More... Annual Conference 2019    

Annual Conference 2019

Theology in the public square - Monday 15th to Wednesday 17th July 2019 at High Leigh Conference Centre, Hoddesdon, Herts.

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More... New editor for Modern Believing journal    

New editor for Modern Believing journal

Modern Church appoints Dr Karen O' Donnell as the new managing editor of our academic journal Modern Believing

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More... Modern Church is 120!    

Modern Church is 120!

Modern Church is celebrating 120 years with a social media campaign recording key moments in its history

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Modern Believing

Modern Believing is Modern Church's journal, published quarterly by Liverpool University Press, with articles promoting theological liberalism.

 Students in universities, colleges and theological institutions which subscribe to the EBSCO database, can access Modern Believing online. Subscription to the journal is included for Modern Church members.

  • Editor: Revd Dr Steven Shakespeare
  • Assistant Editor: Dr Katharine Sarah Moody
  • Reviews Editor: Revd Dr Michael Brierley

Current issue: 'Getting God'

Vol 59:3 July 2018 - Editors: Jane Shaw and Linda Woodhead

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Books received October 2018

Publishers know that Modern Believing's team of book reviewers, led by the Reviews Editor, Rev. Dr. Michael Brierley, do an outstanding job in providing constructive, critical, fair and discerning reviews.


A. Autiero and L. Magesa, eds., The Catholic Ethicist in the Local Church. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2018. Pp. x, 341. Pb. £37.99. ISBN 978-1-62698-274-1.


K. J. Barnes, Redeeming Capitalism. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2018. Pp. xiv, 233. Hb. $25. ISBN 978-0-8028-7557-0.


M. D. Barram, Missional Economics: Biblical Justice and Christian Formation. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2018. Pp. xviii, 263. Pb. ISBN 978-0-8028-7507-5.


R. M. Ellis, The Christian Middle Way: The Case against Christian Belief but for Christian Faith. Alresford: Christian Alternative Books, 2018. Pp. xiv, 307. Pb. £17.99. ISBN 978-1-78535-756-5.


C. Greenough, Undoing Theology: Life Stories from Non-normative Christians. London: SCM Press, 2018. Pp. x, 219. Hb. £65. ISBN 978-0-334-05621-8.


J. M. Houston and J. Zimmermann, eds., Sources of the Christian Self: A Cultural History of Christian Identity. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2018. Pp. xxvi, 694. Hb. $55. ISBN 978-0-8028-7627-0.


S. C. Ilo, A Poor and Merciful Church: The Illuminative Ecclesiology of Pope Francis. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2018. Pp. xii, 308. Pb. £33.99. ISBN 978-1-62698-265-9.


E. A. Johnson, Creation and the Cross: The Mercy of God for a Planet in Peril. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2018. Pp. xviii, 238. Hb. £23.99. ISBN 978-1-62698-266-6.


C. R. Koester, Revelation and the End of All Things, 2nd edn. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2018. Pp. xii, 214. Pb. $24. ISBN 978-0-8028-7578-5.


P. Lewis and S. Hamid, British Muslims: New Directions in Islamic Thought, Creativity and Activism. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2018. Pp. xiv, 250. Pb. £14.99. ISBN 978-1-4744-3276-4.


I. S. Markham and J. T. K. Daniel, eds., Reasonable Radical? Reading the Writings of Martyn Percy. Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2018. Pp. xviii, 354. Pb. ISBN 978-1-5326-1783-6.


J. L. McLaughlin, An Introduction to Israel’s Wisdom Traditions. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2018. Pp. xii, 217. Pb. ISBN 978-0-8028-7454-2.


S. Mitralexis, ed., Polis, Ontology, Ecclesial Event: Engaging with Christos Yannaras’ Thought. Cambridge: James Clarke and Co., 2018. Pp. xviii, 259. Hb. ISBN 978-0-227-17669-6.


S. W. Murray, Post-Christendom: Church and Mission in a Strange New World, 2nd edn. London: SCM Press, 2018. Pp. xvi, 253. Pb. £16.99. ISBN 978-0-334-05704-8.


M. F. Perham, One Unfolding Story: Biblical Reflections through the Christian Year, ed. P. R. Gooder and J. Moriarty. London: Canterbury Press Norwich, 2018. Pp. viii, 200. Pb. £14.99. ISBN 978-1-78622-049-3.


A. S. G. Platten, Grasping the Heel of Heaven: Liturgy, Leadership and Ministry in Today’s Church. London: Canterbury Press, 2018. Pp. xviii, 179. Pb. £22.99. ISBN 978-1-78622-002-8.


A. Riccardi, To the Margins: Pope Francis and the Mission of the Church, tr. D. Livingstone. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2018. Pp. vi, 184. Pb. £20.99. ISBN 978-1-62698-277-2.


R. Rohr, Essential Teachings on Love, ed. J. Chase and J. Traeger. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2018. Pp. xxii, 263. Pb. £17.99. ISBN 978-1-62698-269-7.


R. D. Shaw and W. R. Burrows, eds., Traditional Ritual as Christian Worship: Dangerous Syncretism or Necessary Hybridity?, American Society of Missiology Series 56. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2018. Pp. xxiv, 278. Pb. £41.99. ISBN 978-1-62698-262-8.


J. D. Small, Flawed Church, Faithful God: A Reformed Ecclesiology for the Real World. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2018. Pp. xx, 242. Pb. $35. ISBN 978-0-8028-7612-6.


D. I. Smith, On Christian Teaching: Practicing Faith in the Classroom. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2018. Pp. x, 172. Pb. $22. ISBN 978-0-8028-7360-6.


D. K. Thompson and D. C. Murchison, eds., Mentoring: Biblical, Theological, and Practical Perspectives. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2018. Pp. xii, 244. Pb. $30. ISBN 978-0-8028-7499-3.


J. E. Turner, The Labour Church: Religion and Politics in Britain 1890–1914. London and New York: I. B. Tauris and Co., 2018. Pp. xii, 273. Hb. ISBN 978-1-78453-943-6.


S. M. B. Wells, Incarnational Mission: Being with the World. London: Canterbury Press Norwich, 2018. Pp. x, 254. Pb. ISBN 978-1-78622-036-3.


D. Wenham, From Good News to Gospels: What Did the First Christians Say about Jesus? Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2018. Pp. xx, 124. Pb. $16. ISBN 978-0-8028-7368-2.


G. D. Westhaver, ed., A Transforming Vision: Knowing and Loving the Triune God. London: SCM Press, 2018. Pp. xx, 252. Pb. £35. ISBN 978-0-334-05568-6.


In the midst of death...

Editorial by Anthony Woollard
from Signs of the Times No. 71 - Oct 2018

Our annual conference this year on ‘Ritual, Worship and Culture’ came close at times to being dominated by the theme of death.

That comment requires a good deal of unpacking - not least because the conference managed, at the same time, to be a thoroughly life-filled affair, characterized by the frequent and welcome participation of baby Fergus (son of Hilary Topp, national co-ordinator of the Student Christian Movement (SCM) and the customary inspiration, at the other end of the age spectrum, of the indomitable Mary Roe and irrepressible Sally Barnes - from whom see more below - among others.

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A refreshed Grand Narrative for the West: Escaping from a narrow understanding of reason

by Brenda Watson
from Signs of the Times No. 71 - Oct 2018

The first flaw in the current argument about grand narratives and common values, discussed in my article in the July issue of Signs of the Times, concerned confusion over values.

Lesser values such as freedom of speech, which depend upon particular situations for validity, have taken precedence over foundational values such as concern for truth.

However, lack of nurture or education in values has a deeper cause. Values are regarded as subjective and therefore it is up to people to decide for themselves. Of course, the needs of society and political enthusiasm for various beliefs mean that values are still instilled, especially through the law. But values themselves are not seen as being amenable to reasoning. This constitutes the second flaw which needs addressing for a renewed Grand Narrative for the West.

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A Swedish journey towards inclusion

by Sally Barnes
from Signs of the Times No. 71 - Oct 2018

In April a delegation from Inclusive Church (IC) was invited by Swedish Lutheran friends from the Diocese of Stockholm to take part in a conference being held on their pilot project, ‘Accessibility and Inclusion - a Church for and with everyone’.

We also visited churches that are part of the project to see the work they are doing and meet members of their communities. This visit arose as a result of one made last year by the same group whom we hosted in the Dioceses of Manchester and Liverpool to see schools and churches that were similarly working on inclusion.

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