We invite you to read with our students, staff, and faculty the novel The Weight of All Things by Sandra Benítez, as part of Wheaton College’s Core Book program.
The Weight of All Things
The Core Book program fosters a shared experience across the campus community as we read, reflect upon, and discuss together a significant work that highlights themes of Wheaton’s Christ at the Core general education curriculum.
You are invited to join with us as we journey with young Nicolás into a story of deeply held faith in the midst of suffering and loss. Reading The Weight of All Things may lead us to echo Nicolás’ question, “Where are you, God, in all of this?” and watch for ways that we may, like Nicolás, live with the “courage of a lion” and the “heart of a lamb.” By reading and participating in the Core Book program, you will have the opportunity to enter into our community of learning and experience part of Christ at the Core.
Why The Weight of All Things?
As we read The Weight of All Things, we will face enduring questions about faith in the face of evil, the impact of war and poverty upon ordinary people, and God’s providence. Sandra Benítez’s novel introduces us to a people and culture characterized by longstanding Catholic traditions and embattled by daily conflict. As we enter into this fictional story, we will also encounter historical events—the Salvadoran civil war and displaced peoples—that challenge us to consider the long-term and unintended consequences of political violence and how we as Christians should respond.
Read: Recommended Books and Articles
The Weight of All Things by Sandra Benítez
Use these resources to guide your reading and discussion of The Weight of All Things.
Articles and Books for Further Reading
- El Salvador, CIA World Factbook
- Erik Ching, Stories of Civil War in El Salvador: A Battle Over Memories
- Hal Brands, Latin America’s Cold War
Latin American Christianity
- Samuel Escobar, "In Search of Christ in Latin America: From Colonial Image to Liberating Savior"
- John Lynch, “How Christianity Came to Latin America,” excerpt from New Worlds: A Religious History of Latin America
- Joey Marshall, “The World’s Most Committed Christians Live in Africa, Latin America – and the U.S.,” Pew Research Center
- Robert Brenneman, “Pentecostal Human Rights Activists? Religious Motives in Gang ‘Rescue’ Programs in Central America,” Religion & Violence in Latin America Center at American University
- Stephen Offutt, New Centers of Global Evangelicalism in Latin America and Africa
- Timothy H. Wadkins, The Rise of Pentecostalism in Modern El Salvador: From the Blood of Martyrs to the Baptism of the Spirit
Evangelicals, Catholics, and Mary
- Kevin DeYoung, “Protestant and Catholic: What’s the Difference?”, The Gospel Coalition
- Timothy George, “Evangelicals and the Mother of God,” First Things
Explore: Core Book Events
A Global Faith and People: Reflections on World Christianity
Thursday, September 12 | 7:00 p.m. | Barrows Auditorium (Billy Graham Center)
A symposium featuring glimpses of expressions of Christian faith around the globe, including South Africa, Pakistan, Lebanon, and Latin America. Faculty speakers include (Conservatory), (Anthropology), Dr. Alia Abboud, (John Stott Scholar, Anthropology), and (Biblical & Theological Studies).
Who Bears the Weight of All Things?: A Novel About Ordinary People, War, and Faith
Thursday, October 10 | 7:00 p.m. | Blanchard Hall, Room 339
A liberal arts discussion of the Core Book, The Weight of All Things, through the lens of literature, social sciences, music, and theology, with Carlos Colón (Baylor University), Christine Colón (English), Gerardo Corpeño (Doctoral student, Biblical & Theological Studies), and James Huff (Human Needs and Global Resources).
CANCELED: Song of the Lord in a Strange Land with Carlos Colón
Choral performance with composer talk: "Veo Violencia en la Ciudad" (March 19 | 7:00 p.m.)
Hear the music and personal story of Salvadoran-American composer Carlos Colón as he recounts his own youthful pilgrimage from the civil war of El Salvador to his creative work as composer and liturgist that speaks of hope while calling for justice and peace.
This event has been canceled due to COVID-19 response measures taken by Wheaton College. Please visit COVID-19 for updates and information.
Learn: Additional The Weight of All Things Resources
- President Philip Ryken, “When Trouble Comes: Mary’s Troubled Soul,” Wheaton College Chapel Address (December 12, 2014)
- Timothy George, “Recovering a Protestant Mary: A Conversation with Timothy George,” Christianity Today podcast
- Timothy George, “What Evangelicals Can Love about Mary,” Christianity Today podcast
- “Religion and Violence in Central America,” Woodrow Wilson Center podcast on how religious institutions are responding to violence