Key Words of Pope Francis
‘Words,’ writes the Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew in the foreword to this book, ‘are much more than conventional utterances.’ They are ‘our most intimate reflection of divinity.’ In this collection of more than 50 essays, writers from around the world examine the meaning of words that feature prominently in the utterances of Pope Francis – capitalism, conscience, family, immigrant, money, reform, women – and discuss what they reveal about him and his ministry.
In God's Hands
The Spiritual Diaries: 1962–2003
Karol Wojtyla – St John Paul II – kept a spiritual diary from his early days as a priest in his native Poland until two years before his death in 2005. Now translated into English for the first time, alongside facsimiles of original pages, it charts his religious development over the course of 40 years, including his leadership of the Catholic Church through turbulent times. Intimate, searching and deeply honest, this book reveals his relationship with God, with others, and with himself.
The Bible Hunter
The Quest for the Original New Testament
In 1859 Constantin Tischendorf brought to Europe the Codex Sinaiticus, the earliest known copy of the New Testament, previously kept at the remote Sinai monastery or St Catherine's. Gottschlich describes his own visit to Sinai, reflecting on his predecessor’s obsessions and the continuing controversy over the manuscript’s removal.
A Passionate Humility
Frederick Oakeley and the Oxford Movement
Described by Newman as ‘a man of elegant genius, of classical mind, of rare talent in literary composition’, Frederick Oakeley (1802–1880) was the principal figure in the second generation of the Oxford Movement, renowned for his love of well-performed liturgy and music – and his hymn, O Come all ye faithful. Among his achievements, this biography examines Oakeley’s pioneering experiment at Margaret Chapel in London, where he was the first to translate the Oxford Movement’s theology into liturgical practice.
The Genius of Paul
The People's Bible
Paul’s letters – the earliest record of Jesus’ teachings – can be hard to understand. In this explanatory translation the rabbi and theologian Sidney Brichto provides a clear and perceptive reflection of Paul’s forceful personality, view of the world and message of salvation. Slightly off-mint.
Gregory of Tours
Glory of the Confessors
One of the less well-known works by Gregory, Bishop of Tours (575 to 594), this text is a series of anecdotes about ‘confessors’, whose faith was manifest in their exemplary lives, and their miracles. Translated, with introduction and notes for the Translated Texts for Historians series
On Heaven and Earth
Pope Francis on Faith, Family, and the Church in the Twenty-First Century
In a series of dialogues, Cardinal Bergoglio – the future Pope Francis – and the rabbi and biophysicist Abraham Skorka discuss the big issues facing humanity today, and their implications for the faithful. The two proponents of inter-faith dialogue engage with theological topics including guilt and prayer; church debates over same-sex marriage, abortion and divorce; and political concerns such as communism and capitalism, fundamentalism, and the challenge of globalization.
Knight, Martyr, Patron Saint and Dragonslayer
St George is England’s patron saint, yet many other nations, from Hungary to Ethiopia, consider him their own. This compact guide reviews what is known about this early martyr, and traces his battle with the dragon to legendary pre-Christian heroes.
The Bible for Grown-Ups
A New Look at the Good Book
Why do the creation stories in Genesis contradict each other? Did the Exodus really happen? In a discussion which ‘neither requires, nor rejects, belief’, Loveday brings a literary critic’s eye to the Biblical authors. Presenting insights from modern scholarship, he shows how to read their texts ‘with our brains in gear’, by viewing the Bible as a structure of the imagination rather than through modern concepts of ‘history’ and ‘truth’.
Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms
Journeys into the Disappearing Religions of the Middle East
The minority religions of the Middle East continue to practise faiths and customs that preserve the last vestiges of great ancient empires. But today the turmoil in the region threatens the survival of their small communities. A former British diplomat here draws on his encounters with such groups as the Yazidis, Zoroastrians and Copts as he describes their history and explains why they have refused inducements to abandon their beliefs. Foreword by Rory Stewart.
Masters of Wisdom of Central Asia
Teachings from the Sufi Path of Liberation
Hasan Lutfi Shushud, renowned Sufi saint and master, introduces the teachers known as the Khwajagan (‘Masters of Wisdom’), who lived during the golden age of Islamic Sufism among the Turks and who advocated maintaining an active connection with the world. He examines their writings and teachings, revealing how they followed the path of Absolute Liberation, allotted to ‘one out of a thousand perfect men’. Revised second edition.
The Story of the Holy Father
Pope Francis is a pontiff like no other, loved the world over for his humility, charisma and reforming agenda. This Vatican-endorsed illustrated biography recounts his parents’ emigration from Italy, his childhood love of soccer, his calling to the priesthood and his formative encounter with poverty as a missionary in Chile. Illustrated with more than 250 photographs, the book includes 50 removable documents including facsimiles of his baptismal certificate and handwritten notes as pope.
Restoring the 'Lost Years' of a Social Activist and Religious Dissident
Who was Jesus? This biography draws on modern economic, forensic and psychological models, alongside ancient Roman and Jewish sources, to create a convincing portrait of an adolescent galvanized by tyranny and the displacement of the Galilean peasantry to embark on a mission of social and religious reform. It sets his teachings in their historical context, explains his healing abilities in terms of both ancient and modern medicine, and sheds new light on his betrayal and execution.
The Lutterworth Dictionary of the Bible
With 1,450 articles written by scholars from the USA's National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion, but including a broad range of opinion and approach, this dictionary aims to provide the student with accurate, relevant and interesting information about the history, traditions and literature of the Bible. The well-illustrated A–Z includes outlines of each canonical book and articles on key people, places and terms, non-canonical books and Biblical scholarship.
The First Christian Heretics
The religious schools embraced by the term 'Gnosticism' formed the official church's main rival during the early centuries of Christianity. Introducing key texts such as the Gospel of Thomas, this book outlines Gnostic beliefs - that the world was created by an evil God, that Christ came to teach liberating knowledge and that women are men's equal - and shows how these ideas survived underground to influence modern writers including Blake, Camus and Philip K Dick.
To the Chief of Sinners in a Faithful Account of the Life and Death of John Bunyan
In vivid and powerful language, Bunyan’s spiritual autobiography charts his sinful youth, his painful religious revelation, and his trial and imprisonment in Bedford jail. An afterword by the publisher describes his last years and death. Off-mint.
The Holy War
Made by Shaddai Upon Diabolus for the Regaining of the Metropolis of the World or the Losing and Taking Again of the Town of Mansoul
Rich in character and incident, Bunyan’s greatest work after Pilgrim’s Progress is a dramatic account of the battle waged by Shaddai (God) and Emanuel (Jesus) against the Devil for possession of the city of Mansoul. Off-mint.
The Prophetic Voice of Thomas Merton
The Trappist monk, social critic and ecumenist Thomas Merton (1915–68) produced an extensive body of writings, through which he continues to intrigue and challenge readers. In this study the Dean Emeritus of St Paul’s Cathedral asks what meaning we should give to Merton’s contradictions and discontents, as well as considering how he speaks with a prophetic voice in areas of contemporary concern, such as war and peace, abuses of power and the freedom of the individual. Foreword by Rowan Williams.
God, Darwin, and the Meaning of Life
Philip Appleman, poet and Darwin scholar, reflects on the struggles of our complex, highly evolved brains as we try to make sense of our human predicament. In particular, he argues, it is through our hypocrisies about religious belief that ‘toadstools of neurosis spring up in the dank labyrinths of our psyches’. He therefore proposes ways of valuing more highly our ephemeral existence and creating a more equitable society free from religious animosities and ‘pious bigotry’.
The People and the Books
18 Classics of Jewish Literature
Jews have long embraced their identity as a ‘people of the book’, but outside the Bible, much Jewish writing remains unknown. This wide-ranging survey examines 18 classic texts, from Deuteronomy to the 20th century. From the writings of Moses Maimonides, Baruch Spinoza and his contemporary, the 17th-century businesswoman Glückel of Hamelin, the Zionist Theodore Herzl and others, Kirsch draws out the enduring themes of Jewish literature: the nature of God, the Promised Land, and the challenges of diaspora life.
A Brief History of Christianity
Bamber Gascoigne tells the story of the Christian faith, from its origins in the Roman Empire, through the glories of Byzantium and the machinations of Renaissance popes, to the Soviet Union’s hostility to religion. His entertaining narrative sets Christianity in the context of other world religions and explains the forces behind its development over time. Revised edition of The Christians, originally written to accompany Gascoigne’s 1977 television series.
Strong as Death is Love
The Song of Songs, Ruth, Esther, Jonah, and Daniel
As distant in time from the Pentateuch of Moses as Updike is from Shakespeare, these later books of the Old Testament are innovative and entertaining works of literature, in which women are often centre stage. The Song of Songs is a sensuous celebration of young love, Queen Esther’s shrewd triumph is a sly sexual comedy, while the story of Ruth celebrates loyalty, charity and love. Robert Alter’s award-winning translation from the Hebrew captures all their freshness and immediacy.
Prayer for the Day Volume II
More Reflections for Daily Inspiration
All religions agree on one thing: to be human is to pray. This new collection of 365 meditations from BBC Radio 4’s Prayer for the Day offers insights from across the faiths into happiness, integrity and spiritual wellbeing. With one prayer for every day of the year, the book provides new perspectives on the challenges of our times, and a vision of gratitude, joy and hope.
The Combined Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
The four evangelists’ accounts of Jesus’ life and ministry are integrated to form a single harmonized narrative, allowing easier consultation for Bible study. Each verse’s origin is indicated and indexes provide cross-references to parallel verses in the other Gospels.
Biblica: The Bible Atlas
A Social and Historical Journey Through the Lands of the Bible
With landscape photographs and 125 maps showing prominent places, journeys and battles, this substantial geographical guide helps the reader to visualize the locations of events recorded in the Bible. The text, written by an international team of scholars, uses recent archaeological and theological research to highlight the important role played by notions of space and geographical metaphor in biblical narratives. Off-mint.
Journeying with Jesus
Personal Reflections on the Stations of the Cross and Resurrection
In this collection of moving personal testimonies, modern people relate their experiences to the Stations of the Cross and resurrection. Contributors include Archbishops John Sentamu and Vincent Nicholls; Sister Wendy Beckett; Peter Hitchens; Margaret Mizen, the mother of a murdered teenager; Kelly Connor, who ran over and killed an innocent victim; and Anne Maguire, of the wrongfully convicted Maguire Seven. Slightly off-mint.
Not in God's Name
Confronting Religious Violence
‘Religiously motivated violence must be fought religiously as well as militarily, and with passionate intensity.’ So writes the former Chief Rabbi in this powerful exploration of the roots of religious extremism. By analysing stories of sibling rivalry in the biblical texts shared by the Abrahamic faiths, he shows how centuries of misreadings have led to the ‘altruistic evil’ by which murder is seen as a moral act – an idea against which those of all faiths and none must stand together. Off-mint.
In His Own Words
In 2013, Benedict XVI became the only Pope to resign from office in modern times. In these conversations with the religious journalist Peter Seewald, he discusses the reasons for his resignation and his admiration for his successor, speaking frankly about the controversies that have dogged the Church, including ‘Vatileaks’ and the child abuse scandal, and revealing his thoughts about his life, his philosophy, his mistakes, and the future of Christianity.
The New Testament
A Beginner's Guide
This introduction to Christianity’s foundational documents is also a guide to the main approaches that scholars have used in discussing them. Telford begins by describing the Jewish and Greco-Roman contexts of the early church. He then outlines the dating and classification of the New Testament’s 27 books before providing a closer analysis of the Synoptic Gospels and the sources of their traditions about Jesus.
John the Baptist and the Last Gnostics
The Secret History of the Mandaeans
Amid the dangers of the modern Middle East, adherents of the obscure Mandaean religion still practise weekly river baptisms, following the example of their most important prophet, John the Baptist. Smith investigates the history of the Mandaeans, asking whether their mysterious sect could be the last survival of ancient Gnosticism, as they claim. He also considers their links to other ancient religions, their possible influence on the Knights Templar and their belief that Jesus himself was an apostate Mandaean.
Or Bones That Shine Like Fire
Who were the Apostles and what was their relationship to Jesus? Was James the Less really his brother? This synthesis of travelogue and biblical history ranges from Rome and Jerusalem, Turkey and Russia to India and Kyrgyzstan to seek answers to these ancient enigmas. Exploring the way the identities of the Apostles have evolved over two millennia, Tom Bissell charts the growth of Christianity from an obscure sect to the global faith we know today.
The Divine Library
A Comprehensive Reference Guide to the Sacred Texts and Spiritual Literature of the World
Covering a broad spectrum of spiritual literature, this guide offers succinct descriptions of 140 sacred texts, from the most ancient, such as the Chinese I Ching and Egyptian Pyramid Texts, to the Book of Mormon and the Baha’i Kitab-i-Iqan dating from the 19th century. It outlines the works’ cultural contexts, explains how they often grew from preliterate oral traditions and provides information on modern English translations and commentaries.
The Essence of the Gnostics
Bernard Simon looks at elements of Gnosticism that are common to ancient pagan and occult religions; he compares its teachings with the Judeo-Christian faiths, and in particular with the writings of Paul; and considers the spiritual and cosmic principles and iconography that have endured to the present day.
The Essence of Sufism
John Baldock begins this introduction with chapters on the life of the Prophet Mohammad, the Qur’an, the principal tenets of Islam and the emergence of Sufism, before discussing the Sufis themselves, their literature, and the path of transformation and fulfilment that frees the individual from the dictates of ego.
The Essence of Vedanta
‘Vedanta’, writes Brian Hodgkinson, ‘hinges upon this truly remarkable idea, that everything, without any exception whatsoever, is the one spirit’. In this book he first discusses the ancient historical and literary origins of Vedanta, then turns to the central tenets of Vedic philosophy and their social dimension.
The Discovery of the Nag Hammadi Texts
A Firsthand Account of the Expedition that Shook the Foundations of Christianity
was a member of the party of archaeologists who first investigated the important collection of Gnostic texts found during the 1940s at a remote site in Upper Egypt. In this volume (first published in French in 1958) he describes that expedition, presents information about each of the manuscripts and explains what the 44 texts reveal about early Christian beliefs. The book ends with a translation and analysis of the Gospel according to Thomas.
The Church Visible
The Ceremonial Life and Protocol of the Catholic Church
Compiled by a specialist in Church protocol, this study celebrates the rich heritage of Catholic practices and ritual. It is based on years of research into the forms of vesture, insignia and non-liturgical ceremony currently in use around the world and mandated by the Holy See in documents published since the Second Vatican Council. This revised edition incorporates developments during Benedict XVI’s papacy. Off-mint.
'To understand what Jesus accomplished and how he paid with his life, we have to understand what was happening around him.' O'Reilly and Dugard turn from their previous non-fiction 'thrillers' on the assassinations of Lincoln and Kennedy to the events leading up to Jesus' execution. They examine Greek, Roman and Jewish sources to tell the story of this volatile epoch, its cast of characters – from Cleopatra to John the Baptist – and the historical events which made Jesus' death inevitable.
The Battle for Christendom
The Council of Constance, the East-West Conflict, and the Dawn of Modern Europe
As Turkish armies menaced a much divided Europe, all eyes looked to Germany's patient, charming but ruthless Emperor Sigismund to co-ordinate the resistance. At Christmas 1414 he convened the conference at Constance where Europe's greatest thinkers and most eminent nobles discussed the future of Christendom. This book offers a new view of Constance as a turning-point in history which planted the seeds that were to flourish in later ages: of the Renaissance, Humanism and the Reformation.
Relics of the Christ
Relics associated with Jesus – such as the Shroud of Turin, Holy Grail and Lance of Longinus – are revered by many of the faithful but are a perennial target for sceptics. Nickell presents the evidence on all sides, reporting the historical traditions associated with these objects and describing the range of techniques used by investigators to track down their origins. The final chapter follows the controversy surrounding the supposed ossuary of Jesus’ brother James, pronounced a fake in 2003.
A Brief Guide to Judaism
Theology, History and Practice
What are the key elements of Jewish theology? How do Jews put belief into practice? Rabbi Brawer outlines the development of the Jewish people and faith, from Abrahamic origins to the eras of diaspora and persecution. He particularly highlights how the ritual and practice that punctuate Jewish existence form a bridge between heaven and earth as they paradoxically call on adherents to transcend the material world while celebrating physical pleasures.
The Lost Book of Moses
The Hunt for the World's Oldest Bible
When the flamboyant treasure-hunter Moses Wilhelm Shapira arrived in London in 1883, he claimed to have discovered the world’s most ancient copy of Deuteronomy – and was quickly denounced as a fraudster. Over 70 years later the emergence of the eerily similar Dead Sea Scrolls prompted reassessment of Shapira’s claims, but by then his scrolls had vanished. Tigay describes his own worldwide quest to locate these mysterious documents and establish whether they truly were a forgery. Felt-tip mark on lower edge.
The New Calendar and the Collects
The Book of Common Prayer for use in the Church in Wales
The Book of Common Prayer was first translated into Welsh in the 16th century, soon after the English version; following its revision in 1984, this new calendar was published in 2003. Listing holy days through the year, it provides collects and post-communion prayers for each Sunday and the collects for other feasts. All texts are presented in Welsh and English, with many collects appearing in both traditional and contemporary forms.
All That Matters
Embracing ideas about God from all the main world religions, Mark Vernon tackles some of the difficult questions encountered in traditional theological discussion – suffering, morality, peak experiences and God’s goodness – but he also considers modern concerns about ecology, the end of time and the death of God.