The Madness of Grief: A memoir of love and loss by Richard Coles (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, £16.99 (£15.29); 978-1-4746-1962-2).
“Whether it is pastoral care for the bereaved, discussions about the afterlife, or being called out to perform the last rites, death is part of the Revd Richard Coles’s life and work. But when his partner the Revd David Coles died, shortly before Christmas in 2019, much about death took Coles by surprise. For one thing, David’s death at the early age of 43 was unexpected. The man that so often assists others to examine life’s moral questions now found himself in need of help. He began to look to others for guidance to steer him through his grief. The flock was leading the shepherd. Much about grief surprised him: the volume of ‘sadmin’ you have to do when someone dies, how much harder it is travelling for work alone, even the pain of typing a text message to your partner — then realising you are alone. The Revd Richard Coles’s deeply personal account of life after grief will resonate, unforgettably, with anyone who has lost a loved one.”
Read an extract from the book here.
Delivered out of Empire: Pivotal moments in the Book of Exodus, Part 1 by Walter Brueggemann (WJK, £13 (£10.40); 978-0-6642-6538-0).
“The Pivotal Moments in the Old Testament Series helps readers see Scripture with new eyes, highlighting short, key texts — ‘pivotal moments’ — that shift our expectations and invite us to turn toward another reality transformed by God's purposes and action. In Delivered out of Empire, Walter Brueggemann offers a guide to the first half of Exodus, drawing out ‘pivotal moments’ in the text to help readers untangle it. Throughout, Brueggemann shows how Exodus consistently reveals a God in radical solidarity with the powerless.”
Busking the Gospel: Ordained ministry in secular employment by James M. M. Francis (Sacristy Press, £14.99 (£13.49); 978-1-78959-155-2).
“From the earliest days of the Christian Church, there have been deacons and priests who have earned a living and explored their ministry through supporting themselves. However, as the Church is developing fresh initiatives in mission in a fast-changing world, there is a renewed interest in vocations that unite a sacramental ministry with daily life and work-a type of ministry, as the image of ‘busking’ suggests, that is characterised by creativity and improvisation. This book on self-supporting ministry focuses specifically on ordained ministry in secular employment (MSE). The aim is twofold: to undertake an in-depth theological reflection on MSE, and to offer some practical help to enable such clergy (and the Church generally) to grow in the awareness of the creative scope and potential of this ministry in the contemporary world.”
Selected by Aude Pasquier, of the Church House Bookshop, which operates the Church Times Bookshop.