THE accession of Pope Francis in 2013 prompted the publication
of many biographies. Paul Vallely's Pope Francis: Untying the
knots topped the Church Times monthly Top Ten
bestseller list. Others included: Francis, Bishop of Rome
by Michael Collins; Pray for Me by Robert Moynihan; and
On Heaven and Earth by Abraham Skorka.
Archbishop Justin Welby: The road to Canterbury by
Andrew Atherstone was the first biography of the new Archbishop of
Books celebrating the life and works of C. S. Lewis, 50 years
after his death, included: C. S. Lewis: A life and The
Intellectual World of C. S. Lewis by Alister McGrath; and
C. S. Lewis: A biography by Colin Duriez.
Anglican identity was explored in The Anglican Understanding
of the Church by Paul Avis; Anglicanism by Martyn
Percy; Anglican Women on Church and Mission, edited by
Kwok Pui-Lan, Judith A. Berling, and Jenny Plane Te Paa; and A
Point of Balance: The weight and measure of Anglicanism,
edited by Martyn Percy and Robert Boak Slocum.
Lent titles reviewed in the Church Times included the
Archbishop of Canterbury's 2013 Lent Book, Abiding by Ben
Quash; Christ in the Wilderness: Reflecting on the paintings of
Stanley Spencer by Stephen Cottrell; Journeying with
Jesus by Lucy Russell; The Resurrection of Peace by
Mary C. Grey; and the York Courses booklet Glimpses of God
by David Winter.
Among titles exploring multi-culturalism were Christians,
Muslims and Jesus by Mona Siddiqui; Do We Worship the Same
God? by Miroslav Volf; Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha
and Mohammed Cross the Road? by Brian McLaren;
Multi-Culturalism: Triple jeopardy for the West by Michael
Nazir-Ali; and Islam and English Law, edited by Robin
Griffith-Jones. The oppression that many Christians face in the
world was highlighted by Rupert Shortt's
Titles published to mark the coming centenary of the outbreak of
the First World War included God and War, edited by
Stephen G. Parker and Tom Lawson; Woodbine Willie by Bob
Holman; Muddling Through by Peter Howson; Stretcher
Bearer! by Charles H. Horton; Dorothea's War, edited
by Richard Crewdson; and The Clergy in Khaki, edited by
Michael Snape and Edward Madigan.
Spirituality titles covered included Water: A spiritual
history by Ian Bradley; The Recovery of Love by Naomi
Starkey; Less is More by Brian Draper; The Power of
Silence by Graham Turner; Spiritual Letters by Sister
Wendy Beckett; Immortal Diamond and Falling
Upward by Richard Rohr; Compassion Quest by Trystan
Owain-Hughes; A Silent Action: Engagements with Thomas
Merton by Rowan Williams; How to be Wise by Rod
Garner; God's Consoling Love by Michael Mayne; and
Running Over Rocks by Ian Adams.
Children's spirituality was explored in Children of God
by Edmund Newey; Children Growing Up With Religion, edited
by Lucy Birtwistle and Lindsay Smith; and Children in the
Bible by Anne Richards.
Novels reviewed included the second of James Runcie's
Grantchester mysteries, Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of
Death; A Vicar Crucified by Simon Parke; The
Breath of Night by Michael Arditti; Benediction by
Kent Haruf; Harvest by Jim Crace; The Testament of
Mary by Colm Tóibín; and Longbourn by Jo Baker.
There were autobiographies and memoirs by Roy Strong, Edwin
Apps, Bernard Palmer, Ronald Blythe, Brian Mahwhinney, David
Martin, Francis Jackson, Nadia Bolz-Webber, and Ann Widdecombe.
There were also new biographies of Margaret Thatcher, Elsie
Chamberlain, George Herbert, Émile Durkheim, Disraeli, Rowan
Williams, David Livingstone, and St Augustine of Hippo.
The issue of gender was explored in Why are Women More
Religious than Men? by Marta Trzebiatowska and Steve
Bruce; Women and Men in Scripture and the Church, edited
by Steven Croft and Paula Gooder; and Like the
Wideness of the Sea: Women bishops and the Church of England
by Maggi Dawn.
Titles by popular theologians included What We Talk About
When We Talk About God by Rob Bell; The Last
Testament by Don Cupitt; and Faith for the Creeds by
Alister McGrath. The Michael Ramsey Prize winner Christianity
and Contemporary Politics by Luke Bretherton also came under
History titles by well-known authors included Silence
by Diarmaid MacCulloch; The History of the Jews by Simon
Schama; and Our Church by Roger Scruton.
The issue of clergy stress was explored in A Clergy
Husband's Survival Guide by Matthew Caminer; and Resilient
Pastors by Justine Allain-Chapman.
A new hymn book, Ancient and Modern: Hymns and songs for
refreshing worship, appeared; and a mammoth enterprise,
The Canterbury Dictionary of Hymnology, was published
online. Titles on liturgy and worship included: Worship That
Cares by Mark Earey; Using the Book of Common Prayer
by Paul Thomas; Comfortable Words: Piety and the Book of Common
Prayer, edited by Stephen Platten and Christopher Woods; and
Fresh Expressions of Church and the Kingdom of God by
Graham Cray and Ian Mobsby.
Books on the Bible which were reviewed during the year included
Behind the Gospels by Eric Eve; Textual Scholarship
and the Making of the New Testament by David C. Parker;
Biblical Interpretations and Philosophical Hermeneutics by
B. H. McLean; A Generation of New Testament Scholarship by
John M. Court; One Bible, Many Versions by Dave Brunn;
Jacob: Unexpected Patriarch by Yair Zakovitch; and
Jewish and Christian Approaches to the Psalms by Susan
Other books reviewed included: The Wry Romance of the
Literary Rectory by Deborah Alun-Jones;The Bible and
Literature by Alison Jack; Saints, Sacrilege and
Sedition by Eamon Duffy; Science and Religion in the
Twenty-first Century, edited by Russell Re Manning and Michael
Byrne; Religion and Science Fiction by James F. McGrath;
Cross Roads by Wm Paul Young; Living Faithfully
by John Pritchard; The Testing of Vocation by RobertReiss;
Developing in Ministry byNeil Evans; Why Rousseau Was
Wrong by Frances Ward; Building Up the Body:
Encouraging, equipping and enabling volunteers in the
Church by Richard Steel; Death by Civilisation by
James Cary; Priests and Politics by Trevor Beeson;
Diary of a Gay Priest by Malcolm Johnson; Crafting
Prayers for Public Worship by Samuel Wells; Transforming
Preaching by David Heywood; and Drysalter by Michael