In Modern Believing Apr 2009 • previous editionnext edition

SavageText

The Savage Text: The Use and Abuse of the Bible

Adrian Thatcher

Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2008. Pp. x, 218. Pb.

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Reviewed by Paul Badham, University of Wales, Lampeter

Publisher's description:  Misuse of the Bible has made hatred holy. In this provocative book,  Adrian Thatcher argues that debates on sexuality currently raging through the churches are the latest outbreak in a long line of savage interpretations of the Bible. Fascinating reading for anyone concerned about the future of Christianity.

  • A provocative book claiming that debates on sexuality currently raging through the churches  are the latest outbreak in a long line of savage interpretations of the Bible
  • Argues that the Bible has been abused to convert the 'good news' which it brings to the world,  into one which has been used to discriminate against many groups, including children, women, Jews,  people of color, slaves, heretics, and homosexuals
  • Asks how Christians have been able to conduct, in public and on a global scale, an argument  that has exposed so much prejudice, fear and hatred
  • Offers an alternative, faithful and peaceable reading of the Bible, drawing on numerous examples throughout
  • Breaks new ground in debates about sexual ethics and biblical interpretation
Article by Adrian Thatcher in Signs of the Times No. 31 - Oct 2008

TempleTitheTax

Temples, Tithes and Taxes: The Temple and the Economic Life of Ancient Israel

Marty E. Stevens

Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 2006. Pp. xi, 209. Pb.

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Reviewed by Edmund Newell, Christ Church, Oxford


LiberalDivided

Liberal Faith in a Divided Church

Jonathan Clatworthy

Winchester: O Books, 2008. Pp. 264. Pb.

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Reviewed by Paul Badham, University of Wales, Lampeter

Publisher's description: The battle lines are drawn in what some believe will be the final showdown between liberals and conservatives in the Anglican Church. If the two sides can't agree, the cracks which began to show over the ordination of women may well become an unbridgeable chasm and the church  will split. The catalyst is the row over the consecration of a gay bishop in America, but Jonathan Clatworthy argues that it goes deeper than that, to the very roots of Anglicanism itself. Different theories developed at different stages to produce the mix of ideas we have today.

'For a long time, liberals in the Church of England have been exposed to jibes that they offer a watered-down version of Christianity and have trimmed their sails according to the prevailing winds of secularism. Now there are signs of a fight-back. Jonathan Clatworthy's book is one manifestation of this. Clearly written, with a firm grounding in the historical and intellectual background of contemporary debates, and plenty of common sense, he argues for the properly theological truth of liberalism. This work will encourage many to move from the defensive to speak out all the more strongly for the rightness  as well as the humaneness of a liberal approach." George Pattison, Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity, University of Oxford


IdentityAnglicanism

The Identity of Anglicanism: Essentials of Anglican Ecclesiology

Paul Avis

London: T&T Clark, 2007. Pp. 216.

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Reviewed by Simon Oliver, University of Wales, Lampeter


ParticipationMeditation

Participation and Mediation: A Practical Theology for the Liquid Church

Pete Ward

London: SCM, 2008. Pp. viii, 192. Pb.

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Reviewed by Rob Warner, University of Wales, Lampeter


by Paul Badham
from Modern Believing Vol 50:2

Widening Horizons

I was delighted that in our last issue we were able to focus on German Theology in Contemporary Society and I thank my colleague Johannes Hoff for his excellent selection, commissioning and introduction to the thought of six established representatives of the younger generation of German Scholarship.

Liberal theology in Britain has always greatly benefited from German scholarship and it is important that this should continue.

It is also important that we always think in global terms. I am therefore delighted that in this edition we will be looking at Christian experience in Africa, and religious experience in India. We will also explore Interfaith responses to the Palestinian/Israeli dilemma and examine the thought of an Australian archbishop. For the future I hope that in almost every edition we will have an article from the USA where so much of the hopes of progressive Christianity lie.

In Modern Believing Jan 2009 • previous editionnext edition

KenoticChristology

Exploring Kenotic Christology: The Self-Emptying of God

C. Stephen Evans (ed.)

Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006. Pp. xii, 348. Hb.

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Reviewed by Michael Brierley, Tavistock


TimesSeasons

Times and Seasons: Creating Transformative Worship Throughout the Year

Richard Giles

Norwich: Canterbury Press, 2008. Pp. xii, 201. Pb.

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Reviewed by Thomas O’Loughlin, University of Wales, Lampeter


AD381

AD 381: Heretics, Pagans and the Christian State

Charles Freeman

London: Pimlico, 2008. Pp. xx, 252. Hb.

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Reviewed by Augustine Casiday, University of Wales, Lampeter


IsaacStella

The Selected Works of Isaac of Stella: A Cistercian Voice from the Twelfth Century

Daniel Deme

Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007. Pp. 240. Hb.

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Reviewed by Augustine Casiday, University of Wales, Lampeter


Guest editorial by Johannes Hoff
from Modern Believing Vol 50:1

German Theology in Contemporary Society

In October 2005 the Standing Committee of the Modern Churchpeople’s Union was invited to Lambeth Palace for discussions with the Archbishop of Canterbury about the MCU’s contribution to Christianity in modern Britain.

One of the suggestions Dr. Williams made was to encourage an awareness of trends in theology in Europe and particularly in Germany. In response to the Archbishop’s suggestion Professor Badham invited me, as a theologian from Tübingen now teaching at Lampeter, to edit an issue of Modern Believing which would be devoted to trends in modern German theology. I did not hesitate to accept this invitation since it was based on one or two questions I was repeatedly asked by my colleagues after arriving in Britain: What has become of German theology after the generation of the great German theologians of the 20th century, such as Karl Barth and Hans Urs von Balthasar, Karl Rahner, Jürgen Moltmann and Wolfhart Pannenberg? And why do we no longer hear about the trends among the younger generation of German theologians?

In Modern Believing Oct 2008 • previous editionnext edition

MasterAttention

Thomas Merton: Master of Attention

Robert Waldron

London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 2007. Pp. 101.

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Reviewed by Patricia M. Rumsey, University of Wales, Lampeter


EverydayReligion

Everyday Religion: Observing Modern Religious Lives

Nancy Ammerman (ed.)

Oxford: OUP, 2007. Pp. 256.

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Reviewed by Greg Hoyland, York St John University


SpiritEthicsCare

Spirituality, Ethics and Care

Simon Robinson

London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2008. Pp. 194.

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Reviewed by Margaret A. Goodall, Milton Keynes


Publisher's description: 
Spirituality, Ethics and Care aims to provide guidance  on how to integrate spirituality and ethics in professional and voluntary care. The author  argues that the strong connections between moral meaning and spirituality are often not reflected  in the health and social care literature. Often spirituality is seen as religion and religion  is seen as independent of ethical decision-making, unless you happen to be working  with a patient or carer who wishes to assert their religious rights. In this book,  the author seeks to develop a broader view of spirituality and explore how this can be applied  to ethics and morals in health and social care practice.


InterruptingTradition

Interrupting Tradition: An Essay on Christian Faith in a Postmodern Context

Lieven Boeve

Leuven: Louvain Theological and Pastoral Monographs, Peeters Press, 2002. Pp. 183.

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Reviewed by Greg Hoyland, York St John University


MoralClimate

A Moral Climate: The Ethics of Global Warming

Michael S. Northcott

London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 2007. Pp. xvi, 336.

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Reviewed by Neil Messer, University of Wales, Lampeter