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Ten Theology Books to Watch For – May 2024

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

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

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The Broken Body: Israel, Christ and Fragmentation

Sarah Coakley

(Wiley-Blackwell)

How should Christians think about the person of Jesus Christ today?  In this volume, Sarah Coakley argues that this question has to be ‘broken open’ in new and unexpected ways:  by an awareness of the deep spiritual demands of the christological task and its strikingly ‘apophatic’ dimensions; by a probing of the paradoxical ways in which Judaism and Christianity are drawn together in Christ, even by those issues which seem to ‘break’ them most decisively apart; and by an exploration of the mode of Christ’s presence in the eucharist, with its intensification,‘ breaking’ and re-gathering of human desires. In this sequel to her celebrated earlier volume of essays, Powers and Submissions, Coakley returns to its unifying theme of divine power and contemplative submission, and weaves a new web of christological outcomes which remain replete with controversial implications for gender, spirituality and ethics.

The Broken Body will be of interest to those working in the fields of systematic theology, philosophy of religion, early Christian studies, Jewish/Christian relations, and feminist and gender theory.

‘Fusing biblical and patristic theology, analytic philosophy, and spiritual tradition, Sarah Coakley has produced a fascinating, inspiring, and compelling account of Christ’s identity, and its importance for questions of life.’ Professor Mark Wynn, University of Oxford

‘Coakley argues that good Christology arises only from intellectual and spiritual postures learnt by encountering Christ openly. This volume subtly and powerfully facilitates such encounter, with God and, in him, with our neighbours, especially the Jewish people.’ Professor Judith Wolfe, University of St. Andrews


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Priestly Presence: A Church for the World’s Sake

John Nugent

( Fortress Press )

The Western church is in a state of decline, chaos, and confusion, while the wider world remains divided on how to heal its broken societies. Too many Christian approaches to engaging that wider world put believers at odds with one another and compromise their witness. We need a fresh approach that pinpoints the problems, fosters church unity, and strengthens Christian witness.

Priestly Presence frames church-world relations in terms of the fourfold office of Christ: prophet, priest, king, and servant. This framework enables a new approach that integrates the strengths of existing efforts while overcoming their liabilities. It centers its reflections on the priestly witness.

Scripture identifies God’s people as a priestly community. We should relate to unbelievers as Israel’s priests did to wider Israel. Too often we reduce the priestly image to that of a narrow caste of temple servants, yet the majority of Israel’s priestly line served broader functions. Developing a priestly model rooted in this wider view provides the church with a compelling vision for carrying out its priestly vocation to the world.

Priestly Presence explores five dimensions of holistic priestly service. These include priestly residence, hospitality, stewardship, witness, and praise. Nugent explores the meaning of each dimension for church-world relations and fleshes out several practical implications for local congregations. In so doing, he provides a compelling approach to church-world relations that today’s fractured church desperately needs.

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