News, Theology

Ten Theology Books to Watch For – November 2020

Here are some excellent new theology books * that will be released in November 2020 :

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

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The Life of Christina of Hane

Yale UP

The first English translation of The Life of Christina of Hane, a gripping account of a largely unknown medieval female mystic

“Who was Christina of Hane? History knows little about her, but Racha Kirakosian here presents a fascinating enigma—a mystical compendium disguised as a saint’s Life. Students of medieval religion will eagerly probe its mysteries.”—Barbara Newman, Northwestern University

The thirteenth-century mystic Christina of Hane led an extraordinary life, but her recently unearthed case remains to be discovered in the English-speaking world. Her disturbing account of vaginal mutilation, her competition with the Virgin Mary, and her potentially heretical statements about the union with Christ are but a few peculiarities worth highlighting. This remarkable work sheds new light on convent life, spiritual practices, and physical and mental suffering in the life of medieval women and the communities they inhabited.



Bargain Theology Books
 

The Oxford Handbook of Christian Monasticism

Bernice M. Kaczynski

Oxford UP

The Handbook takes as its subject the complex phenomenon of Christian monasticism. It addresses, for the first time in one volume, the multiple strands of Christian monastic practice. Forty-four essays consider historical and thematic aspects of the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Protestant, and Anglican traditions, as well as contemporary ‘new monasticism’. The essays in the book span a period of nearly two thousand years–from late ancient times, through the medieval and early modern eras, on to the present day. Taken together, they offer, not a narrative survey, but rather a map of the vast terrain. The intention of the Handbook is to provide a balance of some essential historical coverage with a representative sample of current thinking on monasticism. It presents the work of both academic and monastic authors, and the essays are best understood as a series of loosely-linked episodes, forming a long chain of enquiry, and allowing for various points of view. The authors are a diverse and international group, who bring a wide range of critical perspectives to bear on pertinent themes and issues. They indicate developing trends in their areas of specialisation. The individual contributions, and the volume as a whole, set out an agenda for the future direction of monastic studies. In today’s world, where there is increasing interest in all world monasticisms, where scholars are adopting more capacious, global approaches to their investigations, and where monks and nuns are casting a fresh eye on their ancient traditions, this publication is especially timely.

*** Which of these November 2020 theology books do you want to read first?

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C. Christopher Smith is the founding editor of The Englewood Review of Books. He is also author of a number of books, including most recently How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church (Brazos Press, 2019). Connect with him online at: C-Christopher-Smith.com


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