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New titles just published

07 August 2020

Biblical reflections in a time of uncertainty; spirituality and chronic illness; a new take on Joseph; Julian of Norwich; and same-sex relationships

Virus as a Summons to Faith: Biblical reflections in a time of loss, grief and uncertainty by Walter Brueggemann (Authentic, £4.99 (£4.49); 978-1-78893-201-1)

“A biblical exploration of how we can bring new life out of the death and destruction we find all around us in the aftermath of the Coronavirus pandemic. Why bother with the interpretive categories of biblical faith when in fact our energy and interest are focused on more immediate matters? The answer is simple and obvious. We linger because, in the midst of our immediate preoccupation with our felt jeopardy and our hope for relief, our imagination does indeed range beyond the immediate to larger, deeper wonderments. Our free-ranging imagination is not finally or fully contained in the immediacy of our stress, anxiety, and jeopardy. Beyond these demanding immediacies, we have a deep sense that our life is not fully contained in the cause-and-effect reasoning of the Enlightenment that seeks to explain and control. There is more than that and other than that to our life in God’s world!”


Spirituality and Meaning Making in Chronic Illness: How spiritual caregivers can help people navigate long-term health conditions by Kelly Arora (JKP, £18.99 (£17.09); 978-1-78450-996-5)

“Many spiritual caregivers, including chaplains, spiritual directors and clergy, are unaware of how they can support people with chronic health conditions. This book combines insights on chronic illness with spiritual care skills and suggestions to enhance well-being for people living with long-term illness. Using a narrative approach, the author reflects on the stories of two women — Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, who travels from Kansas (a state of health) to Oz (an illness experience), alongside the author’s personal experiences of managing an incurable autoimmune disease. Chapters will include guidelines and exercises that help equip caregivers to facilitate healing with people who live with long-term health conditions.”


Joseph: A story of resilience by Meg Warner (SPCK, £12.99 (£11.69); 978-0-281-08108-0)

“You may think you know the story of Joseph, but this book will make you think again! It invites you to think deeply about Joseph’s character and how he responds to the traumatic events that threaten to overwhelm him. Lacing her commentary with telling anecdotes from her own life story, Meg Warner shows how a deeper understanding of Joseph’s story can help you develop the vital quality of resilience: the will and the strength to endure life’s hardships and rise above the effects of trauma whenever it may strike.”


At the Foot of the Cross with Julian of Norwich by Emma Pennington (BRF, £9.99 (£9); 978-0-85746-519-1)

“‘All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.’ This quotation may be all that many people know of Julian of Norwich, an anchoress from the fourteenth century. This book seeks to bring to a popular readership a devotional engagement with Julian’s work. The introduction gives a general background to Julian, the nature of visions in the 14th century and the type of text Julian gives us, namely a meditative text which intends to lead the reader to ‘beholding’. Each chapter centres on one aspect or image from Julian's Revelation, which seeks to make the events of the Passion present to the reader's imagination. The commentary incorporates reflection, the biblical narrative and Julian’s subsequent teachings to create a meditation that enables the reader to linger on the wonder of the cross, ending with a prayer that leads to silence and a thought or verse to carry into daily life.”


Love Means Love by David Runcorn (SPCK, £12.99 (£11.69); 978-0-281-08441-8)

“Does the Bible really condemn same-sex relationships? Many Christians wrestle with this question. Here, in his compassionate, cogent book, David Runcorn outlines how someone can support same-sex relationships on the basis of the Bible, not in spite of it. The Church, in every time and place, finds itself working out the shock and surprise of God's unfolding ways — often scandalized by where holiness, goodness and the life of God are to be found. Runcorn's insightful and moving reflections show how speaking in gospel friendship will help to dispel the anxiety and division that have tended to mark the Church's response to homosexuality. Covering sexual abstinence and celibacy, sexuality and the sacred, he leads us to one powerful conclusion: love means love. “Brim-full of gentle and clear wisdom. Highly recommended!” Paul Bayes, Bishop of Liverpool “Joyful, truthful, scandalously inclusive . . . This book will literally save lives. It opens the door of grace and beckons you in.” Nick Bundock, Rector of St James and Emmanuel, Didsbury “Liberates us to read our beloved Bible with faithfulness, both to the text and to the fruit of Christ we often see in LGBT+ lives. For a good number of us, it will be met with a cry of ‘at last!’.” Jody Stowell, Vicar of St Michael's Harrow and Chair of London Clergy”

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