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New titles just published

22 March 2024

This week’s selection: fictional conversations with Dostoevsky, Hastings Rashdall, and a supposed encounter between Julian and Margery Kempe, now in paperback

Conversations with Dostoevsky: On God, Russia, literature, and life by George Pattison (OUP, £30 (£27) 978-0-19-888154-4).

Conversations with Dostoevsky presents a series of fictional conversations taking place between November 2018 and Spring 2019 in the narrator's Glasgow apartment and elsewhere in the city. At the beginning of the conversations, the narrator has been reading Dostoevsky’s story A Gentle Spirit, which concludes with a dramatic statement of protest atheism. This statement suggests that love is not possible in a purely mechanical universe in which all living beings are condemned to death and ultimate extinction. The conversations spell out Dostoevsky's response to this view and his advocacy of faith in God, Christ, and immortality.”

The Missionary of Knowledge: Hastings Rashdall’s life and thought by Christopher Cunliffe (Sacristy Press, £16.99 (£15.29); 978-1-78959-334-1).

This book, written to mark the centenary of Rashdall’s death, provides a brief and clear introduction to his thought, set in the historical context of his life and time. The opening chapters provide a biographical framework, drawing extensively on archival research. They are followed by separate accounts of his historical, philosophical, and theological work, concentrating on his many publications. Theory and practice come together in an exploration of Rashdall’s engagement with public life, and the book concludes with an assessment of what he might have to offer to today’s Church.

For thy Great Pain Have Mercy on My Little Pain by Victoria Mackenzie (Bloomsbury, £8.99 (£8.09); 978-1-5266-4793-1). New in paperback

“In the year of 1413, two women meet for the first time in Norwich. Before they part, Julian will entrust Margery with a secret – one that will change the course of history.”

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

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