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New titles just published

29 July 2022

This week’s selection: women in the Middle Ages, a black theologian, and the concept of identity

Femina: A new history of the Middle Ages, through the women written out of it by Janina Ramirez (W. H. Allen, £22 (£19.80); 978-0-7535-5825-6).

“The middle ages are seen as a bloodthirsty time of Vikings, saints, and kings: a patriarchal society which oppressed and excluded women. But when we dig a little deeper into the truth, we can see that the ‘dark’ ages were anything but. Oxford and BBC historian Janina Ramirez has uncovered countless influential women’s names struck out of historical records, with the word FEMINA annotated beside them. As gatekeepers of the past ordered books to be burnt, artworks to be destroyed, and new versions of myths, legends and historical documents to be produced, our view of history has been manipulated. Only now, through a careful examination of the artefacts, writings, and possessions they left behind, are the influential and multifaceted lives of women emerging.”


Introducing James H. Cone: A personal exploration by Anthony G. Reddie (SCM Press, £19.99 (£15.99); 978-0-334-06108-3).

 “It is rarely the case that an intellectual movement can point to an individual figure as its founder. Yet, James Cone has been heralded as the acknowledged genius and the creator of black theology. In nearly 50 years of published work, James Cone redefined the intent of academic theology and defined a whole new movement in intellectual thought. In Introducing James H. Cone, Anthony Reddie offers us an accessible and engaging assessment of Cone's legacy, from his first book, Black Theology and Black Power, in 1969, through to his final intellectual autobiography, I Said I wasn't Gonna Tell Nobody in 2018. It is an indispensable field guide to perhaps the greatest black theologian of recent times.”


The Mystery of Identity by Luke Bell OSB (Angelico Press, £15 (£13.50); 978-1-62138-832-6).

“Identity is the mystery at the heart of creation, and, ultimately, the mystery of its Creator. Personal anxieties about who we are and political tensions about who others are melt before the radiance of God’s truth. In that truth we find our true selves, as images of the unimaginable. This book guides the reader through our culture’s concerns about identity and along the spiritual path that leads to the receiving of ‘a white stone, with a new name written on it that no one knows except the one who receives it’.”

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

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