Ten Theology Books to Watch For [April 2019]

April 19, 2019 — Leave a comment

 

Here are some excellent theology* books that will be released this month:

* broadly interpreted, including ethics, church history, biblical studies, and other areas that intersect with theology

See a book here that you’d like to review for us?
Contact us, and we’ll talk about the possibility of a review.


Communities of Restoration: Ecclesial Ethics and Restorative Justice

Thomas Noakes-Duncan

T&T Clark

By bringing together the insights of ecclesial ethics, an approach that emphasizes the distinctive nature of the church as the community that forms its mind and character after its reading of Scripture, with the theory and practice of restorative justice, a way of conceiving justice-making that emerged from the Mennonite-Anabaptist tradition, this book shows why a theological account of the theory and practice of restorative justice is fruitful for articulating and clarifying the witness of the church, especially when faced with conflict or wrongdoing. This can help extend the church’s imagination as to how it might better become God’s community of restoration as it reflects on the ways in which the justice of God is taking shape in its own community.

“How does an ecclesial context shape the theological apprehension and praxis of justice?” This question orientates the book. In particular, it asks how, in view of its members having been admitted into God’s restoring justice in Christ, the church might embody in the world this same justice of restoring right relationships. While Christian reflection on the nature of justice has tended to favour a judicial and retributive conception of justice, it will be argued that the biblical understanding of the justice of God is best understood as a saving, liberating, and restorative justice. It is this restorative conception that ought to guide the community that reads Scripture so that it might be embodied in life.


The Care of Nuns: The Ministries of Benedictine Women in England during the Central Middle Ages

Katie Ann-Marie Bugyis

Oxford UP

In her ground-breaking new study, Katie Bugyis offers a new history of communities of Benedictine nuns in England from 900 to 1225. By applying innovative paleographical, codicological, and textual analyses to their surviving liturgical books, Bugyis recovers a treasure trove of unexamined evidence for understanding these women’s lives and the liturgical and pastoral ministries they performed. She examines the duties and responsibilities of their chief monastic officers–abbesses, prioresses, cantors, and sacristans–highlighting three of the ministries vital to their practice-liturgically reading the gospel, hearing confessions, and offering intercessory prayers for others. Where previous scholarship has argued that the various reforms of the central Middle Ages effectively relegated nuns to complete dependency on the sacramental ministrations of priests, Bugyis shows that, in fact, these women continued to exercise primary control over their spiritual care. Essential to this argument is the discovery that the production of the liturgical books used in these communities was carried out by female scribes, copyists, correctors, and creators of texts, attesting to the agency and creativity that nuns exercised in the care they extended to themselves and those who sought their hospitality, counsel, instruction, healing, forgiveness, and intercession.

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