Top 10 theology books to read as you self-isolate

Although churches and universities have closed their doors for the foreseeable, there is nothing to stop you contemplating the ineffable from the comfort of your home. We at James Clarke & Co have compiled a list of our top 10 books to read during your self-isolation.

James Clarke & Co Top 10

Christos Yannaras:
The Apophatic Horizon of Ontology
 

By Basilio Petrà and Norman Russell (translator)

Learn more about the Greek theologian and  philosopher Christos Yannaras

“By testifying to the superabundance of God incarnate and of the Trinity, apophaticism is the seal of a theological and philosophical reflection that, faithful to classical metaphysics, does not retreat from claiming the value of ontology: theology is actually a theory of being as Trinitarian Mystery. Christos Yannaras proposes a critical reflection on the Church and on its historical forms, that are always inadequate as compared to the free breath of the Spirit.”

– Giacomo Canobbio, Faculty of Theology of Northern Italy

An introduction to the work of the Greek theologian and philosopher Christos Yannaras, exploring the development of his contribution to Greek Orthodox thought.

Publication date: 29/08/2019
ISBN: 9780227177044
Pages: 140pp
RRP: £65.00 (HB), £20.00 (PB, 27/02/2020)
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Ever-Moving Repose:
A Contemporary Reading of Maximus the Confessor’s Theory of Time 

By Sotiris Mitralexis

Thinking about the passing of time a lot recently? You’re in good company…

“This is a really welcome addition to the fast-growing literature on Maximus the Confessor. It is a first-class study of the original texts, but is distinctive in its willingness to bring Maximus’ thought into fruitful conversation with contemporary philosophical discussions, so that the implications of this study will be of interest to many more than Byzantine specialists.”

– Rowan Williams, Master of Magdalene College, University of Cambridge

A study of the theology of Maximus the Confessor, bringing contemporary insights from the Orthodox tradition to bear on his understanding of temporality.

Publication Date: 28/06/2018
ISBN: 9780227176849
Pages: 258pp
RRP: £22.50 (PB)
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Society and God:
Culture and Creed from a Philosophical Standpoint
 

By William Charlton

It’s brand new!

“This wide-ranging book proposes a holistic framework for understanding the human condition. Arguing that we are essentially social beings, Charlton rejects the fashionable liberal individualism, secularism, and multiculturalism of our times, and offers a challenging interpretation and defence of the Christian doctrines of creation, incarnation, and salvation as part of a single continuous creative process.”

– John Cottingham, Professor of Philosophy of Religion, University of Roehampton

A philosophical examination of religion and society, offering a closely reasoned challenge to the dominant Western discourse of secular liberalism.

Publication Date: 30/01/2020
ISBN: 9780227177006
Pages: 196pp
RRP: £65.00 (HB) £20.00 (PB published 30/07/2020)
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Meditation and Piety in the Far East

By  Karl Ludwig Reichelt

Find peace at this turbulent time…

The result of more than forty years of intimate contact with the ‘religious elite’ of the Far East, Dr. Reichelt’s book is a study of a too-often remote and unknown world.

For the western reader this study reveals the life of the East Asia religious communities, their sanctuaries, sacred writings and daily discipline. These non-Christian religions present a massive front of tradition and dogma, which so far the Christian faith has rarely penetrated.

Publication date: 26/02/2004
ISBN: 9780227172353
Pages: 172pp
RRP: £21.75 (PB)
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Accommodation and Acceptance:
An Exploration of Interfaith Relations

 By Ambrose Mong

Mutual understanding has never been more important…

“With his trademark scholarly rigor and intellectual honesty Ambrose Mong explores one of the most challenging issues facing Christianity in Asia today. For him, accommodation and acceptance of Asian religious pluralism is not an option for Christianity but an imperative for its mission. Mong masterfully shows how Christian faith needs to be reconceptualized in its encounter with Asian religions, from Christology to ecclesiology to Trinitarian theology. This book is a must-read not only for Asian Christians but also, and one may argue especially, for Western Christians.”     

– Professor Peter C. Phan, Ellacuria Chair of Catholic Social Thought, Georgetown University

A study of the rhetorical techniques employed by the passion narrative in the Gospel of Luke, and the light they shed on Luke’s themes and narrative sources.

Publication date: 31/12/2015
ISBN: 9780227175187
Pages: 288pp
RRP: £25.00 (PB)
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Jesus and the Cross:
Necessity, Meaning, and Atonement

 By Peter Laughlin

Why crucifixion?

“Authenticity in articulating the redemptive meaning of Jesus’s death is at the heart of this book. The question is: what were Jesus of Nazareth’s aims in undergoing death? Theologies of the atonement generally bypass this question, thus accentuating a split between history and theology. Laughlin’s achievement is to have shown how a critical realist presentation of the Jesus of history can play a crucial role in developing an atonement theology faithful to Jesus’s own intentions.”

– Raymond Canning, Professor of Theology, Australian Catholic University, Canberra

A novel investigation of the meaning of atonement centered on the often-neglected question of Jesus’s intention in submitting to his crucifixion.

Publication date: 26/03/2015
ISBN: 9780227174968
Pages: 286pp
RRP: £20.50 (PB)
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Studies in Ancient Persia and the Achaemenid Period

By John Curtis

Brand New!

The eight essays published in this volume make a valuable contribution to the study of ancient Iran. Covering a diverse range of subjects and written by leading experts in the field, they illuminate aspects of the arts, architecture, and culture of Persia from the Achaemenid to the Sassanian period (c. 550 BC to 600 AD).

– Michael Roaf, Professor of Near Eastern Archaeology, University of Munich

A collection of essays in memory of the curator and scholar Terence Mitchell, exploring the history and archaeology of Ancient Persia.

Publication date: 30/01/2020
ISBN: 9780227177051
Pages: 232pp
RRP: £65.00 (HB)
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Paul’s Non-Violent Gospel:
The Theological Politics of Peace in Paul’s Life and Letters 

By Jeremy Gabrielson

Some calm amidst the storm…

“In Paul’s Non-Violent Gospel, Jeremy Gabrielson asks new questions regarding Paul’s theological commitments and, in the process, discovers new theological resources within Paul’s worldview. This important and challenging work deserves wide consideration.”

– Bruce W. Longenecker, W.W. Melton Chair of Religion, Baylor University

An insightful study of Paul’s commitment to peace and non-violence, exploring the personal, theological and political aspects of his thought.

Publication Date: 28/08/2014
ISBN: 9780227174654
Pages: 216pp
RRP: £17.00 (PB)
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Towards Reconciliation:
Understanding Violence and the sacred after René Girard
 

By Paul Gifford

Brand new!

Allow Paul Gifford to walk you through René Girard’s theories.

“The most stimulating and enlightening book I have read for ages, opening up René Girard in a compelling way.  Here is a wonderfully lucid exploration of the dark side of human civilisation, and a challenge to confront the lure of sacred violence while we still have time.”

– Angela Tilby, Canon Emeritus, Christ Church, Oxford.

Paul Gifford shows that the culture theorist and fundamental anthropologist René Girard has in fact decoded the obscurely ‘foundational’ complicity between violence and the sacred, showing why it is everybody’s problem and the Problem of Everybody.

Publication date: 26/03/2020
ISBN: 9780227177082
Pages: 163pp
RRP: £65.00 (HB); £20.00 (PB published 24/09/2020)
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Way Back To God:
The Spiritual Theology of Saint Bonaventure 

By Douglas Dales

Go back in time…

Bonaventure was a great pastor and preacher, and also a very effective teacher. His writing shows clarity and conviction, and his authority arose from his profound grasp of Scripture and patristic monastic tradition. The force behind how he wrote sprang from his keen sense of the significance of Francis and Clare and all that flowed from them, not least into his own spiritual life and experience as a person of deep contemplative and mystical prayer.

Publication Date: 25/04/2019
ISBN: 9780227176931
Pages: 240pp
RRP: £65.00 (HB) £25.00 (PB published 31/10/2019)
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Bonus Bok

Upcoming title

Notes From a Wayward Son:
A Miscellany

By Andrew Walker

“Andrew Walker inhabits the life of the mind with rare clarity and insight. He probes and tests the dynamics of contemporary Christianity with innumerable shafts of constructive insight, making sense of theological, sociological, and cultural dynamics. He has the intellectual gifts to understand Christians with whom he cannot fully agree in ways that help them and those unlike them better understand themselves. Andrew’s contribution to the academy and the church is profound and admirable.”

– Rob Warner, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, Plymouth Marjon University

This ‘miscellany’ puts readers around the table with a teacher who has provided the church with wisdom and passion, allowing us to hear an important contribution to the ongoing conversation about the relationship between the gospel and culture.

Publication Date: 30/04/2020
ISBN: 9780227177099
Pages: 363pp
Price: £65.00 (HB) £25 (PB)
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New in March

Towards Reconciliation:

Understanding Violence and the Sacred after René Girard

by Paul Gifford

out on 26 of March

Why do humans sacralise the causes for which they fight? Who will decipher for us the enigma of ‘sacred violence’?

Paul Gifford shows that the culture theorist and fundamental anthropologist René Girard has in fact decoded the obscurely ‘foundational’ complicity between violence and the sacred, showing why it is everybody’s problem and the Problem of Everybody.

René Girard’s mimetic theory, especially his neglected writings on biblical texts, can be read as an anthropological argument continuous with Darwin, shedding formidable new light to a vast array of dark and knotted things: from the functioning of the world’s oldest temple to today’s terrorist violence, from the Cross of Christ to the Good Friday Agreement. Such insights illuminate superbly (‘from below’) the ways of creation, revelation, redemption – which is to say, ultimately, the Christian enterprise and vocation of Reconciliation.

Here is a novel and exciting resource for scanning the hidden ‘sacrificial’ logic that still secretly shapes cultural, social, and political life today. Girard puts us ahead of the game in the key dialogues required if we are to avoid autogenerated apocalypses of human violence in the world of tomorrow.

Available for pre-order.

The Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew and the Nativity of Mary

by Brandon W. Hawk

out on 26 of March

The Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew is one of the most important witnesses in Western Europe to apocryphal stories about the lives of Mary, Joseph, Jesus, and Mary’s parents, Anna and Joachim. This apocryphon was also used as the basis for another, the Nativity of Mary, which gained equal popularity. As bestsellers of medieval Christianity, these Latin apocrypha are major witnesses to the explosion of extra-biblical literature in the Western Middle Ages. Despite their apocryphal status, the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew and the Nativity of Mary proved influential throughout the Middle Ages and into the early modern period, as their popularity and influences may be traced in Christian literature, visual arts, liturgy, and theological perspectives still revered by Roman Catholic theologians. These apocrypha also remain significant works for considering the history of monasticism and the cult of the Virgin Mary.

The Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew and the Nativity of Mary draws upon a range of manuscript sources to present comprehensive English translations of the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew and the Nativity of Mary with full introductions and commentaries, as well as translations of related works with accompanying commentaries.

Available for pre-order.

Hymns and Hymnody Historical and Theological Introductions:

Volume I: From Asia Minor to Western Europe

edited by Mark A. Lamport, Benjamin K. Forrest and Vernon M. Whaley 

out on 26 of March

Hymns and the music the church sings are tangible means of expressing worship. As worship is one of the central functions of the church and it occupies a prime focus, a renewed sense of awareness to our theological presuppositions and cultural cues must be maintained to ensure a proper focus in worship.

Hymns and Hymnody is an introductory textbook in three volumes describing the most influential hymnists, liturgists, and musical movements of the church. This academically grounded resource evaluates both the historical and theological perspectives of the major hymnists and composers that have impacted the church over the course of twenty centuries. Volume 1 explores the early church and concludes with the Renaissance era hymnists. Each chapter contains five elements: historical background, theological perspectives communicated in their hymns/compositions, contribution to liturgy and worship, notable hymns, and bibliography. The missions of Hymns and Hymnody are to provide biographical data on influential hymn writers for students and interested laypeople, and to provide a theological analysis of what the cited composers have communicated in the theology of their hymns. It is vital for those involved in leading the worship of the church to recognize that what they communicate is in fact theology. This latter aspect is missing in accessible formats for the current literature.

Available for pre-order.

The Didache:

A Commentary

by Shawn J. Wilhite

out on 26 March

Shawn J. Wilhite’s commentary on the Didache complements the study of early Christianity through historical, literary, and theological readings of the Apostolic Fathers, seeking to be mindful of the critical while commenting on a final-form text. The Didache includes a brief introduction to this relevant text, the use of Scripture by the Didachist, and the theology of the Didache. The commentary proceeds section by section with a close ear to the text of the Didache, relevant early Christian literature, and current scholarship.

Available for pre-order.

August Special Offers!

A number of choice titles are available from our website at a discounted price. Don’t miss this opportunity, the offers will all end on the 31st of August!

Acknowledging the Divine Benefactor: The Second Letter of Peter

By Terrnace Callan

An analysis of 2 Peter using the pioneering socio-rhetorical technique, elucidating Peter’s argument and showing the value of this new exegetical methodology.

Paperback: Was £17.00 Now £14.45


Dust or Dew: Immortality in the Ancient Near East and in Psalm 49

By Janet K. Smith

An examination of how Psalm 49, in the context of Ancient Middle Eastern literature, offers insight into the development of Hebrew concepts of the afterlife.

Paperback: Was £20.50 Now £18.45


Signs of Salvation: The Theme of Creation in John’s Gospel

By Anthony M. Moore

A subtle and original study of the Gospel of John showing how linguistically and thematically the text identifies Jesus with God the Creator.

Paperback: Was £25.75 Now £23.18


Oral Tradition and Synoptic Verbal Agreement: Evaluating the Emperical Evidence for Literary Dependance

By T. M. Derico

A critical study of the evidence for literary borrowing in the Synoptic Gospels, showing that oral tradition may also account for verbal agreement.

Paperback: Was £32.50 Now £29.25


July Special Offers!

A number of choice titles are available from our website at a discounted price. Don’t miss this opportunity, the offers will all end on the 31st of July!

Book of the Month:

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A Tale of Two Theologians: Treatment of Third World Theologies
By Ambrose Mong

A discussion of the challenges of liberation theology and religious pluralism, in dialogue with two leading Third World theologians.

Paperback: Was£25.00 Now £21.25

Special Offers:

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Accomodation and Acceptance: An exploration of Interfaith Relations
By Ambrose Mong

A study of the relations between Christianity and the major Asian religions, exploring the diverse theologies of those who pioneered interfaith dialogue.

Paperback: Was £25.00  Now £22.50

By David Lee

A significant study of the writings of the Chinese Muslim scholar Liu Zhi and his innovative role in contextualising Islamic texts for a Chinese audience.

Paperback: Was £24.00 Now £21.60

 

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The Human Icon: A Comparative Study of Hindu and Orthodox Christian Beliefs 
By Christine Mangala Frost

A contribution to the dialogue between Hinduism and Orthodox Christianity, emphasising important commonalities in thought and practice.

Paperback: Was £25.00 Now £22.50

New Reviews

Here at James Clarke and Co. we are pleased to be able to share with you all our new reviews from the likes of The Expository Times, The Journal of Ecclesiastical History and Journal of Chinese Religions. If any of the titles below interest you, please don’t hesitate to click on these links for further information and purchasing options.

Dialogue Derailed: Joseph Ratzinger’s War against Pluralist Theology
By Ambrose Mong

Dialogue Derailed

“Ambrose Mong leaves us greatly in his debt for introducing us to the rich interrelationships, not only between liberation theologies from different continents but also between different faiths”
John Riches, The Expository Times, Volume 129, Number 10, July 2018

 

 

A Tale of Two Theologians: Treatment of Third World Theologies
By Ambrose Mong

A Tale of Two Theologians

These two volumes by the Dominican Ambrose Mong, a priest and lecturer at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, open up a rich vein of reflection about liberation theology and inter-religious dialogue in the non-Western World.
John Riches, The Expository Times, Volume 129, Number 10, July 2018

 

 

Book of Homilies: A Critical Edition
By Gerald Bray

The Books of Homilies

“Gerald Bray’s critical edition of the Book of Homilies is a welcome addition to the few modern texts available. Bray provides a concise and detailed discussion of the expected critical issues related to all three books of homilies.”
Benjamin J. Snyder, Anglican and Episcopal History, September 2018

 

 

Guns and Gospel: Imperialism and Evangelism in China
By Ambrose Mong

Guns and Gospel

“Guns and Gospel is a sophisticated overview of the work of Christian missionaries in China, and it its pages we see a range of human motivation ranging from rapaciousness to charity.”
James Carter, Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 2018

 

 

 

The Role of Death in Life: A Multidisciplinary Examination of the Relationship between Life and Death
By John Behr and Conor Cunningham (Editors)

The Role of Death in Life

“At a time when we are seeking to bring discussions of death into the open in many areas of life, organization, local and societal, it is encouraging to find a book which tackles this area in some depth from a variety of academic perspectives.”
Nell Cockell, Health and Social Care Chaplaincy, Issue 5, Volume 2, 2017

 

 

The Claim of Humanity in Christ: Salvation and Sanctification in the Theology of T.B. and J.B. Torrance
By Alexandra S. Radcliff

The Claim of Humanity in Christ

“Above all, I highly recommend Radcliff’s work that is a comprehensive account of the Torrances’ soteriology.”
Ximan Xu, The Expository Times, Volume 129, Number 9, June 2018

 

 

 

Postcolonial Public Theology: Faith, Scientific Rationality and Prophetic Dialogue
By Paul S. Chung

Postcolonial Public Theology

“Chung’s book has begun this much-needed conversation and should be applauded for its efforts to engage in such dialogue.”
Calida Chu, The Expository Times, Volume 129, Number 11, August 2018

 

 

 

 

Beware the Evil Eye: The Evil Eye in the Bible and the Ancient World (Volume 3: The Bible and Related Sources)
By John H. Elliott

Beware the Evil Eye

“This delightful volume is full of insights and source materials. Readers are indebted to Elliott for crafting a careful and insightful presence and use in the bible and related sources.”
Timothy Hein, The Expository Times, Volume 129, Number 11, August 2018

 

 

 

Contextualization of Sufi Spirituality in Seventeenth- and Eighteenth- Century China: The Role of Liu Zhi
By David Lee

Contextualization of Sufi Spirituality in Seventeeth and Eighteenth-Century China

“David Lee’s book makes a simple but potentially significant intervention in this field: it argues on the basis of Liu Zhi’s less-studied popular didactic writings that Liu was not mainly appealing to an emergent elite Sino-Muslim identity or the concerns of Sufi mysticism, but rather was engaged in a Muslim apologetics for Chinese audience.”
Erich Schluessel, Journal of Chinese Religions, Volume 46, Issue 1, 10 May 2018

 

June Special Offers!

A number of choice titles are available from our website at a discounted price. Don’t miss this opportunity, the offers will end on the 30th of June!

Book of the Month:

Authentic Cosmopolitanism

 

Authentic Cosmopolitanism: Love, Sin, and Grace in the Christian University
By R.J. Snell and Steven D. Cone
An exploration of the underpinings of Christian higher education, in which the mission of the university can develop an authentic mode of living based on love.

Paperback was £18.00 -> Now 15% discount £15.30

 

Special Offers:
Durkheim: Essays on Morals and Education

 

Durkheim: Essays on Morals and Education
By W.S.F. Pickering (editor)
A selection of the most important writings of the great French sociologist on ethics and education, including many pieces previously unavailable in English.

Paperback was £30.75 -> Now 10% discounted £27.68

 

 

Love that Rejoices in the Truth

Love that Rejoices in the Truth: Theological Explorations
By Charles M. Wood
A series of essays on the Christian understanding of truth, in particular as it relates to theological practice and education.

Hardback was £21.25 -> Now 10% discounted £19.13

 

 

Religious Influences in Thai Female Education (1889–1931)

Religious Influences in Thai Female Education (1889–1931)
By Runchana P. Suksod-Barger
A study of the role of religion in the development of female education in the Thai Modernisation Period, employing feminist theory and historical research.

Paperback was £20.50 -> Now 10%  discounted £18.45

Book launch: ‘Polis, Ontology, Ecclesial Event’ edited by Sotiris Mitralexis

We are pleased to announce the book launch of Polis, Ontology, Ecclesial Event: Engaging with Christos Yannaras’ Thought edited by Sotiris Mitralexis, a selection of essays celebrating the contribution of the Greek Orthodox theologian Christos Yannaras to theology, philosophy and political theory.

 

Polis, Ontology, Ecclesial Event: Engaging with Christos Yannaras’ Thought

Polis, Ontology, Ecclesial Event 9780227176696Christos Yannaras (born 1935 in Athens, Greece) has been proclaimed “without doubt the most important living Greek Orthodox theologian” (Andrew Louth), “contemporary Greece’s greatest thinker” (Olivier Clément), “one of the most significant Christian philosophers in Europe” (Rowan Williams).

However, until recently the English-speaking scholar did not have first-hand access to the main bulk of his work: in spite of the relatively early English translation of his The Freedom of Morality (1984), most of his books appeared in English fairly recently – such as Person and Eros (2007), Orthodoxy and the West (2006), Relational Ontology (2011) or The Schism in Philosophy (2015). In this volume, chapters shall examine numerous aspects of Yannaras’ contributions to Orthodox theology, philosophy and political thought, based on his relational ontology of the person, later popularised in the Anglophone sphere by John Zizioulas. From political theology to Heidegger and the philosophy of language, from Yannaras’ critique of religion to the patristic grounding of the theology of the person and from Orthodoxy to the West, this volume comprises a panorama of Christos Yannaras’ transdisciplinary contributions.

The Author
Sotiris Mitralexis is Seeger Fellow at Princeton University, Assistant Professor of philosophy at the City University of Istanbul and Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Winchester. He holds a doctorate in Philosophy from the Freie Universitat Berlin, a doctorate in Theology from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, and a degree in Classics from the University of Athens. He has taught philosophy in Istanbul, Athens and Berlin.

Associate Editors
Andreas Andreopoulos
Pui Him Ip
Isidoros Katsos
Dionysios Skliris

AVAILABLE FROM THE 31ST OF MAY