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04 February 2022

This week’s selection: the latest edition of a bible commentary, communion in the time of pandemic, and religious life

The Jerome Biblical commentary for the Twenty-First Century (Third Fully Revised Edition), edited by John J. Collins, Gina Hens-Piazza, Barbara Reid, and Donald Senior (T & T Clark, £75 (£67.50); 978-1-4742-4885-3).

“The Jerome Biblical Commentary has, since 1968, been essential reading for all Catholics who wish to deepen their knowledge and understanding of the Bible. It is a landmark of Catholic biblical scholarship, the first port of call for priests, preachers, students, and scholars, and all those lay people who like to keep a one-volume Biblical commentary in their home to enlighten their reading of the scriptures. In this new fully revised edition, the publication of which has been welcomed by Pope Francis (who has also written the foreword), the entire content of the commentary has been revised to bring it up to date with the very latest scholarship, featuring the leading international Catholic scholars of our day. Whilst based on the historical critical method of Biblical study, the contributors draw in a range of more contemporary approaches to the biblical texts. The pool of contributors has also been broadened outside north America and Western Europe to include a more diverse range of perspectives, ensuring that the Jerome speaks more comprehensively to a global Church. The “General Articles” section has been revised to include articles on new approaches to the study of the bible and on the interpretation of the bible in diverse pastoral contexts. This magnificent third edition will be essential reading for all those who possess existing editions of The Jerome; but it will also find a new generation of readers, eager to engage the scriptures within the tradition and teaching of the Church.”


Holy Communion in Contagious Times: Celebrating the Eucharist in the everyday and online worlds by Richard A. Burridge (Cascade Books, £25 (£22.50);978-1-7252-8577-4).

“Can the church celebrate the eucharist in ‘contagious times’, like the coronavirus pandemic, and if so, how? In this book, Richard Burridge investigates a wide range of proposed options, both in the everyday physical world (fasting the eucharist, spiritual communion, solo and concelebrated communions, lay presidency, drive-in and drive-thru eucharists, and extended communion) and in cyberspace (computer services for avatars, broadcast eucharists online, and narrowcast communions using webinar software like Zoom). Along the way, he tackles the whole range of concepts of the church, ordination, and the eucharist. This book is essential reading for anyone desiring an informed and provocative guide to the theology and practice of holy communion in our challenging times.”


A Life-Long Springtime: The life and teaching of Fr George Congreve SSJE by Luke Miller (Sacristy Press, £24.99 (£22.49); 978-1-78959-198-9).

“Fr George Congreve SSJE (1835-1918) was a spiritual giant in his own times but is now largely forgotten. A Life-long Springtime shows Congreve’s contribution to the development of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist, the first community of men in the Church of England, and the themes of his spiritual teaching which was wide ranging and influential in its day. More than a century after Congreve’s death, many of his beautiful writing are strikingly contemporary. Congreve was master of community life whose advice is relevant to all those who strive to live well with each other. He saved his own community from the possible disaster of failed relationships and persuaded the Founder to step down. Congreve lived to be old and writes on what it is to age-not the extension of middle age but the decline and death we must all face. This book focuses on the second half of Congreve's life, when he joined the Cowley Fathers shortly after turning 40. Personally well-connected, Congreve had influence in late Victorian society and the Church. As R. M. Benson’s Assistant Superior, Congreve offered amplification and important correction to Benson's teaching on the Religious Life. Congreve’s hugely attractive character shines out from his writing-he was one transparent to the love of God.”

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


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