Living I Was Your Plague: Martin Luther’s world and legacy by Lyndal Roper (Princeton, £25 (£22.50); 978-0-691-20530-4).
“Living I Was Your Plague explores how Martin Luther carefully crafted his own image and how he has been portrayed in his own times and ours, painting a unique portrait of the man who set in motion a revolution that sundered Western Christendom. Renowned Luther biographer Lyndal Roper examines how the painter Lucas Cranach produced images that made the reformer an instantly recognisable character whose biography became part of Lutheran devotional culture. She reveals what Luther’s dreams have to say about his relationships and discusses how his masculinity was on the line in his devastatingly crude and often funny polemical attacks. Roper shows how Luther's hostility to the papacy was unshaken to the day he died, how his deep-rooted anti-Semitism infused his theology, and how his memorialisation has given rise to a remarkable flood of kitsch, from ‘Here I Stand’ socks to Playmobil Luther.”
Made in the Image of God: Being human in the Christian tradition, edited by M. Fuller and D. Jasper (Sacristy Press, £24.99 (£22.49); 978-1-78959-170-5).
“The question of our humanity has never been more pressing or uncertain. As human beings, is our nature simply biological? What is the place of philosophy and theology in determining our self-understanding? Are we dependent on our relationships with one another? Are we creatures created by God? Is our physical death an end of our being? All these questions are discussed in this book, which addresses the question of what it is to be human, made in the image of God. Its twelve essays cover a wide range of perspectives ranging from the Bible to issues in science and gender.”
A Theology of Disagreement: New Testament ethics for ecclesial conflicts by Christopher Landau (SCM Press, £30 (Church Times SPECIAL OFFER PRICE £24); 978-0-334-06045-1).
“Christopher Landau examines how New Testament texts inform Christian approaches to ecclesial conflict. Examining both occasions of disagreement, and instances prompting thematic reflection on disagreement, Landau proposes a new theological ethic for the facing of disagreement among Christians, rooted in an appeal to the significance of the double love command and the ‘fruit of the Spirit’. Timely and necessary, the book issues a challenge to the Church to move towards Loving Disagreement.”
Selected by Aude Pasquier, of the Church House Bookshop which operates the Church Times Bookshop.