A welcome addition to the catalogue is the latest book by Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh on fear, while two new books on Pope Francis offer different insights, and a clay tablet recently donated to the British Museum sheds new light on Noah and the flood.
Buddha, Jesus and Muhammad : a comparative study, by Paul Gwynne.
Buddha, Jesus and Muhammad together represent three of the largest religions in the world. There are surprisingly few truly comparative studies, making this insightful book ideal for those pondering the place of religion in contemporary society. Gwynne explores the analysis through key themes – political and historical, as well as religious – and this reveals some fascinating similarities and differences.
The God debate : a new look at history’s oldest argument, by Gerald Benedict.
Our beliefs do affect the way we live our lives, both as individuals and communities. This book explores many controversial issues contained within the debate about the existence of God, touching on such questions as the validity of Scriptures, miracles, and the key tenets of faith versus evidence, with topics such as free will and determinism, or morality and ethics, thrown in for good measure. A useful summary of the issues.
Fear : essential wisdom for getting through the storm, by Thich Nhat Hanh.
“Fear has countless faces: from the fear of failure to worries about everyday life, from financial or environmental uncertainties to the universal despair we all experience when faced by the loss of a friend or loved one. Even when surrounded by all the conditions for happiness, life can feel incomplete when fear keeps us focused on the past and worried about the future. While we all experience fear, it is possible to learn how to avoid having our lives shaped and driven by it. In these pages, Thich Nhat Hanh offers us a timeless path for living fearlessly.” (Back cover)
Intergenerational Christian formation : bringing the whole church together in ministry, community and worship, by Holly Catterton Allen and Christine Lawton Ross.
Although some practical issues are covered, for the most part this is not a how-to manual. Topics covered the Benefits of intergenerationality; Feasts, Jehoshaphat and house churches : biblical foundations; Becoming Christian in community ; Millennials, Xers, Boomers and Silents : generational theory ; Intergenerational learning experiences ; Intergenerationality and story sharing ; Intergenerationality in small groups, multicultural and megachurches.
The ark before Noah : decoding the story of the flood, by Irving Finkel.
Dr Finkel is the curator in charge of clay inscriptions from ancient Mesopotamia at the British Museum. This is the story of one day in 2008 when a single, Babylonian tablet arrived at the museum. It turned out to be a copy of the Babylonian Story of the Flood, together with instructions for building a large boat to survive a flood. The reader accompanies Dr Finkel on his thorough journey of discovery to unravel fascinating insights into the ancient past.
Ten : why Christianity makes sense, by John Pritchard.
Contents include : Ten problems people have with faith; Ten things I believe about God; Ten things I don’t believe about God; Ten Commandments for today; Ten cliches to avoid; Ten ways to pray; Ten ways to enliven your faith; Ten values for tomorrow’s Church; Ten lessons learned; Ten reasons to procrastinate about faith.
The age of atheists : how we have sought to live since the death of God, by Peter Watson.
“In his 14th book, British journalist and historian Watson (The Great Divide) turns his estimable intellectual skills on the history of non-belief – which he calls “a major plank of modernity” -beginning with Friedrich Nietzsche’s 1882 declaration that “God is dead.” While this ground is well-trodden, Watson takes an intriguing course: he charts it by genre. Particularly fascinating are passages about non-belief’s impact on the arts.” (Publisher Weekly)
My door is always open : a conversation on faith, hope and the church in a time of change, by Pope Francis ; interviewer, Antonio Spadaro.
This is the first book written by the Pope since he was elected, and therefore is a good guide to his vision and faith as he looks forward in his new role. This is the complete collection of interviews with Spadaro, fellow Jesuit and head of Catholic Civilisation periodical based in Rome.
Another recent title is Pope Francis : why he leads the way he leads : lessons from the first Jesuit Pope, by Chris Lowney.
“Here Lowry focuses on Pope Francis’ Jesuit training and its impact on the leadership roles he has held, such as priest, bishop, cardinal, and what this tells us about how he is likely to lead in the future.” (Adapted from the publishers’ descriptions).
Religion 101 : from Allah to Zen Buddhism : an exploration of the key people, practices, and beliefs that have shaped the religions of the world, by Peter Archer, MA, MLitt.
“Written in easy-to-understand language, Religion 101 offers a fascinating – and memorable – glimpse at the sacred stories, traditions, and doctrines that have influenced today’s most popular religions. From Jesus and the Four Noble Truths to the Buddhist Wheel of Existence, this book provides you with thought-provoking insight into the customs and beliefs of common faiths like Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, and Islam. So whether you’re looking to unravel the mysteries of existence and meaning, or just want to find out what Kabbalah is all about, Religion 101 has all the answers – even the ones you didn’t know you were looking for.” (Page 4 of cover)