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New titles just published

24 May 2024

This week’s selection: hopeful activism; a new take on Black theology; and C. S. Lewis’s Oxford brought to life

The Hopeful Activist: Discovering the vital change you were made to bring by Rich Gower and Rachel Walker (SPCK, £10.99 (£9.89); 978-0-281-08824-9).

“All around us there are signs of a broken world, situations that are just not right. Where do we begin? Sometimes we simply don't know what to do. Or maybe you are busy ‘doing’ and it’s tough, even bringing you close to burn out. Whether you are new to activism or already on the road, this book will (re)kindle your hope and illuminate the way ahead.”

Flourishing in Babylon: Black British agency and self-determination by Joe Aldred (SCM Press, £25 (Church Times SPECIAL OFFER PRICE £20); 978-0-334-06506-7).

“Black theology has long been about oppression and liberation. But is there a different story to tell? Can the black story be one about a quest for flourishing through agency and self-determination and not only an existence of nihilistic struggle?

“Drawing on a fresh reading of Jeremiah’s letter to Jewish exiles, and his own Pentecostal tradition, Joe Aldred offers a fresh understanding of the Black British experience which draws on a realised eschatology rooted in identity, empowerment and an agenda. In a contested diasporan context in the shadow of empire there exists opportunity to fully flourish without apology or as Jeremiah puts it to those in exile, to ‘settle, build and grow’.”

C. S Lewis’s Oxford by Simon Horobin (Bodleian, £30 (£27); 978-1-85124-564-2).

“This book examines the role Oxford, its colleges, libraries, chapels, clubs, common rooms and pubs, played in fostering the work of one of the twentieth century’s most influential writers and thinkers. It brings to light a number of new archival discoveries, including letters, tutorial reports and even an unpublished poem, as well as offering new insights into Lewis’s Oxford life, his transition to Cambridge, his Christian faith and his global influence today.”

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

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