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New titles just published

by
26 January 2024

This week’s selection: Cole Arthur Riley’s new liturgies, Rachel Mann’s second poetry collection, and Walter Brueggemann’s collection of prayers

Black Liturgies: Prayers, poems and meditations for staying human by Cole Arthur Riley (Hodder & Stoughton, £18.99 (£17.09); 978-1-39981-499-7).

“In the summer of 2020, Cole Arthur Riley was desperate for a spirituality she could trust. Amidst ongoing national racial violence, the isolation of the pandemic, and a surge of anti-Black rhetoric in many Christian spaces, she began dreaming of a harbour for a more human, more liberating expression of faith. She went on to create Black Liturgies, a digital project that connects spiritual practice with Black emotion, memory, and the Black body.

“In this book, she deepens the work of that project, bringing together new prayers, letters, poetry, meditation questions, breath practice, and the writings of Black literary ancestors to offer 43 liturgies that can be practised individually or as a community.”

Eleanor Among the Saints by Rachel Mann (Carcanet, £11.99 (£10.79); 978-1-80017-381-1).

“In her second collection, Mann wrestles with the questions and possibilities raised when trans identity, faith and the limits of myth and language intersect and are tested. Eleanor Among the Saints is a study in the queer joy found in counter-factuals and fantasy, shaped through the prism of the disputed story of Eleanor Rykener, a medieval trans woman, seamstress and sex worker.

Waiting in Gratitude: Prayers of joy by Walter Brueggemann (WJK, £14 (£12.60); 978-0-664-26828-2).

“This collection of prayers by noted Hebrew Bible scholar Walter Brueggemann can be used in both public worship and private devotion.These prayers run the gamut from particular days in the church year to special moments in the lives of worshiping communities to events playing out on the world stage. In all cases, the prayers show us how God accompanies us through all the moments and stages of our life, bringing us the joys of life even amid a broken and hurting world and especially offering a joyous calling in Christ to serve that world.”


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

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