My Theology: Forgiveness and Reparation, the Healing Journey by Mpho Tutu van Furth (DLT, £8.99 (Church Times SPECIAL OFFER PRICE £7.19); 978-1-913657-84-0).
“South African author, pastor, and activist, Mpho Tuti van Furth argues that while we think of reparations in relation to the colonial powers and the colonised as both a remunerative act and a punitive one, reparations rightly engaged should be part of a spiritual process of forgiveness and reconciliation. Reparations would be an element in a process of atonement and restorative justice and that sees the need for acknowledgement of the damage done to the enslaved and colonised; healing and restoration of the lost humanity of the perpetrators; and repair of the violated relationships between the human and ecological victims and the human perpetrators.”
Twenty Questions Jesus Asked: And how they speak to us today by John Pritchard (SPCK, £10.99 (£9.89); 978-0-281-08564-4).
“We usually think of Jesus as preaching and teaching, but throughout the gospels he is often asking questions — searching enquiries, that disarm the hearers into responding unreservedly and provide some of the most profound lessons in the New Testament. But what were the questions that Jesus asked? And how can we learn from them today? Twenty Questions Jesus Asked explores just that. Over four distinct sections, John Pritchard explores twenty of Jesus’s conversations by imagining the experience of those being questioned and reflecting on their significance for us as modern Christians. With contemporary stories, questions for reflection and prayer exercises, Twenty Questions Jesus Asked is a brilliant book for both individual and small group use. With his characteristic grounded thoughtfulness, John Pritchard guides us through Jesus’s questions and helps us better understand the lessons he was trying to impart, so that we can grow as disciples and apply Jesus’s wisdom to everyday life.”
Reading Augustine: On distance, belonging, isolation and the quarantined Church of Today by Pablo Irizar (Bloomsbury, £24.99 (£22.49); 978-1-350-26965-1).
“From the closure of churches during the pandemic, and therefore in the absence of a community of worship, arises the pressing theological question: what does it mean to belong ‘from a distance’? Although many have reacted to this question by providing virtual alternatives for activities and by reaffirming solidarity in times of hardship, a theological response requires articulating the effects of quarantine and distancing on what it means to belong in the Church. Fundamentally, what does it mean to belong, and is it possible to belong anew after the pandemic? This book addresses these questions by carefully drawing from the thought of Augustine of Hippo, whose life and thought fittingly echoes the course of our times.”
Selected by Frank Nugent, of the Church House Bookshop, which operates the Church Times Bookshop.