Participation in God: A study in Christian doctrine and metaphysics, by Andrew Davison (CUP, £24.99 (£22.49); 978-1-108-70404-5). New in paperback.
“Few ideas have excited greater interest among theologians in recent decades than the idea of ‘participation’. In thinking about creation, it is the notion that everything comes from, and depends upon, God, inviting the language of sharing, or of an exemplar and its images; in thinking about redemption, it points to the restoration of that image, and is expressed in the language of communion with God and with the redeemed community. In this volume, Andrew Davison considers these themes in unprecedented breadth, investigating the fundamental character of participation as it can be applied to a wide range of theological topics. Exploring what it means to know, to love, to do good, and to live together well, he shows how these ideas animate a particular understanding of human life and how we relate to the world around us. His book offers the most comprehensive survey of participation to date, contributing to detailed discussions of these themes among academic theologians.”
Ghost Ship: Institutional racism and the Church of England, by A. D. A. France-Williams (SCM Press, £19.99 (CHURCH TIMES BOOKSHOP SPECIAL OFFER PRICE £15.99); 978-0-334-05935-6)
“The Church is very good at saying all the right things about racial equality. But the reality is that the institution has utterly failed to back up these good intentions with demonstrable efforts to reform. It is a long way from being a place of black flourishing. Through conversation with clergy, lay people and campaigners in the Church of England, A.D.A France-Williams issues a stark warning to the church, demonstrating how black and brown ministers are left to drown in a sea of complacency and collusion.
“While sticking plaster remedies abound, A.D.A France-Williams argues that what is needed is a wholesale change in structure and mindset. Unflinching in its critique of the church, Ghost Ship explores the harrowing stories of institutional racism experienced then and now, within the Church of England. Far from being an issue which can be solved by simply recruiting more black and brown clergy, says France-Williams, structural racism requires a wholesale dismantling and reassembling of the ship — before it is too late.”
Read an interview with the author here and an extract from the book here
Stories We Tell Ourselves: Making meaning in a meaningless universe, by Richard Holloway (Canongate, £16.99 (£15.29); 978-1-78689-993-4)
“Throughout history we have told ourselves stories to try and make sense of what it all means: our place in a small corner of one of billions of galaxies, at the end of billions of years of existence. In this new book Richard Holloway takes us on a personal, scientific and philosophical journey to explore what he believes the answers to the biggest of questions are. He examines what we know about the universe into which — without any choice in the matter — we are propelled at birth and from which we are expelled at death, the stories we have told about where we come from, and the stories we tell to get through this muddling experience of life.”
Selected by Frank Nugent, of the Church House Bookshop, which operates the Church Times Bookshop