News, Theology

Ten Theology Books to Watch For – February 2024

Here are some excellent new theology books * that will be released in February 2024 :

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

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Improvising Church: Scripture as the Source of Harmony, Rhythm, and Soul

Mark Glanville

(IVP Academic)

Plenty of books diagnose our post-Christian malaise. Here’s a dynamic solution.

The post-Christian cultural turn is creating the conditions for a crisis of confidence in the church and in pastoral ministry. While such changes can be disruptive and disconcerting, our new cultural reality makes the present moment a uniquely exciting time to reimagine churches that bear witness to Christ. How do we move beyond cookie-cutter approaches (which may have worked in the past) to building the creative, compassionate, and incarnational churches we long for?

Biblical scholar and accomplished jazz pianist Mark Glanville plays with a metaphor of improvisation to chart twelve themes as the key “notes” on which Christian communities play as they bear witness to God in the world today. Building on these two dynamic traditions―jazz music and Christian community―Improvising Church unfolds a biblical, practical, and inventive vision for churches seeking to receive and extend the healing of Christ.


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Called Beyond Our Selves: Vocation and the Common Good

Erin Van Laningham, Ed.

(Oxford UP)

The concept of vocation in higher education helps undergraduates explore what it means to live a meaningful life. This volume situates vocation within the context of the common good and emphasizes the interconnectedness of individual life and communal life. In this meeting place between self and others, we are called beyond our selves.

The contributors–drawing from diverse academic disciplines and experiences-propose that when we prioritize the well-being of all, our notions of success and purpose are elevated. They argue that this necessary shift in vocational frameworks allows college educators to challenge dominant ways of thinking about vocation as well as thinking about what is “common” and what is “good.” The contributors offer pedagogies, models, and practices that orient vocation towards the well-being of the community–highlighting the importance of justice, compassion, dialogue, and action in our responses to the traumas of personal, historical, and communal life.

Given the increasing polarization of contemporary civic life and the challenges of the higher education landscape, educating for vocation brings skills and practices that can address such pressing issues. When we orient vocation towards collective well-being, we can better hear and respond to others, near and far. Building on the earlier three volumes in this series, this volume’s contributors challenge our campuses and communities to reframe our notions of success to prioritize mutual flourishing for the common good.

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