Review - Barbara Butler (ed), Just food? Food and farming for a sustainable future

by Colin Brady
from Signs of the Times No. 72 - Jan 2019

The place of food rightly occupies a recurring and important place in everyday life.

In the United Kingdom, concerns about the overwhelming demand on foodbanks, the increasing need for community schemes to tackle holiday hunger, the effects of climate change on agricultural production, and the challenges of global trade have occupied minds over the past few months. In the last century we had massive appeals to deal with hunger in Africa, Bangladesh, and elsewhere around the developing world. For the past decade we have been preoccupied with the hunger of our neighbours down the road. 

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Review - Tim Stead, See Love Be: Mindfulness and the spiritual life

by Jonathan Draper
from Signs of the Times No. 72 - Jan 2019

When I typed ‘mindfulness’ into Google I was presented with 11,400,000 entries.

Even Radio 3 is getting in on the act with ‘slow radio’ offerings: 30 minutes of ‘relaxation sounds’ which they hope will attract younger listeners, giving them ‘a chance for quiet mindfulness’. Of the production of aids to mindfulness there seems to be no end.

Tim Stead, until last July the Vice-Chair of Modern Church, has made a new offering to this crowded field. Tim is an accredited teacher and associate of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre. His is a ‘practical eight-week guide’ to mindfulness complete with audio meditations on a CD enclosed with the book.

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Review - Jayme M Reaves, Safeguarding the stranger

by David Driscoll
from Signs of the Times No. 72 - Jan 2019

Wiltshire is more multicultural than one might think.

Trowbridge, the county town, has the largest concentration of people of Moroccan descent in the whole of the UK, and it was in Trowbridge that the West Wilts Multifaith Forum held its AGM last June. We had a guest speaker, Jayme Reaves, who gave a fascinating and thought-provoking presentation on the importance of hospitality from an interfaith perspective. It would certainly not have been out of place at a Modern Church conference. I was therefore keen to read her book upon which much of the presentation was based, Safeguarding the stranger with the strapline, An Abrahamic theology and ethic of protective hospitality.

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Review - Michael Downey, The depth of God’s reach - A spirituality of Christ’s descent 

by Janette Jolly
from Signs of the Times No. 72 - Jan 2019

In his latest publication, Dr Michael Downey outlines the persuasive reason for his argument from the outset, emphasizing his conviction that ‘cheery Christianity will no longer do’ (p.ix).

Tackling the often neglected ‘descensus clause’ from within the Apostles’ Creed affirming Christ’s descent among the dead, Downey highlights the significance of this credal concept, emphasizing its potential implications for today’s believers. Describing it as embodying a contentious ‘slippery Christian affirmation’, Downey takes his readers on a progressive journey into the complex context of the statement and its troubled credal history. 

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