A Handbook to Old Testament Exegesis

Author: William P.Brown
ISBN: 978 0 6642 5993 8
Date: 2017
Price: £26.00
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Publisher: Westminster/John Knox

This book by a professor at Columbia Theological Seminary is designed as ‘a handbook for beginning students’, but it is, designedly, one that differs markedly from others. One innovation is ‘its focus on the reader’s self-understanding and experience as an exegete’. In its aim to help the student-reader to practise, and not just learn about, exegesis, it begins with a chapter in which the reader is invited to articulate his/her ‘exegetical profile’: to state, in other words, their ethnic and cultural background, their experience of reading Scripture, and the issues that chiefly engage their attention and concerns. ‘To be self-aware as an exegete’, Brown writes, ‘is to be more aware of Scripture’s impact upon you and your impact upon its meaning’.

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An Introduction to the Scriptures of Israel: History and Theology

Author: Tzvi Novick
ISBN: 978 0 8028 7542 6
Date: 2018
Price: £20:99
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Publisher: Eerdmans

This introduction to the Old Testament is by a (very ecumenical) Jewish professor from the Catholic University of Notre Dame in Indiana. It is based on his lectures at Notre Dame.

A major preoccupation of Novick’s book is with the tension between particularism and universalism. The OT, with its concern with Israel, might seem to be overwhelmingly particularist (as against perhaps the NT, in which the Gentile world assumes great importance). Novick insists, however, that even when the OT speaks of Israel ‘it is also speaking about the universal, the human condition.’ Most OT books combine the two perspectives.

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Why Liberalism Failed

Author: Patrick Deneen
ISBN: 978-0300223447
Date: 2018
Price: £20.00
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Publisher: New Haven & London: Yale University Press

This important and timely work can be mis-read in one of two ways. First, as a simple critique of progressive liberalism, seeking to take us back to simpler days before metropolitan elites. Secondly, an apologetic for the rise in contemporary populism in politics – the sort of ‘countries get the leaders they deserve’, approach. Deneen’s work is neither, even if there are a few generous nods towards a world which reminded this reviewer – rather fondly – of the Bedford Falls of George Bailey and It’s a Wonderful Life, minus Clarence the angel.

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New books about St Oscar Romero

Revolutionary Saint.
The Theological Legacy of Oscar Romero

Author: Michael Lee
ISBN: 978-1-62698-226-0
Date: 2018
Price: £19.99
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Publisher: Orbis books

Archbishop Romero’s Homilies.
A Theological and Pastoral Analysis

Author: Thomas Greenan
ISBN: 978-1-5272-1586-3
Date: 2018
Price: £10.00
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Publisher: Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund

The canonisation last month of Oscar Romero has occasioned the publication of at least two new books, inspired also by the publication of the full English collection of his homilies1. Both these books attest to something which is clear to anyone who has studied even a small selection of Romero’s writings: that had he not been martyred he would still have been a significant theological figure in the Church, not only in Latin America but worldwide.

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