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New titles

02 August 2019

The Joy of God: Collected writings by Sister Mary David (Bloomsbury, £12.99 (£11.70); 978-1-4729-7132-6).

The spirituality to be found in the pages of this book demonstrates to the reader why her influence should have been so great and so deep. Her notes to the novices deal with issues of relevance to a world beyond the cloister: What is the meaning of suffering? How do we cope with living with people who annoy us? How do we relate to a God we cannot see? How do we make the big decisions of life?

Augustine’s Life of Prayer, Learning and Love: Lessons for Christian living by Cally Hammond (BRF, £8.99 (£8.10); 978-0-85746-713-3).

What can we learn from Augustine? There are many books that tell the life story of Augustine and how he has been fundamental in shaping Western Christian theology and practice. This is not one of them. This book is about how he became a Christian - the problems he faced; the doubts he struggled with.

On Music, Sense, Affect and Voice: Reading Augustine by Carol Harrison (Bloomsbury, £17.99 (£16.20); 978-1-5013-2626-4). 

This book explores early reflections on music and its effects on the mind and soul. Augustine is an obvious choice for such an analysis, as his De Musica is the only treatise on music by a Christian writer in the first five centuries AD; concerned not only with poetic metre and rhythm, but also with an ontology of music.

A Secret History of Christianity: Jesus, the last Inkling, and the evolution of consciousness by Mark Vernon (Christian Alternative, £14.99 (£13.50); 978-1-78904-194-1). 

Christianity is in crisis in the West. The Inkling friend of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, Owen Barfield, analysed why. He developed an account of our spiritual predicament that is radical and illuminating. Barfield realized that the human experience of life shifts fundamentally over periods of cultural time.

Being Orthodox: Faith and Practice in Eastern Orthodoxy by Martin Dudley (SPCK, £12.99 (£11.70); 978-0-281-08229-2).

Being Orthodox is a comprehensive guide to the Orthodox tradition. It offers encouragement to ordinary Orthodox Christians involved in the demanding task of trying to live a devout life, and counsel to those seeking to convert. It will also appeal to the many Catholics and Anglicans interested in Orthodoxy.

Selected by Frank Nugent, of the Church House Bookshop, which operates the Church Times Bookshop.

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