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New titles just published

12 November 2021

This week’s selection: poetry both for life’s challenges and from Rowan Williams, and an understanding of of discipleship

The Heart of Things: An anthology of memory and lament by Richard Holloway (Canongate, £16.99 (Church Times SPECIAL OFFER PRICE £14.99); 978-1-83885-495-9).

“Richard Holloway is one of our most beloved public thinkers. As Bishop of Edinburgh and Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, he put principle over Church policy to advocate for gay rights and women in the priesthood. He never shied away from confronting his own doubts and fears, whether questioning his own faith, or facing the inevitability of death. He has been a radical voice of compassion and realism, helping us navigate the hectic modern world. Throughout his life, Richard has turned to poets and writers to help answer the big questions, and for solace and guidance in the face of life’s challenges. Now, in The Heart of Things, he shares those poems and words which have been his own guide, offered in the hope they will help us, too. Here then are some lights along life’s path, with thoughts and reflections on living well, death, sadness, regret, sin, conflict, and forgiveness. All interwoven with Richard’s philosophical consideration of what they have meant to him. This is a book to turn to for inspiration, guidance, and comfort. It offers lessons from those who, in Richard’s words, ‘know best how to listen and teach us to listen’, all united by ‘the sensual appeal of words, the pain and pleasure they impart’. It is a book to treasure.”

Collected Poems by Rowan Williams (Carcanet, £15.99 (£14.39); 978-1-80017-109-1).

Collected Poems contains the previously published poetry of Rowan Williams, together with a significant body of new work. Also included are his celebrated translations from Welsh, German, and Russian poetry. ‘Earth is a hard text to read,’ says the Welsh poet Waldo Williams in Rowan Williams’s vigorous English translation. His earlier collections have included pieces prompted by the landscape and literature of west Wales, and a sequence of poems on the varieties of love in the plays of Shakespeare. This Collected adds a sequence commissioned for the 50th anniversary of the Aberfan disaster, tributes to writers as different as Alan Garner and John Milton, and a reflection on sculptures by Antony Gormley. The book reflects the poet’s wide range of interests and the variety of poetic mediums he has explored.”

The Meanings of Discipleship: Being disciples then and now, edited by Andrew Hayes and Stephen Cherry (SCM Press, £35 (Church Times SPECIAL OFFER PRICE £28); 978-0-334-06026-0).

“With contributions from an array of leading thinkers, scholars, and theologians, including Rachel Mann, Kirsteen Kim, and Anthony Reddie, this book argues that there is need for more clarity, precision, and depth in defining what meaningfully and constructively is construed as discipleship. Beginning with an overview of how the concept of discipleship has been understood in history, the volume goes on to consider some of the key figures who have shaped our understanding of the concept, and finally to reflect on what discipleship might look like in contemporary society.”

Selected by Frank Nugent, of the Church House Bookshop, which operates the
Church Times Bookshop.

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