News, Theology

Ten Theology Books to Watch For – October 2020

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

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

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Theology Books October 2020

The Overshadowed Preacher: Mary, the Spirit, and the Labor of Proclamation

Jerusha Matsen Neal

Eerdmans

Jerusha Matsen Neal’s The Overshadowed Preacher breaks open one of the most important, unexamined affirmations of preaching: the presence of the living Christ in the sermon.

Neal argues that Mary’s conceiving, bearing, and naming of Jesus in Luke’s nativity is a potent description of the mystery. Mary’s example calls preachers to leave behind the false shadows haunting Christian pulpits and be “overshadowed” by the Spirit of God.

The Overshadowed Preacher asks gospel proclaimers to own the limits and promise of their humanness as God’s Spirit-filled servants, rather than disappear behind a “pulpit prince” ideal. It is a preacher’s fully embodied witness, lived out through Spirit-filled acts of hospitality, dependence, and discernment, that bears the marks of a fully embodied Christ. This affirmation honors the particularity of preachers in a globally diverse context—challenging a status quo that has historically privileged masculinity and whiteness. It also offers the hope to ordinary souls who find themselves daunted by the impossibility of the preaching task. Nothing, in the angel’s words, is impossible with God.


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Theology Books October 2020

Eucharist and Receptive Ecumenism: From Thanksgiving to Communion 

Kimberly Hope Belcher

Cambridge UP

All doctrinal development and debate occurs against the background of Christian practice and worship. By attending to what Christians have done in the eucharist, Kimberly Belcher provides a new perspective on the history of eucharistic doctrine and Christian divisions today. Stepping back from the metaphysical approaches that divide the churches, she focuses on a phenomenological approach to the eucharist and a retrieval of forgotten elements in Ambrose’s and Augustine’s work. The core of the eucharist is the act of giving thanks to the Father – for the covenant and for the world. This unitive core allows for significant diversity on questions about presence, sacrifice, ecclesiology, and ministry. Belcher shows that the key is humility about what we know and what we do not, which gives us a willingness to receive differences in Christian teachings as gifts that will allow us to move forward in a new way.

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