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New titles just published 

17 May 2024

This week’s selection: Sarah Coakley’s essays on Christology; queering the contemplative tradition; and a history of the early Christians

The Broken Body: Israel, Christ and fragmentation by Sarah Coakley (Wiley Blackwell, £22.99; 978-1-405-18923-1).

“How should Christians think about the person of Jesus Christ today? In this volume, Sarah Coakley argues that this question has to be ‘broken open’ in new and unexpected ways: by an awareness of the deep spiritual demands of the christological task and its strikingly ‘apophatic’ dimensions; by a probing of the paradoxical ways in which Judaism and Christianity are drawn together in Christ, even by those issues which seem to ‘break’ them most decisively apart; and by an exploration of the mode of Christ’s presence in the eucharist, with its intensification,‘ breaking’ and re-gathering of human desires.”

Queering Contemplation: Finding queerness in the roots and future of contemplative spirituality by Cassidy Hall (Broadleaf Books, £16.99 (£15.29); 978-1-5064-9339-8).

“Cassidy Hall, an LGBTQIA+ Christian contemplative scholar and podcast host, takes us on a journey to queer the contemplative tradition. For Hall, queering is not solely about identifying as queer or applying queer theory; it is about what is gained by seeing things differently. ‘Queer,’ she says, ‘is the way I tilt my head to look at the world.’”

Strange Religion: How the first Christians were weird, dangerous, and compelling by Nijay K. Gupta (Brazos Press, £14.99 (£13.49); 978-1-58743-517-1).

“Award-winning author, blogger, speaker, and New Testament teacher Nijay Gupta traces the emerging Christian faith in its Roman context in this accessible and engaging book. Christianity would have been seen as radical in the Roman world, but some found this new religion attractive and compelling. The first Christians dared to be different, pushed the boundaries of what was acceptable, transformed how people thought about religion, and started a movement that grew like wildfire. Brought to life with numerous images, this book shows how the example of the earliest Christians can offer today's believers encouragement and hope.”

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

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