Easter Week Reflections: Reviews on books to read now

Find out more about what Sarum College Principal James Woodward has been reading over the Easter break, and why you might like to read these books too.

Does Faith Help Us Age Well?

A review of Finishing Well – A God’s Eye view of Ageing by Ian Knox ( SPCK 2020)

‘Knox invites the reader into an approach to wellbeing and life balance that honours being as much as doing. His discussion of retirement is useful in its practical focus. He encourages older people to share their faith and to continue to learn. We all invited into a deeper and more compassionate listening. …

All our journeys of meaning, truth and faith throughout the stages of our lives are shot through with paradox, ambiguity and contradiction.’

Practices for the soul: Finding meaning in our strange new world

A review of The Power of Ritual : Turning Everyday Activities Into Soulful Practices Casper Ter Kuile (William Collins 2020)

‘What is the new religion? Has religion had its day in its present form ? What does it mean to be spiritual ? What makes for human flourishing? … In other words how are we to understand and articulate what really matters? These questions lie in the background of this short, clear and ambitious book that invites the reader into change to nurture the good in life.’

Understanding how decisions are made?

A review of What Does Jeremy Think? Jeremy Heywood and the Making of Modern Britain, by Suzanne Heywood (Collins 2021)

‘In this a rather warm and sympathetic picture of politicians is painted here which some may doubt. We all need trust in our working life and there is a view here that politicians of all parties are honest and well intentioned. That made me consider the reality of cynicism and contempt with which is a dominant media view and that infects us all and our judgement. We do need to understand how power works and what the process of decision making looks like for us. In this are important questions about our world view and what kind of world we are building for one another. Surely these questions will bear upon us as we move out of lockdown into a new ecology?’

Theology for Pandemic Times

Honest Sadness: Lament in a Pandemic Age by John Holdsworth (Sacristy Press 2021)

‘This book stands in some sharp contrast to aspects of our ecclesial organisational culture. It bids us to let go of that which we cannot control in order to deepen our faith and to be able to integrate its love with our experience. This is a task of faith at all times but especially today as we move out of lockdown. We shall need to lament that which is lost and possibly never to be reclaimed. …

This is theology at its best for Pandemic times. It deserves to be widely read and used as an enabler of growth in wisdom.’

Visit James Woodward’s blog site

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