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Religion and religions

No Faith in Religion

J. C. Saxbee

Winchester and Washington: O Books, 2009. Pp.vi, 165. Pb.

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Reviewed by Vaughan S. Roberts, Warwick in Modern Believing Jan 2012.

Publisher's review: If religion is characterised by the recruitment of God to serve our agendas, and faith is about putting our agendas at the service of God, then clearly there is too much religion in the world, and not enough faith. The first eight chapters of this book apply this religion/faith dichotomy to some crucial areas of interest to those exploring what it might mean to be people of faith in a world saturated with religion. The remaining chapters address issues of crucial importance to the future of organised religion in general, and the role of the Church of England in particular. From mediaeval polyphony to Andrew Lloyd Webber the development of a given theme through a sequence of variations has proved attractive to composers anxious to demonstrate the sometimes surprising potential of a simple melody. "No Faith in Religion" is a modest attempt to do something similar with two concepts, religion and faith, which are usually seen as simply synonymous but which are in fact subtly different and subject to being interwoven in numerous complex and unexpected ways.

The Dialogue Comes of Age: Christian Encounters with Other Traditions

J. B. Cobb and W. M. McAfee, eds.

Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2010. Pp.vi, 242. Pb.

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Reviewed by Paul Hedges, University of Winchester in Modern Believing Jan 2012.

Controversies in Interreligious Dialogue and the Theology of Religions

P. M. Hedges

London: SCM Press, 2010. Pp.viii, 287. Pb.

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Reviewed by Ian Markham, Virginia Theological Seminary 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.

My God, My Land: Interwoven Paths of Christianity and Tradition in Fiji

J. Ryle

Farnham and Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing, 2010. Pp.xxxvi, 304. Hb.

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Reviewed by Brian Macdonald-Milne, Waterbeach in Modern Believing Jan 2012.

The Nature of Doctrine: Religion and Theology in a Postliberal Age: 25th Anniversary Edition

G. A. Lindbeck

Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2009. Pp.xxxviii, 170. Pb.

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Reviewed by Andrew Shanks (short review), Manchester Cathedral in Modern Believing Jan 2012.

Collectivistic Religions: Religion, Choice, and Identity in Late Modernity

S. Jakelic

Farnham and Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing, 2010. Pp.viii, 210. Hb.

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Reviewed by Donald Reeves (short review), Soul of Europe, Crediton in Modern Believing Jan 2012.

Understanding Faith: Religious Belief and Its Place in Society

S. R. L. Clark

Exeter: Imprint Academic, 2009. Pp. vi, 280. Pb.

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Reviewed by Celia Deane-Drummond, University of Notre Dame, Indiana in Modern Believing Oct 2011.

Religious America, Secular Europe? A Theme and Variations

P. Berger, G. Davie and E. Fokas

Aldershot and Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing, 2008. Pp. viii, 168. Pb.

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Reviewed by Greg Hoyland, York St John University in Modern Believing Oct 2011.

Visions of Agapé: Problems and Possibilities in Human and Divine Love

C. A. Boyd, ed.

Aldershot and Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing, 2008. Pp. xii, 151. Hb.

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Reviewed by George Newlands, Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh in Modern Believing Oct 2011.

Divine Love: Perspectives from the World's Religious Traditions

J. Levin and S. G. Post, eds.

West Conshohocken, PA: Templeton Press, 2010. Pp. xiv, 274. Pb.

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Reviewed by George Newlands, Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh in Modern Believing Oct 2011.

Christian Approaches to Other Faiths: A Reader

A. Race and P. M. Hedges, eds.

London: SCM Press, 2009. Pp. xviii, 302. Pb.

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Reviewed by Ian Markham, Virginia Theological Seminary 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.

Religion as a Conversation Starter: Interreligious Dialogue for Peacebuilding in the Balkans

I. Merdjanova and P. Brodeur

London and New York: Continuum, 2009. Pp. viii, 185. Hb.

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Reviewed by Donald Reeves, Soul of Europe, Crediton in Modern Believing Oct 2011.

God, Philosophy, Universities: A Selective History of the Catholic Philosophical Tradition

A. MacIntyre

London: Continuum, 2009. Pp. vi, 193. Hb.

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Reviewed by Sarah Rowland Jones, Cape Town in Modern Believing Oct 2011.

Reconstructing Early Christian Worship

P. F. Bradshaw

London: SPCK, 2009. Pp. viii, 151. Pb.

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Reviewed by Nicholas Taylor, Theological Institute of the Scottish Episcopal Church in Modern Believing Oct 2011.

The Theory and Practice of Extended Communion

P. Tovey

Farnham and Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing, 2009. Pp. xiv, 196. Hb.

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Reviewed by John Ford, Diocese of Exeter in Modern Believing Oct 2011.

Joining in with the Spirit: Connecting World Church and Local Mission

K. Kim

London: Epworth Press, 2009. Pp. xii, 319. Pb.

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Reviewed by Janice Price, Church House, Westminster in Modern Believing Oct 2011.

Mission after Christendom: Emergent Themes in Contemporary Mission

O. U. Kalu, P. Vethanayagmony and E. K-F. Chia, eds.

Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2010. Pp. xxvi, 177. Pb.

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Reviewed by Janice Price, Church House, Westminster in Modern Believing Oct 2011.

Church, Community and Power

R. Kearsley

Farnham and Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing, 2008. Pp. viii, 246. Hb.

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Reviewed by Jane Steen, Southwark Cathedral and Diocese of Southwark in Modern Believing Oct 2011.

Can Words Express Our Wonder? Preaching in the Church Today

R. Brown

London: Canterbury Press Norwich, 2009. Pp. xiv, 190. Pb.

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Reviewed by Geoffrey Stevenson, University of Edinburgh in Modern Believing Oct 2011.

Sustaining Preachers and Preaching: A Practical Guide

G. Lovell and N. G. Richardson

London and New York: T. and T. Clark International, 2011. Pp. xiv, 248. Pb.

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Reviewed by Geoffrey Stevenson, University of Edinburgh in Modern Believing Oct 2011.

Evangelicalism and the Emerging Church: A Congregational Study of a Vineyard Church

C. E. Labanow

Farnham and Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing, 2009. Pp. viii, 148. Hb.

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Reviewed by Philip Richter, Southern Theological Education and Training Scheme in Modern Believing Oct 2011.

Meeting Jesus at University: Rites of Passage and Student Evangelicals

E. Dutton

Aldershot and Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing, 2008. Pp. xii, 163. Hb.

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Reviewed by Samuel Gibson, University of Birmingham in Modern Believing Oct 2011.

From Faith to Fun: The Secularisation of Humour

R. Heddendorf

Cambridge: Lutterworth Press, 2009. Pp. xvi, 202. Pb.

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Reviewed by Becky Garrison, New York in Modern Believing Oct 2011.

Servitude and Freedom: Reading the Christian Tradition

J. Dean

London: Epworth, 2009. Pp. xiv, 170. Pb.

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Reviewed by Jonathan Clatworthy, Modern Church, Liverpool in Modern Believing Oct 2011.

The Politics of Discipleship: Becoming Postmaterial Citizens

G. J. Ward

London: SCM Press, 2009. Pp. 317. Pb.

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Reviewed by John Reader, Ironstone Benefice and William Temple Foundation in Modern Believing Jul 2011.

Witness of the Body: The Past, Present and Future of Christian Martydom

M. L. Budde and K. Scott, eds.

Grand Rapids, MI, and Cambridge: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2011. Pp. x, 228. Pb.

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Reviewed by Brian Wicker, Carshalton in Modern Believing Jul 2011.

After War, Is Faith Possible? An Anthology

G. A. Studdert Kennedy, K. S. Walters, ed.

Cambridge: Lutterworth Press, 2008. Pp. xii, 225. Pb.

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Reviewed by Michael Brierley, Tavistock 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.

The Sermon on the Mount in the Light of the Temple

J. W. Welch

Farnham and Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing, 2009. Pp. xii, 254. Hb.

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Reviewed by Warren Carter, Brite Divinity School, Fort Worth, Texas in Modern Believing Apr 2011.

Britain's Chief Rabbis and the Religious Character of Anglo-Jewry, 1880-1970

B. J. Elton

Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 2009. Pp. x, 290. Hb.

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Reviewed by Jonathan Romain, Maidenhead Synagogue in Modern Believing Apr 2011.

Religion and Youth

S. Collins-Mayo and P. Dandelion, eds.

Farnham and Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing, 2010. Pp. xxiv, 278. Pb.

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Reviewed by Sally Nash, Midlands Centre for Youth Ministry, St John's Nottingham in Modern Believing Apr 2011.

The Future of Preaching

G. Stevenson, ed.

London, SCM Press, 2010. Pp. xiv, 226. Pb.

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Reviewed by Rosalind Brown, Durham Cathedral in Modern Believing Apr 2011.

God and Bad Religion

P. Vardy

London: SCM Press, 2010. Pp. xii, 179. Pb.

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Reviewed by Jonathan Clatworthy, Modern Church, Liverpool in Modern Believing Jan 2011.

Iran and Christianity: Historical Identity and Present Relevance

M. Bradley

London: Continuum, 2008. Pp. xii, 197. Hb.

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Reviewed by Guli Francis-Dehqani, Diocese of Peterborough in Modern Believing Oct 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 Golden Rule: The Ethics of Reciprocity in World Religions

J. Neusner and B. D. Chilton (eds.)

London and New York: Continuum, 2008. Pp. xii, 185. Pb.

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Reviewed by Marcus Braybrooke, Clifton Hampden in Modern Believing Jul 2009.

The Life and Miracles of St Maurus: Disciple of Benedict, Apostle to France

J. B. Wickstom (trans.)

Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2008. Pp. 156. Pb.

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Reviewed by Patricia M. Rumsey, University of Wales, Lampeter in Modern Believing Jul 2009.

Temples, Tithes and Taxes: The Temple and the Economic Life of Ancient Israel

Marty E. Stevens

Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 2006. Pp. xi, 209. Pb.

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Reviewed by Edmund Newell, Christ Church, Oxford in Modern Believing Apr 2009.

AD 381: Heretics, Pagans and the Christian State

Charles Freeman

London: Pimlico, 2008. Pp. xx, 252. Hb.

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Reviewed by Augustine Casiday, University of Wales, Lampeter in Modern Believing Jan 2009.

Everyday Religion: Observing Modern Religious Lives

Nancy Ammerman (ed.)

Oxford: OUP, 2007. Pp. 256.

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Reviewed by Greg Hoyland, York St John University in Modern Believing Oct 2008.

Interrupting Tradition: An Essay on Christian Faith in a Postmodern Context

Lieven Boeve

Leuven: Louvain Theological and Pastoral Monographs, Peeters Press, 2002. Pp. 183.

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Reviewed by Greg Hoyland, York St John University in Modern Believing Oct 2008.

The Hidden Tradition of the Kingdom of God

Margaret Barker

London: SPCK, 2007. Pp. 144.

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Reviewed by Augustine Casiday, University of Wales, Lampeter in Modern Believing Jul 2008.

Progressive & Religious: How Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and Buddhist Leaders Are Moving Beyond the Culture Wars and Transforming American Life

Robert P. Jones (ed.)

AltaMira Press, USA, 2008. Hardcover: 280 pages.

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A new group of religious leaders is re-envisioning religion in public life and blazing a trail that goes beyond partisan politics to work for a more just and inclusive society. Progressive & Religious draws on nearly 100 in-depth interviews with Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and Buddhist leaders to tell the story of this dynamic, emerging movement.

World Religions

Tom Robinson, Hillary Rodriguez

SCM Press, 2006. Paperback: 300 pages.

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An introductory textbook looking at the twelve major world religious traditions. Each religion is considered in three equal parts: its history, beliefs and practices. In an introductory book such as this, only a broad description is given, and it will undoubtedly apply more to the majority tradition than a small subgroup within it. However the book is written with subgroups and further subdivisions in mind, and aims to be as inclusive as possible in its descriptions of histories, beliefs and practices.

Religious Syncretism

Eric Maroney

SCM Press, 2006. Paperback: 207 pages.

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The rise of fundamentalism in the three monotheistic faiths is fully examined in this textbook. It is not about fundamentalism however, but it is about its opposite trend: religious syncretism. Syncretism describes the phenomenon of one religion borrowing elements from another, and it is part of religion that fundamentalists will seldom acknowledge.

Religion and Modern Thought

Victoria Harrison

SCM Press, 2007. Paperback: 450 pages.

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SCM's Core Text on Religion and Modern Thought examines in detail the relationship between religion and modern and post-modern thought and culture. The book provides an introduction to the extremely wide variety of forms of religious thought and examines how, in the West, adherents of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have responded to the impact of modernity upon religion, either by attempting to restructure their religious belief systems or by asserting a uniquely modern form of religious 'traditionalism'.

What We Can Learn from Hinduism

Marcus Braybrooke

O Books, 2002. Paperback: 160 pages.

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Marcus Braybrooke reflects upon the impact that Hinduism has had on his thinking, and on how his recognition of the underlying unity in all religions has encouraged him to take up meditation, to become a vegetarian, and a pacifist.

What We Can Learn from Islam

Marcus Braybrooke

O Books, 2002. Paperback: 160 pages.

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Marcus Braybrooke investigates the common ground between the best traditions of Islam and Christianity and their interdependence, and offers a personal perspective not only on how we can live amicably with Muslims, but also on how we can learn from them.