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New titles just published

by
06 August 2021

This week’s selection: creating your own retreat environment at home, behaviours in church from the Anglo-Saxons to the mid-16th century, and AI and faith

Dancing at the Still Point: Retreat practices for a busy life by Gemma Simmonds (Form, £9.99 (Church Times SPECIAL OFFER PRICE £7.99); 978-0-281-08471-5).

“Dancing at the Still Point is a book for those who can't or aren't ready to go away for a residential Christian retreat, but who want to be in daily relationship and connect with God in a satisfying way. In sessions that you can work through at your own pace, Gemma Simmonds guides us through the practices and disciplines of retreats, such as being still physically and spiritually, developing a habit of prayer and learning some basic discernment skills. With insights from the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises, she explores how we can fold these practices into every day and shows that a rich life of prayer, in which we have time and space to let God be present, is achievable even in a busy working or family life.”


Going to Church in Medieval England by Nicholas Orme (Yale, £20 (£18); 978-0-300-25650-5).

“An engaging, richly illustrated account of parish churches and churchgoers in England, from the Anglo-Saxons to the mid-16th century. Parish churches were at the heart of English religious and social life in the Middle Ages and the 16th century. In this comprehensive study, Nicholas Orme shows how they came into existence, who staffed them, and how their buildings were used. He explains who went to church, who did not attend, how people behaved there, and how they-not merely the clergy-affected how worship was staged. The book provides an accessible account of what happened in the daily and weekly services, and how churches marked the seasons of Christmas, Lent, Easter, and summer. It describes how they celebrated the great events of life: birth, coming of age, and marriage, and gave comfort in sickness and death. A final chapter covers the English Reformation in the 16th century and shows how, alongside its changes, much that went on in parish churches remained as before.”

 

The Robot Will See You Now: Artificial intelligence and the Christian faith, edited by John Wyatt and Stephen N. Williams (SPCK, £14.99 (£13.49); 978-0-281-08435-7).

“The last decade has seen dramatic advances in artificial intelligence and robotics technology, raising tough questions that need to be addressed. The Robot Will See You Now considers how Christians can respond to these issues — and flourish — in the years ahead. Contributions from a number of international experts, including editors John Wyatt and Stephen Williams, explore a range of social and ethical issues raised by recent advances in AI and robotics. Considering the role of artificial intelligence in areas such as medicine, employment and security, the book looks at how AI is perceived as well as its actual impact on human interactions and relationships. Alongside are theological responses from an orthodox Christian perspective. Looking at how artificial intelligence and robotics may be considered in the light of Christian doctrine, The Robot Will See You Now offers a measured, thoughtful view on how Christians can understand and prepare for the challenges posted by the development of AI.”


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

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