies to theology, from essays to visual literacy. Here’s some of what the final three speakers shared:

  • October 18: Daniel Castelo and Michael Langford, faculty from the School of Theology, read from the book Holiness as a Liberal Art, edited by Castelo with essay contributions from additional School of Theology faculty. Conversation revolved around the implications of holiness infusing all aspects of education. The book is available at the SPU library with the call number BX8331.3 H64 2012.
  • November 1: Julia Siemens, editor of etc magazine, read from multiple articles, discussed the process of writing true stories about SPU alum, and invited comments from current students who had pieces written about them in the magazine. Staff from University Communications also shared their perspectives on the production aspects of etc. To access the magazine, subscribe or view the current issue online.
  • November 8: Karen Gutowsky-Zimmerman, associate professor of Art, read from the book A Primer of Visual Literacy, by Donis A. Dondis, and spoke about the messaging and impact of visual literacy. You can access the featured book through our catalog. Other books highlighted by the speaker are Principles of Form and Design by Wucius Wong (call number TA345 .W66 1993), Visual Literacy by James Elkin (call number LB1068 .V567 2008), and Visual Literacy: A Conceptual Approach to Graphic Problem Solving by Judith Wilde and Richard Wilde (call number NC845 .W55 1991).

We hope you enjoyed our lineup this quarter! Visit our Thursday Food for Thought website for updates and to view the list of speakers for next quarter.

Thursday Food for Thought

During Autumn, Winter, and Spring quarters, the SPU library hosts a reading program that features campus faculty, staff, and student writers. This event is one way we highlight the scholastic achievements of our community, bringing people from across campus together in an informal session to listen to portions of articles and books written by our very own.

This quarter, we launched on October 11th with Todd Rendleman, professor of communication, who packed a full house in our library’s Reading Room with his book Rule of Thumb: Ebert at the Movies. During the engaging Q&A session, Rendleman discussed his personal interactions with Ebert. While his book analyzes Ebert as a movie reviewer, it sounded relatable and gracious in its approach. The library call number for this book is PN1998.3 .R46 2012.


Last week, we again welcomed professor of New Testament and theology, Jack Levison, to the library, where he read from his new book Fresh Air: The Holy Spirit for an Inspired Life. The book takes a more personal approach than other works Levison has published, written in a narrative style that incorporates aspects of himself as scholar, father, and Christian. The call number for this book is BT121.3 .L48 2012.


We’re two fantastic weeks in already, but there are three more weeks of TFFT to come. Today, October 25th, we’ll hear from Daniel Castelo and other School of Theology faculty members who contributed to the book Holiness as a Liberal Art. Pack a meal, join us, and prepare yourself for stimulating lunchtime discussion at the library!