Crowning the Year: Liturgy, theology and ecclesiology for the rural church by Tom Clammer (Canterbury Press, £16.99 (Church Times SPECIAL OFFER PRICE £14.99); 978-1-78622-339-5).
“Crowning the Year offers a practical guide to celebrating the key moments of the liturgical year in rural multi-church contexts. It considers the nature and distinctiveness of the rural church, the patterns of its worship and its ministry, reflecting on the importance of place, local community, the church building, and the occasions which rural communities celebrate. In doing so, it offers an attractive and welcome ecclesiology and theology of the rural church. Crowning the Year will equip all who lead or assist with worship in rural contexts, lay and ordained. It offers essential groundwork on liturgical theology, and a theology of ministry in rural, multi-parochial contexts. It then provides practical ideas and direction on how to prepare for and conduct worship for the principal feasts and seasons of the Christian year, with a special emphasis on Christmas, Holy Week, and Easter and the occasions such as Harvest, Plough Sunday and Rogation that are especially significant in rural communities.”
The Cambridge Companion to Augustine’s City of God, edited by D. V. Meconi (Cambridge University Press, £26.99 (£24.29); 978-1-108-43544-4).
“Augustine of Hippo’s The City of God is generally considered to be one of the key works of Late Antiquity. Written in response to allegations that Christianity had brought about the decline of Rome, Augustine here explores themes in history, political science, and Christian theology, and argues for the truth of Christianity over competing religions and philosophies. This Companion volume includes specially commissioned essays by an international team of scholars that provide new insights into The City of God. Offering commentary on each of this massive work’s 22 books chapters, they sequentially and systematically explore The City of God as a whole. Collectively, these essays demonstrate the development and coherence of Augustine’s argument. The volume will be an invaluable resource for students and scholars of ancient and contemporary theology, philosophy, cultural studies, and political theory.”
Justice for Christ’s Sake by James Jones (SPCK, £12.99 (£11.69); 978-0-281-08625-2).
“For twenty-five years, Bishop James Jones has been working on the frontlines to try to create a more just and merciful world. In Justice for Christ’s Sake, he reflects on the work he has been a part of and the ways in which justice and faith go hand in hand. With touching honesty, he tells of his time as a Bishop and his role on three key independent panels into matters of national conscience — including chairing the panel that investigated the Hillsborough Disaster of 1989, when 96 Liverpool football fans tragically lost their lives. All the dimensions of justice that James has experienced — environmental, social, racial, political, and judicial — are vividly conveyed, as he offers up the lessons he has learned in his search for a better, fairer way to live and how the answers might be found in the teachings of Jesus. Justice for Christ’s Sake is a remarkable and fascinating Christian memoir, that offers a unique perspective on some of the most significant inquiries of the last three decades. It is a book that encourages us all in our longing for justice, with insight born from first-hand experience, and will leave you with a better of understanding of events that have shaped conversations on justice in Britain. Most of us long deep down for a fairer world, however selfishly we may act on occasions. James Jones reassures us that we are not alone and that we can all be part of the fight for justice for Christ’s sake.”
Selected by Aude Pasquier, of the Church House Bookshop, which operates the Church Times Bookshop.