The Lost Art of Scripture: Rescuing the sacred texts by Karen Armstrong (Bodley Head, £25 (£22.50); 978-1-847-92431-5).
“In our increasingly secular world, holy texts are at best seen as irrelevant, and at worst as an excuse to incite violence, hatred and division. So what value, if any, can scripture hold for us today? And if our world no longer seems compatible with scripture, is it perhaps because its original purpose has become lost?”
The Temple in Early Christianity: Experiencing the sacred by Eyal Regev (Yale, £45 (£40.50); 978-0-300-19788-4).
“A comprehensive treatment of the early Christian approaches to the Temple and its role in shaping Jewish and Christian identity The first scholarly work to trace the Temple throughout the entire New Testament, this study examines Jewish and Christian attitudes toward the Temple in the first century and provides both Jews and Christians with a better understanding of their respective faiths and how they grow out of this ancient institution.”
Martin Buber: A life of faith and dissent by Paul Mendes-Flohr (Yale, £16.99; 978-0-300-15304-0).
“An authority on the twentieth‑century philosopher Martin Buber (1878–1965), Paul Mendes-Flohr offers the first major biography in English in thirty years of this seminal modern Jewish thinker.”
The Lost Message of Paul by Steve Chalke (SPCK, £9.99 (£9); 978-0-281-07940-7).
“In the early years of the 21st century it is clear once more that the shape of the established Church and its relationship to the State no longer fits the needs of the world in which we are called to live and serve. It is time, once more, to re-imagine the role of faith, Church and its place in the public square, based around the work of Paul and especially the Epistle to the Romans.”
The Crossway by Guy Stagg (Picador, £9.99; 978-1-5098-4459-3). New in paperback.
“In 2013 Guy Stagg made a pilgrimage from Canterbury to Jerusalem. Though a non-believer, he began the journey after suffering several years of mental illness, hoping the ritual would heal him. For ten months he hiked alone on ancient paths, crossing ten countries and more than 5,500 kilometres. The Crossway is an account of this extraordinary adventure.”
Selected by Frank Nugent, of the Church House Bookshop, which operates the Church Times Bookshop.