Lifting the Veil: Imagination and the Kingdom of God by Malcolm Guite (Canterbury Press, £14.99 (Church Times SPECIAL OFFER PRICE £11.99); 978-1-78622-454-5.
“Christianity has often been suspicious of the human imagination, equating it with what is imaginary or merely made up, while, in the secular world, the arts are often seen as little more than a source of entertainment. In Lifting the Veil, Malcolm Guite explores the vision from which all his writing springs — that there is a radiant reality at the heart of things which our dulled sight misses, and that the imagination is an aspect of the image of God in us that can awaken us to the presence and truth of God shimmering through all creation. He considers how Jesus appealed to the imagination in his use of stories, parables, and everyday metaphors, often startling people into a fresh awareness of the kingdom of God, and explores how poets and artists such as Blake and Coleridge sought to remove the dull ‘film of familiarity’ that lies over our senses and reawaken a sense of wonder. Malcolm argues that renewing our artistic imaginations strengthens our moral and prophetic imaginations, making Lifting the Veil an inspiring manifesto for all who seek to embody the kingdom of God.”
Trust Your Feelings: Learning how to make choices with Ignatius of Loyola by Nikolaas Sintobin (Messenger Publications, £11.95 (£10.75); 978-1-78812-523-9.
“This book is about discernment. To discern means to look for clues in your innermost experience in order to know what to do or what not to do. More precisely, discernment means paying attention to what is happening in the very depths of your heart. Christians believe that a careful reading of our deepest emotions can reveal what God is inviting us to do. The language that God speaks today is that of human experience. The book opens with a general overview about the practice of discernment and examines the role of our heart, our intelligence, and our will. It then explains how discernment can be practiced in daily life, how discernment can help in making choices, and in knowing whether something is good or bad. Then ten different emotionally charged situations are explored. Finally, the book addresses the question of whether or not discernment is reserved for Christians, and also briefly discusses discernment in a community setting. The book concludes with a reflection on discernment as a way of life.”
After the Order of Melchizedek: Memoirs of an Anglican priest by Adrian Leak (The Book Guild, £14.99 (£13.49); 978-1-914471-76-6.
“Cast in the form of an autobiography covering period between 1940 and 2015, After the Order of Melchizedek is, in effect, an account of the Church of England as she was during the second half of the 20th century. Anecdotal, humorous, and allusive, much of the material is drawn from Adrian Leak's life as an Anglican priest including chapters on life at Oxford University, at York Minster and three country parishes.”
Selected by Frank Nugent, of the Church House Bookshop, which operates the Church Times Bookshop.