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Jessica Martin: Scripture as conversation

03 July 2020

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On the podcast this week, Canon Jessica Martin reads an extract from her much-anticipated new book, Holiness and Desire: What makes us who we are?

The extract is published in this week’s Church Times (3 July).

“Trusting the scriptures is not wilful blindness, but a speaking act of love. Because of love, I believe that the power of a medieval anonymous lyric to move me to tears signals an authentic rather than an historically naïf response. Because of love, I believe that a paradisal early memory of playing with my brother on a carpet of cherry blossom is a present earnest of the joys of heaven, not a corrupted image of a lost event. The fount of all these is the same as the belief which turns me towards my spouse trustfully rather than in suspicion.

“As with my spouse, I pursue my relationship with scripture assuming that the process of becoming which led to this communicative moment will, in the end, fulfil and not betray my trust — not because it is a history of perfection (that’s true neither of writing nor of people), but because love underpins the conversation; love makes it possible.”

The Revd Dr Jessica Martin is a Canon Residentiary of Ely Cathedral.

Holiness and Desire: What makes us who we are? is published by Canterbury Press at £16.99 (Church Times Bookshop £15.30).

Click the play button above to listen to this podcast. You can also listen to the Church Times Podcast on the Church Times app for iPhone and iPad, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, SoundCloud, and most other podcast platforms.


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