May 2018 Selection

May 2018 Selection

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[Prices, stock levels and estimated delivery time for titles on this page were last updated on 28 April 2018]


Resist and Persist:
Faith and the Fight for Equality.
Erin Wathen.
Pbk 176pp. ISBN 9780664263904.

Westminster John Knox Press (2018).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

Over the past few decades, the roles women play in public life have evolved significantly, as have the pressures that come with needing to do it all, have it all, and be all things to all people.

Pastor and author Erin Wathen navigates the complex layers of what it means to be a woman in our time and place—from the language we use to the clothes that we wear to the unseen and unspoken assumptions that challenge our full personhood at every turn. She reframes the challenges to women’s equality in light of our current culture and political climate, providing a new language of resistance that can free women and men from the pernicious power of patriarchy.

The Art of Curating Worship:
Reshaping the Role of Worship Leader.
Mark Pierson.
Pbk 256pp. ISBN 9781451400847
Augsburg Fortress (2010).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

Mark Pierson offers lots of stimulating, practical ideas for adding art and stations to all sorts of worship services, to help people engage with God.

Pierson suggests that worship is an art form rather than a linear task of filling in the gaps in an order of service. Many practical examples are used to show how regular services, and those in specially designed spaces inside and outside the church building, can be designed and delivered for spiritual formation and mission.

Jesus vs. Caesar:
For People Tired of Serving the Wrong God.
Joerg Rieger.
Pbk 160pp. ISBN 9781501842672.
Abingdon (2018).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

The tension between true religion and false religion is a critical opportunity for those who would follow Jesus instead of “Caesar.”

When the fundamental tension at the heart of Christianity is poorly understood, Christians face disastrous consequences. The tension is not between religion and atheism or secularism. The tension is located within the heart of Christianity itself because it is a radical conflict between true and false forms of Christian faith.

Jesus embodies and exposes this tension in ways that illuminate both how God is with us and what must change for a world that participates in God’s life. This book serves as an indictment of the pieties of empire, whether government, corporate or any other forms of the faith that dominate and exclude.

The Broken Ladder:
How Inequality Affects the Way We Think, Live, and Die.
Keith Payne.
Pbk 256pp. ISBN 9780143128908.

Penguin (2018).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

A timely examination by a leading scientist of the physical, psychological, and moral effects of inequality.

Payne explores:

  • why women in poor societies often have more children, and why they have them at a younger age
  • why there is little trust among the working class in the prudence of investing for the future
  • why people’s perception of their social status affects their political beliefs and leads to greater political divisions
  • how poverty raises stress levels as effectively as actual physical threats
  • how inequality in the workplace affects performance, and
  • why unequal societies tend to become more religious.

Understanding how inequality shapes our world can help us better understand what drives ideological divides, why high inequality makes the middle class feel left behind, and how to disconnect from the endless treadmill of social comparison.



Doughnut Economics:
Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist.
Kate Raworth.
Pbk 320pp. ISBN 9781603587969.
Chelsea Green (2018).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

Simple, playful, and eloquent, Doughnut Economics offers game-changing analysis and inspiration for a new generation of economic thinkers.

The fundamentals of economics are centuries out of date. That’s why it is time, says renegade economist Kate Raworth, to revise our economic thinking for the 21st century. She sets out seven key ways to fundamentally reframe our understanding of what economics is and does. Along the way, she points out how we can break our addiction to growth; redesign money, finance, and business to be in service to people; and create economies that are regenerative and distributive by design.

Inside Fatherhood:
Today’s fathers tell their stories.
David Atkinson;
with reflections by Mark Chester.
Pbk 128pp. ISBN 9780857465696.
Bible Reading Fellowship (2018).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

What does fatherhood look like in our complex world?

As Father’s Day turns 80 in 2018, it’s a good time for fathers to ask this question; to reflect on their beliefs and values; and to reconsider their understanding of this important role.

Highlighting the human-interest dispatches from the front line of modern fatherhood through case-study interviews and biblical reflection, this is essential reading for fathers, mothers and everyone interested in this vital topic.

Read People:
Understand Behaviour. Expertly Communicate: 20 Thought-Provoking Lessons.
Rita Carter.
Hbk 160pp. ISBN 9781781317310.

Aurum Press (2018).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

Can you spot a lie? The increasing speed of communication in the modern world makes it more important than ever to understand the subtle behaviours behind everyday interactions.

In 20 dip-in lessons, Carter translates the signs that reveal a person’s true feelings and intentions and exposes how these signals drive relationships, crowds and even society’s behaviour.

Learn the influencing tools used by leaders and recognise the fundamental patterns of behaviour that shape how we act and how we communicate.

The Songs of Trees:
Stories from Nature’s Great Connectors.

David George Haskell.
Pbk 304pp. ISBN 9780143111306.

Penguin (2018).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

Scientific, lyrical, and contemplative, Haskell reveals the biological connections that underpin all life. In a world beset by barriers, he reminds us that life’s substance and beauty emerge from relationship and interdependence.

Haskell brings his powers of observation to the biological networks that surround all species, including humans. He repeatedly visits a dozen trees, exploring connections with people, microbes, fungi, and other plants and animals. He takes us to trees in cities (from Manhattan to Jerusalem), forests (Amazonian, North American, and boreal) and areas on the front lines of environmental change (eroding coastlines, burned mountainsides, and war zones.)

In each place he shows how human history, ecology, and well-being are intimately intertwined with the lives of trees.


Water at the Roots:
Poems and Insights of a Visionary Farmer.
Philip Britts.
Pbk 179pp. ISBN 9780874861280.
Plough Publishing House (2018).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

In a society uprooted by war, industrialisation, hate-filled ideology, and dehumanising technology, a revolutionary farmer-poet reconnects his people to the land and one another.

Something of a British Wendell Berry, Philip Britts (1917–49) was a soft-spoken West Country farmer, poet, activist, and mystic. Even as his country plunged headlong into a second world war, he sought a way of life where people could work together in harmony with nature and one another. He found an answer, though it would cost him his land and his life.

IWith poems hinting at the myriad ways nature points beyond itself, Britts helps us rediscover the sense of awe and wonder that can be found in the natural world.

Click here for a video introduction to the book:

Geering Interviews.
Lloyd Geering; Mike Grimshaw.
Pbk 230pp. ISBN 9781598152142.
Polebridge press (2018).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

Geering forces us to respond to, rethink, and reinterpret Christian origins, institutions, and beliefs. He demands that we begin from a position of informed knowledge that includes a central engagement with science, religion, and scholarship. Through these interviews, Grimshaw guides us through Geering’s life and times.



Room on our Rock.
Kate & Jol Temple; Terri Rose Baynton.
Hbk 32pp. ISBN 9781742764108.

Scholastic Press (2018).
[Allow 7-10 days].

This picture book has one story that can be read two different ways. When read from front to back, the seals believe there is no room on their rock for others. But when the book is read from back to front, the seals welcome others to shelter on their rock. A heart-warming story about sharing and compassion.

A clever picture book about the plight of refugees, that demonstrates how there is always another side to every story

The Great Unknown:
Seven Journeys to the Frontiers of Science.
Marcus Du Sautoy.
Pbk. 464pp.
ISBN 9780735221826.
Penguin (2018).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

Marcus du Sautoy takes us on a virtuoso tour of the great breakthroughs of the past and celebrating the men and women who dared to tackle the seemingly impossible and had the imagination to come up with new ways of seeing the world.

At once exhilarating, mind-bending, and compulsively readable, The Great Unknown challenges us to consider big questions—about the nature of consciousness, what came before the big bang, and what lies beyond our horizons.

The Religion of Tomorrow:
A Vision for the Future of the Great Traditions – More Inclusive, More Comprehensive, More Complete.
Ken Wilber.
Pbk 816pp. ISBN 9781611805727. Shambhala (2018).

[Allow 2-3 weeks].

A provocative examination of how the great religious traditions can remain relevant in modern times, by incorporating scientific truths learned about human nature over the last century.

A single purpose lies at the heart of all the great religious traditions: awakening to the astonishing reality of the true nature of ourselves and the universe. At the same time, through centuries of cultural accretion and focus on myth and ritual as ends in themselves, this core insight has become obscured.

Wilber provides a path for re-envisioning a religion of the future that acknowledges the evolution of humanity in every realm while remaining faithful to that original spiritual vision.

Father of a Continent. Alessandro Barbero.
Pbk 440pp. ISBN 9780520297210.
Univ. of California Press (2018).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

“Barbero’s lively and entertaining study provides a superb overview of the latest scholarship on the Carolingian age and constructs a compelling argument for Charlemagne’s pivotal role as the father of Europe.

We gain a sense of the look and feel of peasant villages, the dynamic interplay of monastic economies and long-distance trade, and the manipulation of justice by local notables. This is histoire totale at its best.” Sharon Farmer, author of Surviving Poverty in Medieval Paris

Reimagining Exodus:
A Story of Freedom.
David Zaslow.
Pbk 256pp. ISBN 9781612617800.
Paraclete Press (2017).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

The biblical Exodus is one of the most influential freedom stories ever told. It has provided inspiration for Puritans, American revolutionaries, abolitionists, Mormons, the modern civil rights movement, and revolutionaries the world over. In Jewish tradition, the Exodus is also applied to every person’s life journey with its struggles, liberations, and revelations.

This ground-breaking interfaith book explores the Exodus as the foundational story that links Judaism and Christianity together, and looks at ways that each of us can free ourselves from the “egypts” and “pharaohs” in our own lives. In an age where politics and ideologies divide us, Rabbi David is a voice in the wilderness calling people of faith to come together.

Click here for a video interview with the author:

The Scandal of Redemption:
When God Liberates the Poor, Saves Sinners, and Heals Nations
Oscar Romero.
Pbk 139pp. ISBN 9780874861419.
Plough Publishing House (2018).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

Three short years transformed El Salvador’s Archbishop Oscar Romero from a defender of the status quo into one of the most outspoken voices of the oppressed. An assassin’s bullet ended his life, but his message lives on.

In March 2018 Pope Francis announced that the Catholic Church would canonise Oscar Romero, acknowledging that he is indeed a saint who was martyred for proclaiming the gospel, and that the political and social implications of that message, which so scandalised the powerful, flowed directly from Romero’s faithfulness to the teachings of Jesus.

These selections from Romero’s diaries and radio broadcasts invite each of us to align our own lives with the way of Jesus that lifts up the poor, welcomes the broken, wins over enemies, and transforms the history of entire nations.

The Reckless Way of Love:
Notes on Following Jesus

Dorothy Day; Carolyn Kurtz ed.
Pbk 149pp. ISBN 9780874867923.

Plough Publishing House (2017).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

How do you follow Jesus without burning out?

In this guidebook Dorothy Day offers hard-earned wisdom and practical advice gained through decades of seeking to know Jesus and to follow his example and teachings in her own life.

Unlike larger collections and biographies, which cover her radical views, exceptional deeds, and amazing life story, this book focuses on a more personal dimension of her life:

  • Where did she receive strength to stay true to her God-given calling despite her own doubts and inadequacies and the demands of an activist life?
  • What was the unquenchable wellspring of her deep faith and her love for humanity?

Women’s Bible Commentary.
3rd edition.
Carol A. Newsom; Sharon H. Ringe; Jacqueline E Lapsley eds.
Hbk 704pp.

ISBN 9780664237073.
Westminster John Knox Press (2015).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

A trusted, classic resource for biblical scholarship, written by some of the best feminist scholars in the field today. This 20th anniversary edition features brand new or thoroughly revised essays to reflect newer thinking in feminist interpretation and hermeneutics.

It comprises commentaries on every book of the Bible, including the apocryphal books; essays on the reception history of women in the Bible; and essays on feminist critical method. The contributors raise important questions and explore the implications of how women and other marginalised people are portrayed in biblical texts, looking specifically at gender roles, sexuality, political power, and family life, while challenging long-held assumptions.

This commentary brings modern critical methods to bear on the history, sociology, anthropology, and literature of the relevant time periods to illuminate the context of these biblical portrayals and challenges readers to new understandings.


Honest to God.
55th Anniversary edition.
John A T Robinson,
with essays by Douglas John Hall & Rowan Williams.
Pbk.183pp. ISBN 9780664224226.

Westminster John Knox Press
(1963, 2006).

[Allow 2-3 weeks].

Originally published in 1963, Honest to God ignited passionate debate about the nature of Christian belief and doctrine in the white heat of a secular revolution.

In addition, it articulated the anxieties of a generation who saw these traditional fundamentals as no longer acceptable or necessarily credible. Reissued on the 55th anniversary of the original publication, this remains a work of honest theology that continues to inspire many in their search for credible Christianity in today’s world.

Other recent email newsletters

Check out our February 2018 general selection , February 2018 Mid-month selection , March 2018 selection , Mid-March 2018 selection , April 2018 selection , Rural Ministry & Small Church Resources and April 2018 Mid-month selection

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2 thoughts on “May 2018 Selection

  1. Richard Roberts

    (From a previous list ): “The Way of Jesus–Living a Spiritual and Ethical Life” by Jay Parini. It’s almost un-put downable for its revealing personal honesty, and depth of scholarship in wrestling with an ancient faith, highly relevant in practice, and wholeness for today’s world, but often dismissed because of narrow or unfortunate images created by unimaginative and literal minded adherents, or through historical misinterpretations, or unfortunate emphasis where alternatives exist. From such a past himself, Parini now presents an honest, progressive,wholly realistic, and sincere Way to follow Jesus exuding hope for those who would follow in today’s world.

  2. Philip Garside Post author

    Hi folks

    We’re opening up this May 2018 Selection page for your feedback and comments, and would love to hear from you.

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