A Plea for Embodied Spirituality: The role of the body in religion by Fraser Watts (SCM Press, £25 (Church Times SPECIAL OFFER PRICE £20); 978-0-334-06007-9)
“The body is crucial to religious life, but there has been little practical attention to how to make a helpful reality of this fact. Strong forms of philosophical dualism have been widely abandoned by post-war theologians in favour of a more integrated view of human nature, but guidance on the role of the body in Christian spirituality remains fragmentary. Focusing particularly on drawing out practical implications for religious life and ministry, this book will survey the many ways in which the body plays an important role in religions and spiritual life, drawing on scientific research, theology, and philosophy.”
Justice in Public Life by Claire Foster-Gilbert, James Hawkey and Jane Sinclair (Haus Publishing, £7.99 (£7.19); 978-1-913368-20-3).
“Justice in Public Life comprises three essays which are edited versions of lectures delivered at Westminster Abbey Institute by the Revd Dr James Hawkey, Dr Claire Foster-Gilbert, and the late Canon Jane Sinclair. The essays look at the meaning of justice for the 21st century expressed through principles; justice as it can be expressed by our public service institutions; and how justice is expressed in society more widely. Justice in Public Life brings a dry concept to life in a call to public servants to nurture it as a virtue pursued individually and communally, as a means to serve human flourishing.”
The Badly Behaved Bible: Thinking again about the story of scripture by Nick page (Hodder & Stoughton, £9.99 (£8.99); 978-1-473-68621-2). New in paperback.
“On opening the Bible, we are faced with a multitude of problems; from its form and historical content to its sheer size and often distasteful stories, we can be left feeling overwhelmed and disheartened. . . We want to control the Bible and tame it so that we can ride it into battle; but the Bible bucks and rears and throws us off. . . The Bible is an invitation and a call. . . In his honest and accessible style, Nick Page urges us to re-discover a fresh look at the Bible as the scriptural bedrock of the Christian faith, to learn how we can undo unhelpful ways of reading it and demystifying its purpose and scope. Nick tackles what the Bible is and what it isn’t, how we can critically read this inspired text and how we approach the difficulties in its content. Alongside helpful analysis and practical advice — including kickstarting his one-man campaign to ban “Bible study” — Nick helps us re-discover how to rediscover the Bible as Holy Ground, as a place where we meet and encounter God.”
Selected by Aude Pasquier, of the Church House Bookshop, which operates the Church Times Bookshop.