6 titles you won’t want to miss at this year’s AAR/SBL Annual Meeting
The AAR/SBL Annual Meetings kick off in San Diego this Saturday 23rd until Tuesday 26th November. As always, SCM Press will be there, represented by our good friends at Westminster John Knox Press. You’ll find many of our latest titles and classic backlist on the SCM tables at WJK’s booth (#514)
Here’s a few highlights to look out for.
1) The Promise of Anglicanism (Robert Heaney and William Sachs)
The Promise of Anglicanism looks at the Church through the lens of the biblical theme of promise, and seeks to offer neither lament for a tattered tradition nor facile hope for an expanding one. It considers the key phases of Anglican history, each defined by clear intentions, from securing English national life, to mission, to finding contextual roots in various locales.
Whilst not denying that the ongoing contestation about the proper shape of Anglican faith and practice has become central, the book highlights the emergence of fresh consensus among Anglicans, centered on grassroots initiative and innovation, creating informal patterns of collaboration that can transcend context and overlook divergence.
"A succinct, well crafted and edifying account about our identity as the Anglican family. I commend this apt resource to all who want to catch a glimpse of identity, promise and vocation as Anglicans. A timely book." Thabo Makgoba, Archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa
2) Sabbath Rest (Mark Scarlata)
Sabbath Rest: The Beauty of God’s Rhythm in a Digital by Mark Scarlata from St Mellitus College asks where the biblical concept of Sabbath fits within the life of faith, in a restless always-on society. Exploring the biblical commandments and stories around the sabbath, Mark Scarlata connects the principles of sabbath rest to the demands and challenges of our modern technological and consumer society.
“This is a fruitful and accessible study which poses important questions for the church today, and yet also demonstrates wisdom in showing how it might live out the gift of Sabbath.” David Firth, Trinity College, Bristol
3) Undoing Theology (Chris Greenough)
In Undoing Theology: Life Stories from Non-Normative Christians, Chris Greenough seeks to engage in a process which breaks free from traditional academic norms. He explores three life stories: an intersex-identifying Catholic, a former `ex-gay' minister and a Christian who engages in bondage and fetishist practices.
Employing an `undoing' methodology, which liberates the researcher and allows intuitive, reflective and creative methods, the book makes a significant contribution to the fields of gender, sexuality and queer studies in religion, both empirically and theoretically.
"Fascinating and absorbing ... extraordinary stories of ordinary people crafted into a bottom-up queer theology by a master story-teller. These voices need to be heard." Deryn Guest, University of Birmingham, UK
4) Liturgy with a Difference (edited by Bryan Cones and Stephen Burns)
Liturgy with a Difference: Beyond Inclusion in the Christian Assembly, gathers a broad range of international theologians and scholars to interrogate current practices of liturgy and worship in order to unmask ways in which dehumanizing majoritarianisms and presumed norms of gender, culture, ethnicity, and body, among others, remain at work in congregations.
'This book crackles with prophetic and Pentecostal energy, inviting readers into a many-textured, many-tongued conversation about what is most urgent in the life of our churches and how this might be reflected in Christian worship and witness.” Nicola Slee, Queens Foundation, UK
5) Love in Action (Simon Cuff)
Love in Action: Catholic Social Teaching for Every Church by Simon Cuff (St Mellitus College, UK) takes us on a whistle stop tour of Catholic Social Teaching, which provides a rich body of thought, and finds a particular resonance as all denominations in the church seek to engage with the needs of contemporary society.
Resolutely aimed at those who come from traditions beyond the movement's traditional catholic heartlands but who seek to view their ministry through the lens of generous orthodoxy, the book offers a deeply scriptural but accessible introduction to this vital approach to the church's ministry in the world.
'...a well-written and thought-provoking guide to issues which should be of concern to all Christians, not least the concept of ‘the preferential option for the poor’, which goes beyond compassion for the poor but involves justice for the poor too. This is a theological text-book with a punch!' Paul Beasley-Murray, Chairman of College of Baptist Ministers.
6) Preach It! (Carol Tomlin)
Preach It!: Understanding African Caribbean Preaching by Carol Tomlin (visiting fellow at the University of Leeds) encourages students, both vocational and scholarly, to look beyond the ‘established’ approaches to homiletics and to learn from traditions with which they are less familiar.
The distinctive style and techniques that African Caribbean Pentecostal preachers have inherited has been shaped by historical, political and socio-economic factors impacting on black Caribbean people (including clergy).
Using a variety of socio-linguistic and theological approaches, Preach It! reflects on these techniques, and outlines how preachers across church traditions might learn from them and use them in their own contexts.
“Preach It! Has within its pages the power to make all of us better preachers.” Cleophus J. LaRue, Princeton Theological Seminary, USA