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New titles just published

15 October 2021

This week’s selection: Ruth and the climate crisis, universal salvation, and faith and poetry

Losing Ground: Reading Ruth in the Pacific by Jione Havea (SCM Press, £25 (Church Times SPECIAL OFFER PRICE £20); 978-0-334-05983-7).

“The Ruth narrative opens with a climate crisis — a famine pushed a family to migrate — and addresses some of the critical concerns for refugees: food, security, home, land, inheritance. Around those concerns, Losing Ground: Reading Ruth in the Pacific offers a collection of bible studies from the Pacific that interweave the climate pandemic with the interests and wisdoms of Pasifika natives. Weaving Ruth’s story together with the stories of those who, as Pacific islanders on the frontline of a climate catastrophe, are forced to leave their homes because of rising sea levels, Pasifika bible scholar Jione Havea offers a powerful and potent contribution which refuses to pretend scripture can be read separately from the every day realities of a climate emergency.”

That All Shall Be Saved: Heaven, hell and universal salvation by David Bentley Hart (Yale, £10.99 (£9.89); 978-0-300-25848-6). New in paperback.

“The great fourth-century church father Basil of Caesarea once observed that, in his time, most Christians believed that hell was not everlasting, and that all would eventually attain salvation. But today, this view is no longer prevalent within Christian communities. In this momentous book, David Bentley Hart makes the case that nearly two millennia of dogmatic tradition have misled readers on the crucial matter of universal salvation. On the basis of the earliest Christian writings, theological tradition, scripture, and logic, Hart argues that if God is the good creator of all, he is the saviour of all, without fail. And if he is not the saviour of all, the Kingdom is only a dream, and creation something considerably worse than a nightmare. But it is not so. There is no such thing as eternal damnation; all will be saved. With great rhetorical power, wit, and emotional range, Hart offers a new perspective on one of Christianity's most important themes.”

My Theology: The word within the words by Malcolm Guite (DLT, £8.99 (£8.09); 978-1-913657-38-3).

“The world's leading Christian thinkers explain some of the principal tenets of their theological beliefs. The Word within the words is a Poet’s Credo, in which Malcolm Guite describes how his Christian faith informs and underpins his poetry, and in turn how poetry itself, and more widely the poetic imagination, helps him to understand and interpret his faith. Illustrating his account with personal stories and poetry — both his own and classics from the canon — Guite explains a guiding theology of Christ as the Word, the essential logos that underlies all things, made flesh for us in Jesus. He then demonstrates how Scripture, Liturgy, and Sacrament can each be understood as a poetry capable of transfiguring our vision and transforming our lives.”

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

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