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New titles just published

22 April 2022

This week’s selection: the popularity of pilgrimage, myths and the meaning of ‘Messiah’, and the importance of Orthodoxy in Christianity

Pilgrimage: Journeys of meaning by Peter Stanford (Thames & Hudson, £10.99 (£9.89); 978-0-500-29663-9). New in paperback

“Why is there an enormous rise in popularity of pilgrim routes? Some argue that tourism is the new religion, and that those who today walk in the footsteps of countless past generations of believers do so to enjoy the holiday experience, the escape from their everyday world, the health benefits of so much exercise, and the companionship, without seeking any sort of spiritual enlightenment. Yet, by looking at a diverse range of pilgrimage sites, Peter Stanford draws on his own experience as a pilgrim to argue that something more complex and challenging is going on. Financial crises, increasing inequality, climate change and worldwide pandemics are causing people to question the very foundations on which their post religion, 21st-century lives are built. This book considers how pilgrimage, with its long history, essential intertwining of arduous journey and openness to personal transformation, is providing the modern age with a means to take a longer, slower, and hence more profound look at life, stretching all the way back to when the first pilgrim put one foot in front of another.” 

The Jesus Myth: A psychologist’s viewpoint by Chris Scott (Christian Alternative, £7.99 (£7.19); 978-1-78904-848-3).

“A look at the nature of myth as a carrier of deep truth and that we all have our own internal myths about ourselves and life. Exploring what was and is meant by the term Messiah, both in the 1st century and now.”

Navigating a World of Grace: The promise of generous orthodoxy by Graham Tomlin (SPCK, £12.99 (£11.69); 978-0-281-08285-8).

“Graham Tomlin offers his own invigorating vision of a generous orthodoxy that is rooted in the creeds’ description of a God who is, by nature, the essence of generous grace. Looking at the history of the church, he explores how orthodoxy can enrich and enhance our perception of the world. Rather than restricting us, it liberates us to be generous in our expressions of faith. This tantalizingly different theology, that brings together the best from every tradition, shows why orthodoxy is so important to the Christian faith — and how it can bring us together as a revitalized, unified, and visionary Church. Accessible and insightful, Navigating a World of Grace acts as a companion volume to The Bond of Peace but can also be read by itself as an exploration and celebration how Christians of all denominations can show generosity and grace in embracing different traditions of worship while remaining united by a single orthodoxy of faith.”

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

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