To kick off the new year, here's a sneak peek at what to look forward to in the next few months from SCM Press...
Our society is data-driven, but data is not neutral. Indeed, it is often deeply discriminatory against people of colour, those lower on socio-economic scales, and others. Eric Stoddart's The Common Gaze: Surveillance and the Common Good offers a timely theological assessment of the ways that we gather data in our society. He offers a call not only for revised surveillance but for better ways of understanding how God sees the world.
Frances Mackenny-Jeff's Reconceptualising Disability for the Contemporary Church blends theory, anthropology, theology, pastoral concerns and the lived experience of people with disabilities to offer an important and thoughtful challenge to the contemporary Church. As John Swinton comments - "In this fascinating mix of theology and practice Frances Mackenney-Jeffs teases out the complexities of the field of disability theology and in so doing provides tools and perspectives for exploring the field in terms of the theological and the empirical."
Meanwhile, we're excited to be publishing a new edition of John Taylor's most famous book The Go Between God. Based on his Cadbury lectures delivered in 1967, it is now considered one of the most important works ever written on the Holy Spirit and mission, and our reissue of the book features a foreword by Jonny Baker.
What do we need to learn and receive from the other to help us address challenges or wounds in our own tradition? That is the key question asked in what has come to be known as ‘receptive ecumenism’. And nowhere is this question more pressing and pertinent than in women’s experiences within the church. Based on qualitative research reveiling the experiences of women within the church, Gabrielle Thomas's For the Good of the Church: Women, Theology and Ecumenical Practice reveals how radically different theological and ecclesiological perspectives can be a space for learning and receiving gifts for the well-being of the whole Church.
After Pestilence: An Interreligious Theology of the Poor is a timely new work by influential liberation theologian Mario Aguilar. Blending the author's own research on social and poverty isolation in India, and his own experience as movingly told in diaries written whilst in Covid-19 lockdown in a poor district of Santiago, Chile, the book challenges majority world churches and religions in a post-pandemic world to learn from each other and from Jesus' own identification with the outcast, and urges them to take on a way of life and prophetic learning from the world of the poor.
The fully revised 2nd edition of our popular SCM Studyguide to Anglicanism by Stephen Spencer brings a greater emphasis on worldwide expressions of Anglicanism, with more examples taken from Asian and African contexts, and a brand new section which considers the rise of the global communion alongside issues of inculturation and indigenisation.
Natalie Wigg-Stevenson's Transgressive Devotion: Theology as Performance brings us a radical and daring vision of theology which will energise anybody feeling ‘boxed in’ by the discipline. The book blurs borders between ethnography, doctrine, and the creative arts, and between orthodoxy, heterodoxy and heresy to reveal how the very act of doing theology makes God and humanity vulnerable to each other. Described by Professor Pete Ward as 'mesmerising', this is theology which is a liturgy of Divine incantation. In other words: this is theology which is also prayer.
The influence of Marcella Althaus Reid on modern theology is incalculable and yet only a few hardy theology students are brave enough to discover her for themselves. Queer and Indecent by Thia Cooper offers an accessible guide to her work on a range of themes, including indigeneity, economic oppression, the body, indecency, heterosexuality, and sex, as well as setting her life in context with an overview of her stance on feminist teaching and activism, and her critique of Latin American liberation theology. Designed to introduce a new generation to her work, the book serves as both an indispensable guidebook and a launchpad for students to explore her extraordinary writing for themselves.
Genome editing can cure heritable diseases, but we could even make certain genetic "improvements" to healthy people. Should we change human embryos genetically to achieve such goals? Bringing together leading molecular biologist Keith Fox and Christian ethicist Alexander Massmann, Modifying our Genes: Theology, Science and 'Playing God' responds to the need for solid information and helpful orientation for a pressing moral issue. They explain relevant technical issues without the jargon, clarify the most important philosophical and religious arguments and bring empirical insights to the question of what helps us lead meaningful lives.
How to Rage: Theology Activism and the Church
There's lots to look forward to beyond the books, too. Do join us on the 30th January, for our online event How to Rage. We'll be exploring what place activism has within the church and what it means in practice to rage against injustice. Speakers include Azariah France-Williams, Andrew Graystone and Ellen Loudon, and there will be music and poetry from Samantha Lindo. Tickets are now available, via our website.