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Spirituality

The Postmodern Saints of France: Refiguring 'The Holy' in Contemporary French Philosophy

C. H. Dickinson, ed.

London and New York: Bloomsbury T. and T. Clark, 2013. Pp. xii, 264. Pb.

Details / buy from: Amazon UK

Reviewed by John Reader, Ironstone Benefice and William Temple Foundation in Modern Believing Jul 2013.

Spirituality and Social Work

B. R. Crisp

Farnham and Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing, 2010. Pp. x, 169. Hb.

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Reviewed by John Swinton, University of Aberdeen in Modern Believing Jul 2013.

Returning to Reality: Thomas Merton's Wisdom for a Technological Age

P. M. Thompson

Cambridge: Lutterworth Press, 2013. Pp. xxii, 112. Pb.

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Reviewed by Fiona Gardner, Bath Spa University in Modern Believing Jul 2013.

Spirituality and Personhood in Dementia

A. Jewell, ed.

London and Philadelphia, PA: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2011. Pp. 224. Pb.

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Reviewed by James Woodward (short review), St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle in Modern Believing Jul 2013.

The Globalization of Hesychasm and the Jesus Prayer: Contesting Contemplation

C. D. L. Johnson

London and New York: Continuum, 2010. Pp. vi, 206. Hb.

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Reviewed by Andrew Louth, University of Durham in Modern Believing Apr 2013.

Contemporary Art in British Churches

L. Moffatt and E. Daly, eds.

London: Art and Christianity Enquiry, 2010. Pp. 72. Pb.

Reviewed by Stephen Laird (short review), University of Kent in Modern Believing Apr 2013.

C. S. Lewis and Friends: Faith and the Power of Imagination

D. Hein and E. H. Henderson

London: SPCK, 2011. Pp.x, 149. Pb.

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Reviewed by Suzanne Bray, Lille Catholic University in Modern Believing Jul 2012.

Critical Spirituality: A Holistic Approach to Contemporary Practice

F. Gardner

Farnham and Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing, 2011. Pp.xii, 199. Pb.

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Reviewed by Fiona Gardner, Bath Spa University in Modern Believing Jul 2012.

Standing Together in the Community of God: Liturgical Spirituality and the Presence of Christ

P. A. Janowiak

Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2011. Pp.xii, 235. Pb.

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Reviewed by Bridget Nichols, Ely in Modern Believing Jul 2012.

Lost in Wonder: Essays on Liturgy and the Arts

A. Nichols

Farnham and Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing, 2011. Pp.x, 184. Hb.

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Reviewed by Christopher Irvine, Canterbury Cathedral in Modern Believing Jul 2012.

Resonant Witness: Conversations between Music and Theology

J. S. Begbie and S. R. Guthrie, eds.

Grand Rapids, MI, and Cambridge: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2011. Pp.viii, 497. Pb.

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Reviewed by June Boyce-Tillman, University of Winchester in Modern Believing Jul 2012.

Making Sense of Faith in God

Jonathan Clatworthy

SPCK Publishing, June 2012. Paperback, 96 pages.

Details / buy from: Modern Church

Publisher's notes: This book deals with the popular interest in spirituality, and physicists' interest in God, as opposed by the new atheists. It also considers the role of God in a secular society. Modern secularism separates religion from secular knowledge and expects us to explain reality without reference to God. This taboo on God limits our understanding of life as we experience it, and undermines confidence in human knowledge generally.

Reviews by Laura Sykes, Jeyan Anketell and Gillian Straine.

Thomas Merton: Contemplation and Political Action

M. I. Aguilar

London: SPCK, 2011. Pp.x, 150. Pb.

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Reviewed by Fiona Gardner, Bath Spa University in Modern Believing Apr 2012.

Longing for Spring: A New Vision for Wesleyan Community

E. A. Heath and S. T. Kisker

Cambridge: Lutterworth Press, 2011. Pp.xiv, 104. Pb.

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Reviewed by Cliver Marsh, University of Leicester in Modern Believing Apr 2012.

Seeking the Risen Christa

N. M. Slee

London: SPCK, 2011. Pp.xii, 175. Pb.

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Reviewed by Ann Christie, York St John University in Modern Believing Apr 2012.

Worship-Shaped Life: Liturgical Formation and the People of God

R. A. Meyers and P. Gibson, eds.

London: Canterbury Press Norwich, 2010. Pp.xviii, 138. Pb.

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Reviewed by Christopher Irvine, Canterbury Cathedral in Modern Believing Apr 2012.

Worship Matters: A Study for Congregations

J. R. Vann

Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2011. Pp.xii, 140. Pb.

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Reviewed by Bridget Nichols, Ely in Modern Believing Apr 2012.

Trust in an Age of Arrogance

C. F. Allison

Cambridge: Lutterworth Press, 2011. Pp.xx, 180. Pb.

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Reviewed by Lorraine Cavanagh, Abergavenny in Modern Believing Apr 2012.

The Celtic Way of Evangelism: How Christianity Can Reach the West... Again, 2nd edn

G. G. Hunter

Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2010. Pp.xiv, 154. Pb.

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Reviewed by Patricia Rumsey, Sarum College, Salisbury in Modern Believing Jan 2012.

Crafting Contemporary Pagan Identities in a Catholic Society

K. Rountree

Farnham and Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing, 2010. Pp.xii, 194. Hb.

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Reviewed by Anne Richards, Church House, Westminster in Modern Believing Jan 2012.

Vision upon Vision: Processes of Change and Renewal in Christian Worship

G. Guiver

London: Canterbury Press Norwich, 2009. Pp.viii, 257. Pb.

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Reviewed by Alex Hughes, Southsea in Modern Believing Jan 2012.

Beauty, Truth and Love: Essays in Honour of Enda McDonagh

P. Hannon and E. Duffy, eds.

Blackrock, Co. Dublin: Columba Press, 2009. Pp. 236. Pb.

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Reviewed by Kevin T. Kelly, Liverpool Hope University in Modern Believing Oct 2011.

A Heart Broken Open: Radical Faith in an Age of Fear

Ray Gaston

Glasgow: Wild Goose Publications, 2009. Pp. 202. Pb.

Details / buy from: Iona Books, Amazon UK

Reviewed by Adrian Alker, Diocese of Ripon and Leeds in Modern Believing Oct 2011.

Publisher's description: A Heart Broken Open is the moving and insightful reflection by a Christian minister on his grassroots engagement with Islam - from inner-city parish ministry in Leeds to the streets of Karbala at a time of rising Islamophobia and the 'War on Terror'. The book also includes responses from some of the author's partners in dialogue.

Ray Gaston was in parish ministry in inner-city Leeds for 12 years. He is now Interfaith Studies Tutor and Enabler with the Queen's Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Education and the Birmingham District of the Methodist Church. He lives with his family in Sparkhill, Birmingham.

Revising Christian Humanism: The New Conversation on Spirituality, Theology and Psychology

D. S. Browning

Minneapolis, MN: Fortress press, 2010. Pp. vi, 186. Pb.

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Reviewed by Laura G. E. Smith, University of Bath in Modern Believing Jul 2011.

Wording a Radiance: Parting Conversations of God and the Church

D. W. Hardy

London: SCM Press, 2010. Pp. xiv, 170. Pb.

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Reviewed by John Clarke, Wells Cathedral in Modern Believing Jul 2011.

Touching the Sacred: Art and Prayer to Inspire Worship

C. D. C. Thorpe and J. Lever

London: Canterbury Press Norwich, 2010. Pp. xx, 137. Pb

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Reviewed by Bridget Nichols, Ely in Modern Believing Jul 2011.

The Service of My Love: The Celebration and Blessing of Civil Partnerships: A Pastoral and Liturgical Handbook

J. E. Cotter

Aberdaron: Cairns Publications, 2009. Pp. xii, 114. Hb.

Details / buy from: Cairns Publications

Reviewed by Nicola Slee, The Queen's Foundation, Birmingham in Modern Believing Jul 2011.

This Life on Earth

D. Livingstone, ed.

Newcastle upon Tyne: Sea of Faith Network, 2009. Pp. viii, 166. Pb.

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Reviewed by Trevor Donnelly, Blackheath, London in Modern Believing Jul 2011.

Love Upside Down: Life, Love and the Subversive Jesus

S. G. Ogden

Winchester and Washington: O-Books, 2011. Pp. xii, 116. Pb.

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Reviewed by Martyn Percy, Ripon College Cuddesdon and Oxford Ministry Course in Modern Believing Jul 2011.

Film, Lacan and the Subject of Religion: A Psychoanalytic Approach to Religious Film Analysis

S. Nolan

London and New York: Continuum, 2009. Pp. xii, 219. Hb.

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Reviewed by Robert Pope, University of Wales, Trinity St David in Modern Believing Apr 2011.

Of Pilgrims and Fire: When God Shows Up at the Movies

R. M. Anker

Grand Rapids, MI, and Cambridge: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2010. Pp. x, 249. Pb.

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Reviewed by Chris Deacy, University of Kent in Modern Believing Apr 2011.

Presiding like a Woman

N. M. Slee and S. Burns (eds.)

London: SPCK, 2010. Pp. xiv, 178. Pb.

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Reviewed by Jean Mayland, Hexham in Modern Believing Jan 2011.

Crucifixions and Resurrections of the Image: Christian Reflections on Art and Modernity

G. L. Pattison

London: SCM Press, 2009. Pp. viii, 181. Pb.

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Reviewed by Patrick Sherry, Lancaster University in Modern Believing Jan 2011.

Ageing and Spirituality across Faiths and Cultures

E. B. MacKinlay (ed.)

London and Philadelphia, PA: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2010. Pp. 272. Pb.

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Reviewed by James Woodward, College of St George, Windsor Castle in Modern Believing Oct 2010.

Beacons of the Light: One Hundred People who have Shaped the Spiritual History of Humankind

M. C. R. Braybrooke

Winchester and Washington: O Books, 2009. Pp. x, 681. Pb.

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Reviewed by Alan Race, St. Philip's Centre, Leicester in Modern Believing Oct 2010.

Publisher's description: Beacons of Light introduces 100 of the world's most influential spiritual teachers - some like Jesus, the Buddha or Muhammad are well known; others like Rabia, Manikkavacakar, Guru Arjan Dev or Hildegard deserve to be better known. The story of their lives is clearly set in the historical and religious context of their time. A summary is given of their message and continuing influence. Often inspiring quotations from their prayers or poems are included.

Science and Religious Anthropology: A Spiritually Evocative Naturalist Interpretation of Human Life

W. J. Wildman

Farnham and Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing, 2009. Pp. xxiv, 270. Hb.

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Reviewed by Adrian Hough, Exeter in Modern Believing Jul 2010.

Creativity, Spirituality, and Mental Health: Exploring Connections

Kelley Raab Mayo

Farnham and Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing, 2009. Pp. x, 177. Hb.

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Reviewed by Gavin Knight, Monmouth School, South Wales in Modern Believing Apr 2010.

Exploring Religion and the Sacred in a Media Age

C. Deacy and E. Arweck (eds.)

Farnham and Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publising, 2009. Pp. xiv, 260. Hb.

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Reviewed by Martyn Percy, Ripon College Cuddesdon and the Oxford Ministry Course in Modern Believing Jan 2010.

The Appropriation of Native American Spirituality

Suzanne Owen

London: Continuum, 2009. Pp. viii, 204. Hb.

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Reviewed by Ian Corbett, Clevedon in Modern Believing Jan 2010.

Moved by Mary: The Power of Pilgrimage in the Modern World

A.-K. Hermkens, W. Jansen, C. Notermans (eds.)

Farnham and Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publising, 2009. Pp. xiv, 267. Pb.

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Reviewed by Geri Parlby, Roehampton University in Modern Believing Jan 2010.

Adventures in the Spirit: God, World, Divine Action

P. D. Clayton, Z. Simpson (ed.)

Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2008. Pp. x, 310. Pb.

Details / buy from: Amazon US

Reviewed by Michael Byrne, Emmanuel College, Cambridge in Modern Believing Jul 2009.

Times and Seasons: Creating Transformative Worship Throughout the Year

Richard Giles

Norwich: Canterbury Press, 2008. Pp. xii, 201. Pb.

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Reviewed by Thomas O’Loughlin, University of Wales, Lampeter in Modern Believing Jan 2009.

Prayers for an Inclusive Church: Resources for Sundays and Holy Days: Years A,B and C

Steven Shakespeare

Norwich: Canterbury Press, 2008. Pp. xx, 188. Hb.

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Inclusive theology has gained huge momentum since the Inclusive Church Movement was formed in 2003. It now has 10,000 individual members and many affiliated organisations. Prayers for an Inclusive church is a significant new liturgical resource that is the first major contribution in this field since Janet Morley's 'All Desires Known' published in 1992.

Thomas Merton: Master of Attention

Robert Waldron

London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 2007. Pp. 101.

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Reviewed by Patricia M. Rumsey, University of Wales, Lampeter in Modern Believing Oct 2008.

Spirituality, Ethics and Care

Simon Robinson

London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2008. Pp. 194.

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Reviewed by Margaret A. Goodall, Milton Keynes in Modern Believing Oct 2008.

Publisher's description: Spirituality, Ethics and Care aims to provide guidance on how to integrate spirituality and ethics in professional and voluntary care. The author argues that the strong connections between moral meaning and spirituality are often not reflected in the health and social care literature. Often spirituality is seen as religion and religion is seen as independent of ethical decision-making, unless you happen to be working with a patient or carer who wishes to assert their religious rights. In this book, the author seeks to develop a broader view of spirituality and explore how this can be applied to ethics and morals in health and social care practice.

Belief: A Short History for Today

G. R. Evans

London: I. B. Tauris, 2006. Pp. ix, 230.

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Reviewed by Patrick Thomas, Carmarthen in Modern Believing Apr 2008.

The Seven Sacraments: Entering the Mysteries of God

Stratford Caldecott

New York: Crossroad Publishing Company, 2006. Pp. x, 148.

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Reviewed by Patrick Thomas, Carmarthen in Modern Believing Jan 2008.

Leaving Alexandria: A Memoir of Faith and Doubt

Richard Holloway

Canongate, March 2012. Hardcover, 368 pages.

Details / buy from: Amazon UK

Publisher's notes: The acclaimed writer, respected thinker and outspoken former bishop Richard Holloway takes us back through a life defined by the biggest questions: Who am I? And what is God? At the tender age of fourteen, Richard Holloway left his home in the Vale of Leven, north of Glasgow, and travelled hundreds of miles to be educated and trained for the priesthood by a religious order in an English monastery. Throughout the forty years that followed, Richard touched the lives of many people in the Church and in the wider community. But behind his confident public face lay a restless, unquiet heart and a constantly searching mind. How can anyone claim a complete understanding of the mystery of existence? Why is the Church, which claims to be the instrument of God's love, so prone to cruelty and condemnation? And how can a man live with the tension between public faith and private doubt? In his long-awaited memoir, Richard seeks to answer these questions and to explain how, after many crises of faith, he finally and painfully left the Church. It is a wise, poetic and fiercely honest book. As a portrait of an inner life plagued by doubt, it is unsurpassed.

Unapologetic: Why, despite everything, Christianity can still make surprising emotional sense

Francis Spufford

Faber & Faber, September 2012. Hardcover, 240 pages.

Details / buy from: Amazon UK

Publisher's notes: Unapologetic is a brief, witty, personal, sharp-tongued defence of Christian belief, taking on Dawkins' The God Delusion and Christopher Hitchens' God is Not Great. But it isn't an argument that Christianity is true - because how could anyone know that (or indeed its opposite)? It's an argument that Christianity is recognisable, drawing on the deep and deeply ordinary vocabulary of human feeling, satisfying those who believe in it by offering a ruthlessly realistic account of the bits of our lives advertising agencies prefer to ignore. It's a book for believers who are fed up with being patronised, for non-believers curious about how faith can possibly work in the twenty-first century, and for anyone who feels there is something indefinably wrong, literalistic, anti-imaginative and intolerant about the way the atheist case is now being made. Fresh, provoking and unhampered by niceness, this is the long-awaited riposte to the smug emissaries of New Atheism.

Review by David Driscoll.

Chesterton and Tolkien as Theologians

Alison Milbank

T & T Clark, reprint edition 2009. Paperback, 208 pages.

Details / buy from: Amazon UK

This book offers a new reading of Tolkien in terms of Chesterton's literary and theological project. It takes Chesterton's 'natural theology' through fairytales seriously as a theological project appropriate to an intellectual attempt to return to faith in a secular age. It argues that Tolkien's fiction makes sense also as the work of a Catholic writer steeped in Chestertonian ideas and sharing his literary-theological poetics. While much writing on religious fantasy moves quickly to talk about wonder, Milbank shows that this has to be hard won and that Chesterton is more akin to the modernist writers of the early twentieth-century who felt quite dislocated from the past.

Unwrapping the Sacred: Seeing God in the everyday

Rosemary Lain-Priestley

SPCK Publishing, 2009. Paperback: 128 pages.

Details / buy from: Amazon UK

'We need to live the so-called ordinary stuff of our lives in such a way that when we look back there are as few moments as possible when we failed to pay real attention, to share our thoughts freely with one another, to wonder at the sheer wonder of it all, because if we prepare well for our dreams and live them with courage, imagination and understanding, water can become wine . . . ' from Chapter 12 , 'March again: the sublime in the ridiculous'

'Rosemary Lain-Priestley invites us to accompany her on a year-long journey of reflection - a journey that encompasses not only the nitty-gritty of the everyday but also the biggest and most significant of global events. Anyone who yearns to live more deeply and reflectively will love this book, and appreciate the practical example it gives of the spiritual riches on offer to those adept at 'sifting the stuff of life'.' Dr Paula Gooder, author of The Meaning is in the Waiting

'If you're trying to put the different parts of your life together - secular and spiritual - this book may help you. Good holiday meditative reading.' Rabbi Lionel Blue

Free-Range Christianity

Graham Hellier

AuthorHouse, 2009. Paperback: 408 pages.

Details / buy from: Amazon UK

This book is for those who enjoy the freedom of the open country.
It is for those who can feel the wind 'that blows where it wills'.
It is for those who are glad to keep company with 'fellow travellers' of every kind.
 
It is not for those who are fearful of doubt or embarrassed by faith.
It is not for those who put their entire trust in Church and Bible rather than in the living God, who has gone before them.

This is The Thoughtful Guide to Christianity fully revised.

Peace Prayers: From the World's Faiths

Roger Grainger

O Books, 2006. Paperback: 192 pages.

Details / buy from: Amazon UK

Here eight different religions join together in peace to pray for peace. Under the auspices of the interfaith organization, The Week of Prayer for World Peace, they bring home vividly the love that is God and the horror that is war. It is not only inner peace - tranquility of soul and mind - which is being sought here, but an end to agony and bloodshed, physical and psychological torture, abuse of every kind taking place in the world of men, women and children.

Dancing Sermons

Trevor Mwamba

SPCK, 2007. Paperback: 96 pages.

Details / buy from: Amazon UK

'Dancing Sermons' indeed ... Believe what you will ... when it comes to it, we all come from the same root and have the same needs, and suffer the same failings. That is the gentle message of the witty Bishop of Botswana.

Dancing Sermons is joyous. It takes the reader from one beat to the other, dancing non-stop ... an easy, accommodating read, which does not require one to be a staunch Christian or belong to any particular religion to be hooked on it.

Wisdom's Children

Nicholas Jowett

Inspire, 2007. Paperback: 304 pages.

Details / buy from: Amazon UK

A look at those who have been significant or challenging in the history of the church without ever being officially recognised as 'saints'.

Religion, Spirituality and the Near-Death Experience

Mark Fox

Routledge, 2002. Paperback: 224 pages.

Details / buy from: Amazon UK

'Since the phenomenon, I have had a sense of belonging, as if I were related to every rock, tree, flower, mountain, cloud, animal and person. I am truly concerned about them and I feel a great love for everyone and everything in the universe, In other words, I am in attunement with my world, which is the whole world.' (Testimony of a near-death experience survivor, p. 357)

1000 World Prayers

Marcus Braybrooke

O Books, 2003. Paperback: 360 pages.

Details / buy from: Amazon UK

Music and Healing: The Wounds That Sing

June Boyce-Tillman

Jessica Kingsley, 2000. Paperback: 304 pages.

Details / buy from: Amazon UK

An exploration of music and its capacity to heal. The author draws on philosophical, anthropological, psychiatric and musical perspectives to propose that music has a rolse in balancing the natural polarities within the self.

Indigenous Religions: A Companion

Graham Harvey

Continuum, 1999. Paperback: 314 pages.

Details / buy from: Amazon UK

Indigenous religions are the majority of the world's religions. This Companion shows how much they can contribute to a richer understanding of human identity, action and relationships. It also challenges their marginalization in the study of religions. An international team of contributors discuss representative indigenous religions from all continents in relation to significant themes.

Beyond the New Age: Exploring Alternative Spirituality

Steven Sutcliffe & Marion Bowman

Edinburgh University Press, 2000. Paperback: 256 pages.

Details / buy from: Amazon UK

This book addresses the history, growth, content, context and significance of contemporary alternative religions. The collection assesses the transitional aspects of the current New Age movement, and the need to address the spiritual ferment and forms which are and will continue to follow in its wake.

The Story of Christian Spirituality: Two Thousand Years, from East to West

Gordon Mursell

Lion Hudson, 2001. Hardcover: 384 pages.

Details / buy from: Amazon UK

The story of Christian spirituality must begin with the story of Jesus Christ, his life and teaching, death and resurrection - and the impact this had on his first followers. From these beginnings, the rich tapestry of Christian spirituality, prayer and worship develops.

Various key elements recur: one is the relationship between corporate worship centred around religious buildings and the individual's personal spiritual life; another ranges from a spirituality centred upon religious activity and ritual acts, sacraments and services, to a more word-based attention to preaching, teaching and scripture; and behind them all the constant tension between a quiet retreat into communion with God and being driven out again to earth spirituality in social action and the politics of the world.

English Spirituality: From 1700 to the Present

Gordon Mursell

Westminster John Knox Press, 2001. Hardcover: 592 pages.

Details / buy from: Amazon UK

Reaching for Reality

Alan Webster

SPCK Publishing, 2002. Pp. 176. Pb.

Details / buy from: Amazon UK

The former Dean of St Paul's reflects on exciting events in the past and present, and singles out significant areas of change in which he has been actively involved. The thought of Dietrich Bonhoffer about how human beings have come of age together with the rediscovery Julian of Norwich's spirituality have particularly influenced this path.

Toward the Dawn: Spiritual Opportunities in a World of Doubt

Peter Mills

John Hunt Publishing, 2003. Paperback: 220 pages.

Details / buy from: Amazon UK

Embracing creativity, the quest for truth, and the commitments to freedom, human rights, caring and reconciliation, the book identifies modern spiritual opportunities in a land where Christian tradition and widespread doubt have become inextricably linked. Religious orthodoxy no longer meets the spiritual needs of the majority, and within a broad Christian framework Toward the Dawn explores alternative grounds for belief. It is written for spiritually concerned persons who are either outside the Church because of their doubts or inside it but anxious. For liberal Christians, human rights enthusiasts, and thoughtful people who question whether spiritual life can be wholly accounted for by a physical world.

The Inner-city of God: The Diary of an East End Parson

John Pridmore

Canterbury Press Norwich, 2008. Paperback: 192 pages.

Details / buy from: Amazon UK

Out of a situation which many would give up on, John Pridmore writes a captivating, moving, funny and self-deprecating account of life as an inner-city priest in one of the most deprived parts of London. His jottings, he says, are a collection of the absurd, the poignant and the comic. They are emphatically not a record of 'good practice', he insists, but anyone countenancing working in a city parish will find more wisdom in this book than in all the theological volumes on the subject put together.