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Review(s) of the Year 2021

15:41 10/12/2021
Review(s) of the Year 2021

We gathered together all the nice things people have said about our 2021 books into one handy blog post. It took a LONG time...


The Common Gaze: Surveillance and the Common Good by Eric Stoddart

This has been a very stimulating and thought-provoking read on a vital subject, on which there has been too little theological reflection, and I commend it heartily. Mark Ireland, Church Times

Reconceptualising Disability for the Contemporary Church by Frances MacKenney-Jeffs

Fascinating…This book functions well as a primer in disability theology and as a guide through some of the complexities of the field. John Swinton

For the Good of the Church: Women, Theology and Ecumenical Practice by Gabrielle Thomas

This important book helps us to understand receptive ecumenism, a recent new way in the ecumenical pilgrimage to visible unity, a way of offering and receiving gifts carried in the lives of different Churches. Mary Tanner, Church Times

After Pestilence: An Interreligious Theology of the Poor by Mario Aguilar

…a fascinating mixture of history, theology, and testimony surrounded by a deep concern for spirituality. … More importantly it lit a fire in me and called me back to neglected commitments and theological truths which so easily get pushed to the margins in a busy life. Mark Bennet, Practical Theology

Transgressive Devotion: Theology as Performance Art by Natalie Wigg-Stevenson

This is a mesmerising and suggestive book that reworks what it means to be a theologian. Pete Ward

When Did we See You Naked?: Jesus as a Victim of Sexual Abuse edited by Jayme R. Reaves, David Tombs and Rocio Figueroa

Alluding in its title to the well-known passage about “the sheep and the goats” in Matthew 25, When Did We See You Naked? powerfully reminds us that our response to Jesus is inextricably linked with our response to contemporary survivors of sexual violence. Wherever two or three are gathered together in the name of Jesus, there is a survivor of sexual abuse in the midst of them. This volume thoughtfully and carefully examines the ramifications of that truth. Carolyn Mackie, Women in Theology blog

Queer and Indecent: An Introduction to Marcella Althaus Reid by Thia Cooper

Much of the original impetus of liberation theology is now spent, but Althaus-Reid still has challenging questions to put to the Church about who remains invisible and unheard, and why. Her trenchant analysis of social injustice deserves to be part of theological history, and this book will make her work available to a new generation of theological students and the wider laity. Bernice Martin, Church Times

Modifying Our Genes: Theology, Science and "Playing God" by Alexander Massmann and Keith R. Fox

This book gives us a clear account of genetic modification techniques with a special focus on genome editing; this is followed by an informative survey of potential and actual applications in human medicine… A useful addition to the literature.’ John Bryant

Faith in Democracy: Framing a Politics of Deep Diversity by Jonathan Chaplin

Faith in Democracy is a triumph of explanation. Chaplin has distilled a lifetime of reflection on the Christian approach to democratic politics into a digestible handbook and a compelling manifesto for principled pluralism. David McIlroy, Big Picture Magazine (Kirby Laing Centre)

Reimagining Ministerial Formation by David Heywood

This is a magnificent book which is a timely, imaginative, grounded and prophetic contribution to re-imagining ministerial formation. Ian Mcintosh

A Plea for Embodied Spirituality: The Role of Body in Religion by Fraser Watts

The fruit of a lifetime's scholarship, clinical practice, worship, and reflection, it not only provides rich resources but also models the integrated approach for which it pleads. Joanna Collicutt

A Theology of Disagreement by Christopher Landau

We can’t agree on what the church is, what authority means, what role Jesus has in ethics or how to resolve disputes. So we shout all the louder. Into this cacophony Christopher Landau brings humility, lucidity and a desire to interweave theological, liturgical and ethical approaches. Sam Wells

A Pastoral Theology of Childlessness by Emma Nash

Emma has manged something remarkable here. Such a difficult subject to write about but she mansges to base her writing on theological insight but also talk sensitively and practically when this can sometimes not hit the spot or be hard to obsorb or process ***** Amazon reviewer

How do you Know It's God: The Theology and Practice of Discerning a Call to Ministry by Lynn McChlery

She makes a persuasive case, and her concluding chapter on ways in which the process could be changed to incorporate it makes for instructive reading for all involved. Anna Matthews, Journal of Anglican Studies

Do Small Groups Work?: A Study of Biblical Engagement and Transformation by Anna Creedon

…adds to the small (but important) body of literature examining the effects of faith formation in small groups settings, and provides important reflections on the impact they have on those who participate in them Ruth Perrin

Out of the Shadows: Preaching the Women of the Bible by Kate Bruce and Liz Shercliff

Here we have a significant piece of work which will feed no end of pastoral preaching, as the women hidden in the shadows of Scripture are called to lead the oppressed, the castigated, the shamed, the pained and the objectified, from darkness into light. Jenny Bridgman, College of Preachers Website

Black, Gay, British, Christian, Queer: The Church and the Famine of Grace by Jarel Robinson-Brown

An important book that loudly proclaims God's grace - a message at once incredibly simple and yet so difficult for Christians to grasp. Goodreads reviewer

Doing Theology in the New Normal: Global Perspectives edited by Jione Havea

This investigation of normalcy in the midst of a pandemic saves no energy in exposing the ugly link between disease and disparity. For Christian readers interested in learning and developing resilient approaches to faith, I recommend this book with an added warning, prepare to be uncomfortable.  Faafetai Aiava

Slavery-Free Communities: Emerging Theologies and Faith Responses to Modern Slavery edited by Dan Pratt

This book will move you to action and prayer for those who are oppressed by the greatest human rights abuse of our time. Dame Sarah Thornton

God of Justice and Mercy: A theological commentary on Judges by Isabelle Hamley

Carefully and thoughtfully, Isabelle Hamley reflects on the themes of Judges drawing out what we can learn from it about ourselves, about community and about the world around us…it is an excellent book and well worth reading” Paula Gooder

Autistic Thinking in the Life of the Church by Stewart Rapley

…an important and insightful book…[It] will be helpful for church leaders who want to ensure they are providing a welcoming and inclusive environment which truly values everyone’s contribution as well as for autistic people themselves, their family and friends to help to navigate some of the big issues and questions of faith and Christianity. Carol Povey, National Autistic Society

Losing Ground: Reading Ruth in the Pacific by Jione Havea

Prepare to be challenged as well as invigorated by reading the book of Ruth through the eyes of Pasifika Bible Studies gatherings, as they break open the text from their unique contexts of colonization and ecological crisis and trauma. Gale Yee

Theologies and Practices of Inclusion: Insights From a Faith-based Relief, Development and Advocacy Organization edited by Nina Kurlberg and Madleina Daehnhardt

As a work of Practical Theology employing an interdisciplinary approach, Nina and Madleina have assembled in this volume scholars and practitioners who understands inclusion, diversity, equality and justice This is indeed a radical transformative inclusion. Israel Olofinjana

Motherhood and Autism by Eilidh Campbell

This book will deepen and extend our understandings of disability theologies, and it deserves to be read widely. Katie Cross

English Grounds: A Pastoral Journal by Andrew Rumsey

Essential and gloriously easy reading…This is a journey through faith as much as through landscapes and time, in which we are all pilgrims. Matthew Oates

Ancestral Feeling: Postcolonial Thoughts on Western Christian Heritage by Renie Chow Choy

Remarkable and rewarding. A brave and complex book that ought to be essential reading not only for anyone interested in postcolonialism but for everyone who cares about the history and future of Christianity. Dame Averil Cameron

An Interweaving Ecclesiology: The Church, Mission and Young People by Mark Scanlan

It is an important addition to ecclesiological discussions of the mixed ecology, youth ministry, and fresh expressions of church. Andrew Dunlop