From Now On: A Lent course on hope and redemption in The Greatest Showman by Rachel Mann (DLT, £6.99 (£6.30); 978-0-232-53392-7).
“A brilliant new Lent Course for 2019, based on the hugely popular film The Greatest Showman. The 2018 Golden Globe-nominated movie starring Hugh Jackman, about the founder and stars of the Barnum & Bailey Circus is ideal for Lenten study of Christian themes of hope, redemption and new life. The five-week course offers discussion points, biblical reflections and prayers based on short excerpts from the film.”
Paul: The pagans’ Apostle by Paula Fredriksen (Yale, £15.99 (£14.40); 978-0-300-24015-3). New in paperback.
“A groundbreaking new portrait of the apostle Paul, from one of today's leading historians of antiquity. Often seen as the author of timeless Christian theology, Paul himself heatedly maintained that he lived and worked in history's closing hours. His letters propel his readers into two ancient worlds, one Jewish, one pagan.”
Five Events that Made Christianity: Christmas, Good Friday, Easter, Ascension and Pentecost by John Pritchard (SPCK, £9.99 (£9); 978-0-281-07806-6).
“Jesus was a pest to the Romans and a threat to the religious leadership, so they hung him out like so much refuse. Little did they realize that it was like trying to put out a fire with petrol. The whole world exploded. With characteristic style, John Pritchard takes us on pilgrimage to the Holy Land, as he unpacks the five great events that made Christianity - Christmas, Good Friday, Easter, Ascension and Pentecost.”
The Power of Pictures in Christian Thought: The use and abuse of images in the Bible and theology by Anthony C. Thiselton (SPCK, £30 (£27); 978-0-281-07886-8).
“The power of pictures is widely appreciated, as in the adage 'a picture is worth a thousand words'. Sometimes Christian discourse can be smothered by endless prose, which demands much inferential reasoning. There is, however, a contrary argument. An isolated visual representation can be misleading if it is improperly interpreted.”
Reformations: The early modern world, 1450-1650 by Carlos M. N. Eire (Yale, £16.99 (£15.30); 978-0-300-24003-0). New in paperback.
“A lively, expansive history of the Protestant and Catholic Reformations and the momentous changes they set in motion. This fast-paced survey of Western civilization's transition from the Middle Ages to modernity brings that tumultuous period vividly to life. Carlos Eire, popular professor and gifted writer, chronicles the two-hundred-year era of the Renaissance and Reformation with particular attention to issues that persist as concerns in the present day.”
Selected by Frank Nugent, of the Church House Bookshop, which operates the Church Times Bookshop.