And Yet: Finding joy in lament by Rachael Newham (Form, £10.99 (£9.89); 978-0-281-08570-5).
“With warm understanding, in this lovely Lent book for 2022 Rachael traces how Biblical writers used ‘and yet’ to bring together joy and lament and invites us to see them not as opposites, but two sides of the same coin. Drawing on her experiences with mental illness, she shows us how we can build a rhythm of both joy and lament into our lives both through the season of Lent and the rest of the Church’s year. With reflections split over six sections And Yet is the perfect daily Lent devotional for 2022, but its undated readings can be used for periods of prayerful reflection throughout the year. This is a beautiful Christian book on lament ideal for anyone looking for to better understand how the tradition of lament and joy work together, and how they can make them a part of their everyday spiritual formation.”
The Malines Conversations: The beginnings of Anglican-Roman Catholic dialogue by Rowan Williams (Paulist Press, £11.99 (£10.79); 978-0-8091-5587-3).
“The contours of the Malines Conversations, a fascinating episode in the history of ecumenism where leading Anglican and Catholic scholars, with the knowledge of their respective Church authorities, entered into dialogue with each other These conversations are skilfully outlined in this publication by Rowan Williams. He reflects on the ecclesiastical context of the time, on the intellectual profile of the various participants, on the themes that were discussed, and on the meaning of the Conversations for today”
The Scandal of the Gospel: Preaching and the grotesque by Charles L. Campbell (WJK, £23 (£20.70); 978-0-664-26620-2).
“Through its shocking incongruities and transgressive forms, the grotesque offers an intriguing lens for exploring the scandal of the gospel and the challenges of Christian preaching. Drawing on diverse sources — from Swedish crime fiction and contemporary poetry to James Cone, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Pussy Riot — this book will examine the theological, homiletical, and social implications of a grotesque gospel for contemporary preachers. The book focuses on three aspects of preaching and the grotesque: (1) the ways in which a grotesque gospel unsettles the preacher and challenges the “false patterns” that often shape Christian preaching; (2) the importance and challenges of resisting the weaponised grotesque, which dehumanises people and furthers the power of dominant groups; (3) the incarnate Word as the carnivalesque, grotesque body of Jesus, which calls the church to become the porous and inclusive body of Christ. The Scandal of the Gospel is the written adaptation of Yale Divinity School’s Beecher Lectures, given by Charles Campbell in 2018. The last chapter, “Preaching and the Environmental Grotesque,” is a new addition.
Selected by Frank Nugent, of the Church House Bookshop, which operates the Church Times Bookshop.