Editor's Picks 2019
As we draw to the end of a busy year, our editor, David Shervington selects 5 highlights from our publishing programme in 2019...
1) Preaching Women: Gender, Power and the Pulpit - Liz Shercliff
Preaching Women asks whether women who preach, should preach as women. Shercliff argues that far from being a gender-neutral space, the pulpit is a critical place in which a gender imbalance can begin to be redressed. This is more than just a book about preaching but a deep dive into how privilege and patriarchy act to mute women's voices, and a passionate defence of women in the pulpit as vital offering the church a new vision.
'Not least among Liz Shercliff’s achievements in this fine book on preaching is to be reminded that ‘vocation’ and ‘voice’ are rooted in living bodies responding to God’s call. What I found especially impressive is Shercliff's patient, determined and gritty interrogation of the patriarchal effects which work to limit women’s voices in the pulpit and her determination to re-envision the preacher’s work in response. This, then, is not a comfortable book. However, it is a necessary one. It acknowledges the cost and character required for women to find, in their bodies and stories, the hope, fierceness and passion to sing God’s wondrous story in fresh ways.' -- Rachel Mann, Priest, poet and academic
The Epistle to the Romans is one of those letters about which it is tempting to think there is nothing new to say. It has been endless preached on, written on, and reflected on. But what is extraordinary is how often it has been approached as if it were supposed to be an outline of doctrine, rather than a letter offering wisdom and support to particular churches with particular pastoral needs and concerns. Scot McKnight demonstrates in this book how, when we start by focusing on the last few chapters, we discover offers a message of deep reconciliation and living in fellowship as siblings.
"It's a fascinating exploration of this most important letter and brings it to life in new ways. Highly recommended!" -- Paula Gooder, Canon Chancellor, St Paul's Cathedral, London
3) Bathsheba Survives - Sara M. Koenig
This one is my 'hidden gem' of the year. Bathsheba is one of those enigmatic biblical women who speak through their silence. Her reception history is fascinating, too. Seen through the eyes of everyone from Calvin to Sting via Gregory the Great Bathsheba has, Koenig tells us, been portrayed as everything from hapless victim to evil seductress.
"In her excellent study Sara M Koenig shows how the gaps in the Biblical narrative provide opportunities for contemporary readers to engage in the creative re-telling of her story.” -- Rosie Dawson, journalist and producer of #SheToo podcast
4) Broken Bodies: The Eucharist, Mary and the Body in Trauma Theology - Karen O'Donnell
I've cheated a little here - strictly speaking this book was published in our SCM Research monograph strand at the tale end of 2018. But we reissued it in paperback at the start of this year, since demand for the hardback had been so high. And for good reason - the book presents us with an immensely powerful, brave, moving theology of trauma and loss, which unflinchingly explores what impact trauma has on some of the central areas of Christian doctrine.
'This is an utterly stimulating, beautifully written, and properly disruptive book. It feels like the probing of a skilful consultant into a bodily condition that the patient does not fully understand and cannot adequately describe. Like the work of the Holy Spirit, it explores “the depths of everything, even the depths of God”' -- Church Times
5) Preach It!: Introducing African-Caribbean Preaching - Carol Tomlin
Until I read this book, it hadn't really occurred to me how narrowly we think about what preaching is. We try and pretend that we are open to a variety of styles of preaching, but even our most creative preaching styles are still thoroughly western and Eurocentric.
Preach It!, will, I hope, encourage preachers to look beyond these approaches and to learn from traditions with which they are less familiar.
'Preaching occupies a premier place in the ecology of African Caribbean Pentecostal church services and ritual. Tomlin’s excellent book throws light on the morphology of this performative practice in a critical and authentic way that will be appreciated by scholars, practitioners and students of this sacred art.' -- Dr R. David Muir, Senior Lecturer in Ministerial Theology and Public Theology, Roehampton University
Order our 5 editor's picks now via our website and save up to 20% off the RRP. Click here to visit our website, or click on individual titles above to learn more.