Recent Publications


Staff and students of the University of Divinity produce world-class research in all theological disciplines. Here are some recent publications by our members.

Francis J. Moloney, Gebrochenes Brot für gebrochene Menschen: Eucharistie im Neuen Testament (translation in German of A Body Broken for a Broken People).
(Freiburg Herder, Germany, 2018).  360pp.
ISBN 9783451380440

In his studies of the Eucharistic theology in the Gospels and Paul, the internationally renowned New Testament scholar Francis J. Moloney shows what the eucharistic practice of the early Christians of the Church is to this day: The Eucharist is not a reward for the perfect, but God’s graceful Food for the weak and broken. Encouraged by the appeal of Pope Francis to further deepen the biblical and theological background on the issue of the sacrament of remarried divorced, the author also devoted himself to this question in his studies in detail. This is not just a book for scientists, though it does contain comments that place the author’s reflections on the broader scientific discussion on these issues. These remarks retain much of their previous documentation, but bring them up to date in terms of scale and foundation. However, they may be ignored. Moloney tries to write in a way that is understandable to all people who are interested in how the Eucharist is celebrated and lived in the Christian churches.

Xiaoli Yang, A Dialogue between Haizi’s Poetry and the Gospel of Luke
(Leiden: Brill 2018). 332pp.
ISBN: 9789004363113

In A Dialogue between Haizi’s Poetry and the Gospel of Luke, Xiaoli Yang offers a conversation between the Chinese soul-searching found in Haizi’s (1964– 1989) poetry and the gospel of Jesus

Christ through Luke’s testimony. It creates a unique contextual poetic lens that appreciates a generation of the Chinese homecoming journey through Haizi’s poetry, and explores its relationship with Jesus Christ. As the dialogical journey, it names four stages of homecoming—roots, vision, journey and arrival. By taking an interdisciplinary approach—literary study, inter-cultural dialogue and comparative theology, Xiaoli Yang convincingly demonstrates that the common language between the poet Haizi and the Lukan Jesus provides a crucial and rich source of data for an ongoing table conversation between culture and faith.

Gerald O’Collins SJ AC with John Wilkins OBE, Lost in Translation: The English Language and the Catholic Mass
(Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2017). 122pp.
ISBN: 9780814644577

This book takes a systematic look at the 2010 English translation of the Roman Missal and its failure to achieve what Vatican II mandated: the full and easy participation of priest and people. Critiquing the unsatisfactory principles for translation prescribed by the Vatican instruction Liturgiam Authenticam (2001), this book tells the story of the manoeuvrings that sidelined the 1998 translation that had already been approved by the eleven conferences of English-speaking bishops. Criticising many details in the 2010 translation, an odd ‘sacred vernacular’ that hovers between Latin and English, the book illustrates the clear superiority of the 1998 translation, the ‘Missal that never was.’

Gerald O’Collins SJ AC, Saint Augustine on the Resurrection of Christ
(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017). 128pp.
ISBN: 9780198799542

Despite an enormous amount of literature on St Augustine of Hippo, this work provides the first examination of what he taught about the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Augustine expounded Christ’s resurrection in his sermons, letters, Answer to Faustus the Manichean, the City of God, Expositions of the Psalms, and the Trinity. Saint Augustine on the Resurrection of Christ: Teaching, Rhetoric, and Reception explores what Augustine held about the centrality of Christ’s resurrection from the dead, the agency of Christ›s resurrection, and the nature of his risen existence. Leading scholar, Gerald O’Collins, investigates the impact of his resurrection on others and his mediatory role as the risen High Priest. O’Collins then unpicks Augustine’s rhetorical justification for the resurrection of Christ: evidence from creation, human history, and the desires of all human beings. This ground-breaking study illustrates the enduring significance of Augustine’s teaching on and apologetic for the resurrection, and updates, augments, and corrects what Augustine held.

John C. McDowell, The Gospel According to Star Wars: Faith, Hope, and the Force. 2nd Edn.
(Westminster John Knox Press, Louisville, 2017). 224pp.
ISBN 9780664262839

Star Wars is one of the most beloved movie series of all time, and in this book John McDowell explores the many spiritual themes that weave throughout the six films. From the Force to the dark side, the issues discussed in the films have a moral and spiritual complexity that, if paid attention to, can help us better understand our place in the world and our relation to others and to God. George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars, did not intend for his films to be mere entertainment, McDowell argues. Rather, he hoped his films would be used as a vehicle for moral education.

Francis J. Moloney, Gospel interpretation and Christian life
(ATF Press, Hindmarsh, 2017). 421pp.
ISBN 9781925643084

The voice of Francis J Moloney, SDB, has been heard in New Testament studies for many decades. Internationally famous for his work on the Gospel of John, this volume gathers studies that demonstrate the breadth and richness of his interests, beyond that well-established enterprise. The first part of the boom is dedicated to Gospel studies, with the majority of essays focussing upon the Gospel of Mark. They reflect his long interest and his major commentary on that Gospel (2012). Studies on Matthew, Luke and John complete these reflections.

Francis J. Moloney.  Eucharist as a celebration of forgiveness
(Paulist Press, New York, 2017). 136pp
ISBN 9780809153169

This book is an in-depth study of the history and theology of the Eucharist as primarily a celebration of forgiveness rather than as a tool for exclusion, and the ethical consequences that arise from such a study. The author first tracks how we came to the &; exclusive; and; need for holiness&; criterion for admission to the eucharistic table. He then gives a summary of how all the gospel narratives indicate the celebration of forgiveness. Next he focuses on the history and theology of legitimate &; exclusion&; from the eucharistic table. Lastly, he explores a theology of Eucharist as forgiveness and its ethical consequences.

Rosemary Canavan, A Friendly Guide to Women in the New Testament
(Mulgrave: Garratt Publishing, 2017).
ISBN 9781626982147

This Friendly Guide introduces the reader to the multitude of women in the New Testament. All take their place in the story of Jesus and the development of the Jesus movement after the resurrection. They are mothers, daughters, sisters and wives living in the first century with all of its limitations on their participation in public life. Yet they are present, remembered and influential from Jesus’ birth, through his public ministry to his passion and death, and as first witnesses to the resurrection. This volume celebrates their contribution and hopes to inspire women and men today in their faithful service.

Philip Hughes, Stephen Reid and Margaret Fraser, A Vision for Effective Youth Ministry: Insights from Australian Research
(Melbourne: Christian Research Association, 2017).
ISBN 9781875223824

This book has arisen out of Australian research into youth ministry, from visiting youth groups and talking with youth leaders and the youth themselves. It offers a vision for the development of youth ministry, recognising the diversity of youth and the backgrounds from which they come. It explores how to build a youth ministry team and the qualities needed in the team. It discusses issues of training, payment, and support for youth leaders and building bridges with parents, church and school. Based on the research, it identifies the following factors as important in making a difference in developing youth ministry:

A vision for developing the spirit of young people;
A commitment by the whole church to youth ministry;
A youth ministry team with strong relationships with God, each other, the youth, parents, the church and the wider society; and
A diversity of activities: both age-specific and intergenerational, for fun, friends, inquiry and developing the spirit.

Philip Hughes (contributing ed.), Charting the Faith of Australians: Thirty Years in the Christian Research Association
(Melbourne: Christian Research Association, 2017).
ISBN 9781875223848

The last 50 years have seen more rapid change than at any time in human history. Changes in technology have changed every aspect of life: from contraception to computation, from communication to community formation. These changes have affected the ways in which Christians have sought meaning in their lives, from the fulfilment of duty to the maximisation of subjective well-being. They have affected deeply the role that religion has played in life with the focus moving from the preservation of tradition to personal spirituality.

This book tells the story of these changes and how the Christian Research Association has charted them through the examination of census and survey data and through interviews with thousands of individuals. It explores these changes in youth culture and rural culture, the impact of migration and the rise of the Pentecostal and charismatic movements. It suggests ways in which churches and schools might respond to these changes.

Race Mathews, Of Labour and Liberty: Distributism in Victoria 1891-1966
(Clayton: Monash University Publishing, 2017).
ISBN 9781925495331

What will the future of work, social freedom and employment look like? In an era of increased job insecurity and social dislocation, is it possible to reshape economics along democratic lines in a way that genuinely serves the interests of the community? Of Labour and Liberty arises from Race Mathews’s half a century and more of political and public policy involvement. It responds to evidence of a precipitous decline in active citizenship, resulting from a loss of confidence in politics, politicians, parties and parliamentary democracy; the rise of ‘lying for hire’ lobbyism; increasing concentration of capital in the hands of a wealthy few; and corporate wrong-doing and criminality.

It also questions whether political democracy can survive indefinitely in the absence of economic democracy – of labour hiring capital rather than capital labour. It highlights the potential of the social teachings of the Catholic Church and the now largely forgotten Distributist political philosophy and program that originated from them as a means of bringing about a more equal, just and genuinely democratic social order. It describes and evaluates Australian attempts to give effect to Distributism, with special reference to Victoria. And with an optimistic view to future possibilities it documents the support and advocacy of Pope Francis, and ownership by some 83,000 workers of the Mondragon co-operatives in Spain.

Angela Hesson, Matthew Martin and Charles Zika (eds), Love: Art of Emotion 1400-1800
(Melbourne: National Gallery of Victoria, 2017)
ISBN 9781925432329

This volume is published in conjunction with the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions, to coincide with an exhibition of the same title held at the National Gallery of Victoria. The essays gathered in this volume explore the manner in which visual and material culture from 1400 to 1800 developed the complex theme of love and gave it enumerable new emotional forms. While popular conceptions of love often focus on romance, this book explores through many depictions of love in paintings, sculpture, prints and drawings, as well as a selection of non-representational and functional objects, the emotion’s varied manifestations across the realms of human experience and exchange, including familial relationships, religious devotion, friendship, altruism, patriotism, narcissism, materialism and nostalgia.

John D’Arcy May, Imagining the Ecumenical: A personal journey
(Melbourne: MorningStar, 2017).
ISBN 9780994470768

Beginning and ending at home in Australia, John May tells the story of his journey from unquestioning Catholicism through Christian ecumenism to the developing relations between the world’s religions. He brings into sharp focus the questions raised for theology by interreligious relations and the challenge such questions raise: are we capable of truly imagining the ecumenical in all its implications for our religious convictions and the future of the world?

Bob Mitchell, Faith-based Development: How Christian Organisations Can Make a Difference
(Maryknoll NY: Orbis Books, 2017).
ISBN 9781626982147

International development work is a largely secular discipline that has historically distanced itself from faith concerns; even many faith-based NGOs have sought to minimize the relationship between their religious convictions and their work. Secular groups often see faith-based agencies as “irritating marginal players” in the global development scene. This book argues that the effectiveness of these types of organisations often derives from their sense of religious mission and that this values base should be strengthened and reclaimed. Church and parachurch organisations have long been major players in international development work. Drawing on extensive qualitative evidence the book maps the unique strengths of faith-based approaches to development. The author argues that when governors of faith-based NGOs are intentional about the role of faith in their work organisations can become more accountable, effective, and resistant to organisational drift.

Francis J. Moloney, Johannine Studies 1975-2017: Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 372
(Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2017)
ISBN 9783161551086

Responding to the request of Professor Ruben Zimmermann, University of Mainz, and Professor Jörg Frey, University of Zürich and the General Editor of the WUNT series, Professor Moloney has gathered studies on the Gospel of John that date from his earliest published essay (1975) to a series of studies that are published in this volume for the first time (2017). Professor Moloney has edited and retouched all the studies to form a unified text and style-sheet. After an introductory essay mapping the personal and scholarly journey of Professor Moloney, the book has three sections: the Johannine world, Johannine Theology, and studies of the Johannine text. As well as the original contribution made by each single study, the book as a whole reflects almost half a century of Johannine scholarship. It contains full indices of authors, citations, and themes.

Dinh Anh Nhue Nguyen, Gesù il saggio di Dio e la Sapienza divina. Indagine biblico-teologica introduttiva per ripensare la cristologia sapienziale nei vangeli sinottici [Jesus the Sage of God and Divine Wisdom: An Introductory Biblical-theological Inquiry to Rethink the Wisdom Christology in the Synoptic Gospels]
(Rome: Casa Editrice Miscellanea Francescana, 2017).
ISBN 9788887931648

The book investigates the figure of Jesus as the Sage of God and as Divine Wisdom in the synoptic gospels as well as the relationship between these two themes, which are arguably inseparable in the synoptic tradition. The two are seldom studied together (particularly in Italian scholarship) and this meticulous study, with its rich bibliographical documentation, offers systematic reflections on various aspects of Jesus the Sage of God and Divine Wisdom, as well as detailed exegetical analysis of the most important biblical passages in this regard.

The volume’s introductory chapter studies the figure of the sage in the biblical and Jewish wisdom tradition, the expectation of a necessarily “wise” Messiah in Israel, and the development of the literary-theological figure of personified Wisdom, which reaches its pinnacle of thought in the biblical and extra-biblical writings around the time of Jesus. Further investigation is structured in two parts, both in relation to the synoptics: words and deeds of Jesus showing him to be the Sage of God; and testimonies and allusions to Jesus being Divine Wisdom. The final chapter synthesises the research findings and reflects on the possible historical and theological “evolution” from Jesus as “the Sage of God” to Jesus as “Divine Wisdom.”

Muriel Porter, The New Scapegoats: The Clergy Victims of the Anglican Church Sexual Abuse Crisis
(Melbourne: MorningStar, 2017)
ISBN 9780987619358

In response to its public shaming over child sexual abuse allegations, the Anglican Church of Australia has adopted draconian measures to regulate its clergy as a means of rebuilding its shattered reputation by appearing tough on every aspect of their lives. Its insistence on harsh puritanical standards of sexual behaviour has exposed Anglican clergy, innocent of any abusive behaviour, to demeaning punishments that in some cases have resulted in their deposition from Holy Orders. The New Scapegoats explores this hidden outcome through case studies, a comparison with the situation in the Church of England, and an examination of several theological aspects: the impact the new rules are having on the concept of the priesthood of all believers; sexual purity; forgiveness; and scapegoating.

Bishop Suriel, Habib Girgis: Coptic Orthodox Educator and a Light in the Darkness
(New York: SVS Press-SAC Press, 2017)
ISBN 0890881415667

This is the first comprehensive work published on the life of Habib Girgis. By the mid-nineteenth century, the Coptic Orthodox Church was in a state of deep vulnerability that tore at the very fabric of Coptic identity. In response, Girgis dedicated his life to advancing religious and theological education.

This book follows Girgis’ six-decade-long career as an educator, reformer, dean of a theological college, and pioneer of the Sunday School Movement in Egypt—including his publications and a cache of newly discovered texts from the Coptic Orthodox Archives in Cairo. It traces his agenda for educational reform in the Coptic Church from youth to old age, as well as his work among the villagers of Upper Egypt. It details his struggle to implement his vision of a Coptic identity forged through education, and in the face of a hostile milieu.

The pain and strength of Girgis are seen most clearly near the end of his career, when he said, “Despite efforts that sapped my health and crushed my strength, I did not surrender for one day to anyone who resisted or envied me…. Birds peck only at ripe fruits. I thank God Almighty that, through his grace, despair never penetrated my soul for even one day, but in fact I constantly smile at the resistances…. It is imperative that we do not fail in doing good, for we shall reap the harvest in due time, if we do not weary.” Habib Girgis remains a pioneer of Coptic religious and theological education—a Copt whose vision and legacy continue to shape his community to this very day.

Yohanna Nessim Youssef ed. trans. (2017) The Rite of Consecration of the Myron
(Ephemerides Luturgicae, vol. 131. p.80-91.)

The article treats of the veneration of Saint John the Baptist in Egypt. While for Lower Egypt an overview of known attestations is offered, for Upper Egypt an unpublished text relating to John the Baptist is provided which is illustrative of the local tradition. A detailed description of the manuscript is given, followed by a parallel Sahidic-Greek text. This is accompanied by an English translation and indications of necessary corrections to the Greek. The article concludes with reflections on the significance of emerging factors.

Geoff Thompson, Disturbing Much, Disturbing Many: Theology Provoked by the Basis of Union
(Melbourne: Uniting Academic Press, 2016).
ISBN 9780994470720

The Basis of Union is the foundational document of the Uniting Church in Australia. The essays in this book bring several of that document’s key claims into conversation with some of the UCA’s current theological debates, many of which might at first sight seem very distant from the concerns of the Basis.

Some of the essays engage very closely with the text of the Basis. In most, however, the emphasis lies much more on the conversations provoked by engaging with it now. Particular emphasis is placed on its core Christological claims. As a whole, the book demonstrates that these claims, far from being restrictive and limiting, are richly generative of theological conversation, discussion and debate. Issues discussed include conversations between the Basis and the ‘historical Jesus’, biblical hermeneutics, contextual theology, the Eucharist as an open table, sexuality, relativism, the commitment to scholarship and the mission of the post-Christendom church. Members of the Uniting Church and others will gain new insights into the theological orientation of the Basis and be resourced in new, and perhaps unexpected, ways for many of the debates and conversations presently underway in the church.

Elizabeth J. Harris, Paul Hedges and Shanthikumar Hettiarachchi (eds), Twenty-First Century Theologies of Religions Retrospection and Future Prospects 
(Leiden/Boston: Brill/Rodopi, 2016)
ISBN 9789004322462

Within Christian theology, debates on the theology of religions have intensified over the last thirty or so years. This volume surveys the field and maps future directions in this expanding and important area of research. Both established experts and new voices address typological debates, comparative theology, multiple religious belonging or identity, and how dialogue between different religious traditions affects our understanding of these issues. Different perspectives and traditions are represented, and, while focusing upon debates in Christian theology, voices and perspectives from a range of religious traditions are also included. This volume is an essential tool for research students and established scholars working within the theology of religions and interreligious studies.

Katharine Massam and Fotini Tosso (eds), The Greening of Hope: Hildegard for Australia
(Melbourne: MorningStar, 2016).
ISBN 9780994470737

Melbourne’s Festival of Hildegard in October 2012 honoured Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) for her extraordinarily diverse achievements as a writer, healer, musician, prophet and administrator. Over three days, one hundred and twenty people attended not only public lectures and an academic seminar stream but also dramatic re-enactments of scenes from Hildegard’s life, workshops on chant, embroidery, manuscript conservation, productive gardening, dance, art, and a labyrinth built of eucalyptus and bracyschome daisies.

The festival grew from the twin convictions that Hildegard’s life and thought resonate in many settings, and that the work required to interpret her in this quite different, Australian context yields enduring wisdom. Held as her name was added to the list of thirty-six theologians who are credited with ‘universal significance’ as doctors of the church, the Melbourne Festival of Hildegard demonstrated Hildegard’s power to communicate across the ecumenical conversation within and beyond the church.

This volume brings together the papers that were presented at the festival. They reflect the depth and diversity of both the occasion itself as well as leading research into Hildegard’s life and work. They remind us of Hildegard’s gifts and her confidence, shared by participants in the festival, that the greening of hope goes on.

Mark G. Brett, Political Trauma and Healing: Biblical Ethics for a Postcolonial World
(Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2016).

How can Scripture address the crucial justice issues of our time? In this book Mark Brett offers a careful reading of biblical texts that speak to such pressing public issues as the legacies of colonialism, the demands of asylum seekers, the challenges of climate change, and the shaping of redemptive economies. The book argues that the Hebrew Bible can be read as a series of reflections on political trauma and healing—the long saga of successive ancient empires violently asserting their sovereignty over Israel and of the Israelites forced to live out new pathways toward restoration. Brett retrieves the prophetic voice of Scripture and applies it to our contemporary world, addressing current justice issues in a relevant, constructive, and compelling manner.

Sally Douglas, Early Church Understandings of Jesus as the Female Divine: The Scandal of the Scandal of Particularity
(London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2016)

Central to debates about Jesus is the issue of whether he uniquely embodies the divine. While this debate continues unabated, both those who affirm, and those who dismiss, Jesus’ divinity regularly eclipse the reality that in many of the earliest strands of the Christian tradition when Jesus’ divinity is proclaimed, Jesus is imaged as the female divine. Sally Douglas investigates these early texts and excavates the motivations for imaging Jesus as Woman Wisdom and the complex reasons that this began to be suppressed in the second and third centuries. The work concludes with an examination of the powerful implications of re-engaging with the ancient proclamation of Jesus-Woman Wisdom in contemporary contexts.

Scott A. Kirkland, Into the Far Country: Karl Barth and the Modern Subject
(Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2016)

Into the Far Country is an investigation of Karl Barth’s response to modernity as seen through the prism of the subject under judgment. By suggesting that Barth offers a form of theological resistance to the Enlightenment’s construal of human subjectivity as “absolute”, this piece offers a way of talking about the formation of human persons as the process of being kenotically laid bare before the cross and resurrection of Christ. It does so by re-evaluating the relationship between Barth and modernity, making the case that Barth understands Protestantism to have become the agent of its own demise by capitulating to modernity’s insistence on the axiomatic priority of the isolated Cartesian ego. Conversations are hosted with figures including Fyodor Dostoevsky, Rowan Williams, Gillian Rose and Donald MacKinnon in the service of elucidating an account of the human person liberated from captivity to what Barth names “self-judgment”, and freed for creative participation in the super-abundant source of life that is the prayerful movement from the Son to the Father in the Spirit. Therefore, an account of Barth’s theology is offered that is deeply concerned with the triune God’s revelatory presence as that which drives the community into the crucible of difficulty that is the life of kenotic dispossession.

Darrell Jackson and Alessia Passarelli, Mapping Migration: Mapping Churches’ Responses in Europe
(Revised and updated edition; Geneva: WCC Publications, 2016)

The migration of people into Europe is raising profound and troubling questions for the economics, politics, and identity projects of a majority of the countries of Europe. Europe’s churches are intimately engaged with the issues raised by migration and migrant people. Many of these churches are now considered “migrant churches” and there appears to be little sign that the churches of Europe are about to withdraw from an area of ministry and service that most of them understand as an essential Christian practice. The 2008 edition of Mapping Migration: Mapping Churches’ Responses: Europe Study was a ground-breaking investigation of the phenomenon of migration and engagement with migrants by churches in Europe. This revised and updated edition provides a more coherent discussion of the patterns of the churches’ engagement with migrants and migration, focused around the three themes of belonging, community, and integration. This shapes a discussion of migration as a phenomenon, of migration in sociological perspective, and of migration in theological perspective. A consistent exploration of these themes shapes the info-graphical presentation of demographic data, responses received from the churches to a specially commissioned research questionnaire, and in response to earlier criticism a final chapter is included in which the migrant voice is clearly articulated and presented.

John C. McDowell, Identity Politics in George Lucas’ Star Wars
(Jefferson, NC: McFarland Press, 2016)

George Lucas spoke about the didactic role of cinema and about his own work being presented through the “moral megaphone” of the film industry. A considerable body of scholarship on the six-part Star Wars series argues (unconvincingly) that the franchise promoted neo-conservatism in American culture from the late 1970s onward. But there is much in Lucas’ grand space opera to suggest something more ideologically complex is going on. This book challenges the view of the saga as an unambiguously violent text exemplifying reactionary politics, and discusses the films’ identity politics with regard to race and gender.

John C. McDowell, Scott Kirkland, and Ashley Moyse (eds), Kenotic Ecclesiology: Select Writings of Donald M. MacKinnon
(Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2016)

Donald M. MacKinnon has been one of the most important and influential of the post-World War British theologians, significantly impacting the development and subsequent work of the likes of Rowan Williams, Nicholas Lash and John Milbank, among many other notable theologians. A younger generation largely emerging from Cambridge, but with influence elsewhere, has more recently brought MacKinnon’s eclectic and occasionalist work to a larger audience worldwide. In this collection, MacKinnon’s central writings on the major themes of ecclesiology, and especially the relationship of the church to theology, are gathered in one source. The volume features several of MacKinnon’s important early texts. These will include two short books published in the “Signposts” series during World War II, and a collection of later essays entitled “The Stripping of the Altars”

Pope Shenouda III, The Life of Repentance and Purity, translated by Bishop Suriel
(New York: SVS Press, 2016)

St Athanasius College (SAC) has published its first book entitled The Life of Repentance and Purity by Pope Shenouda III of Blessed Memory. His Holiness Pope Shenouda III was the 117th Pope of Alexandria and served as the Patriarch of the See of Mark. The book is a collaboration between the fledgling SAC Press and long established St Vladimir’s Seminary (SVS) Press and is the first title in a new Coptic Studies Series. The Dean of SAC, His Grace Bishop Dr Suriel, translated the text from Arabic to English with the support of an editorial board who provided references for many of Pope Shenouda’s stunning Christian quotations. The sources drawn from for this spiritual treatise, which on occasion reads with the beauty of eloquent poetry, include Scripture, the Church Fathers and desert monasticism, as well as personal insights and pastoral experience. The Life of Repentance and Purity maps out a gentle, but challenging path, to grow in spiritual maturity on the Christian journey. The text for this book was penned by His Holiness Pope Shenouda III while he was under house arrest amidst sectarian conflict in Cairo. The Copts revered Pope Shenouda III both during his life, and in his passing, as a much-loved spiritual leader, pastoral shepherd and eloquent teacher.

Anna Welch, Liturgy, Books and Franciscan Identity in Medieval Umbria
(Leiden: Brill, 2015)

In Liturgy, Books and Franciscan Identity in Medieval Umbria, Anna Welch explores how Franciscan friars engaged with manuscript production networks operating in Umbria in the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries to produce the missals essential to their liturgical lives. A micro-history of Franciscan liturgical activity, this study reassesses methodologies pertinent to manuscript studies and reflects on both the construction of communal identity through ritual activity and historiographic trends regarding this process. Welch focuses on manuscripts decorated by the ateliers of the Maestro di Deruta-Salerno (active c. 1280) and Maestro Venturella di Pietro (active c. 1317), in particular the Codex Sancti Paschalis, a missal now owned by the Australian Province of the Order of Friars Minor.

Dr David Starling, Hermeneutics as Apprenticeship
(Baker Academic, 2016).
ISBN: 9780801049392

Fifty years ago, in the heady atmosphere of the late 1960s, Harvey Cox made the famous pronouncement that “the only future that theology has … is to become the theology of the future”. The introduction to Theology and the Future: Evangelical Assertions and Explorations (T&T Clark, 2014) takes up that dictum and attempts to rearticulate it in a chastened, humbler form. The work of theology is still oriented toward the future, as both prophecy and phronesis, but—according to the evangelical vision that informs our book—it gets its bearings not from the immanent historical processes of modernity but from the in-breaking of the Kingdom of God. The essays in the remainder of the book take up that vision and apply it to a series of themes, including ecology, urban planning, the philosophy of science and the creative arts.

Hermeneutics as Apprenticeship (Baker, 2016) is an appeal for the renewal and ressourcement of contemporary biblical hermeneutics through apprenticeship to the interpretive practices of the biblical writers themselves, and an attempt to show what that might look like through a series of worked examples. The aim is not to supplant other disciplines such as historical-critical exegesis or philosophical hermeneutics, but to ground their exercise in the interpretive wisdom that is modelled and taught within the canon.

The Gender Conversation (co-edited with Edwina Murphy; Wipf & Stock, 2016) brings together papers from a symposium that we hosted at Morling College last year. The particular conversation to which the title refers is the intra-ecclesial conversation between Christian brothers and sisters who follow the same Jesus and read the same Scriptures, yet differ on how those Scriptures are to be interpreted and applied to matters of gender. The topics about which we conversed were not only the in-house questions about the shape of relationships and the exercise of ministry within the church, but also the wider cultural questions about biology, identity, politics, justice and power about which our society continues to conduct a vigorous discussion.

Most of my current research is focused on the exegesis and theological interpretation of the New Testament. I have been asked to write commentaries on Ephesians, Colossians and 1 Corinthians for two different commentary series, both of which concentrate on the theological interpretation of the text. I’ve also been working on a piece about the ethics of the New Testament and another about the themes of righteousness, justice and justification within Scripture and in the theology of the patristic period.

— Revd Dr David Starling, Morling College

Andrew Sloane, Vulnerability and Care: Christian Reflections on the Philosophy of Medicine
(London: Bloomsbury T & T Clark, 2016).
ISBN 9780567316776

Medical and bioethical issues have spawned a great deal of debate in both public and academic contexts; however, such debate rarely engages with underlying issues of the nature of medicine and its role in human community. Vulnerability and Care seeks to fill that gap by providing Christian philosophical and theological reflections on the nature and purposes of medicine and its role in human society. The book describes the contexts in which medicine is practiced, identifying challenges it must address. It demonstrates how debate over bioethical issues is rooted in conflicting visions of the nature of medicine, and identifies resources available for those who would reflect “Christianly” on medicine. At the heart of the book is an articulation of a Christian understanding of medicine as both a scholarly and (inherently moral) social practice, and the philosophical-theological framework which informs this perspective. The book closes by re-examining the context of medicine and bioethical issues with which it opened.

–Revd Dr Andrew Sloane, Morling College

Correlating Sobornost: Conversations between Karl Barth and the Russian Orthodox Tradition, edited by Ashley John Moyse, Scott Kirkland and John McDowell.
(Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2016).
ISBN: 9781506410753

The diaspora of scholars exiled from Russian in 1922 offered something vital for both Russian Orthodoxy and for ecumenical dialogue. Liberated from scholastic academic discourse, and living and writing in new languages, the scholars set out to reinterpret their traditions and to introduce Russian Orthodoxy to the West. Yet, relatively few have considered the works of these exiles, particularly insofar as they act as critical and constructive conversation partners. This project expands upon the relatively limited conversation between such thinkers with the most significant Protestant theologian of the last century, Karl Barth. Through the topic and in the spirit of sobornost, this project charters such conversation. The body of Russian theological scholarship guided by sobornost challenges Barth, helping us to draw out necessary criticism while leading us toward unexpected insight, and vice versa. This collection will not only illuminate but also stimulate interesting and important discussions for those engaged in the study of Karl Barth’s corpus, in the Orthodox tradition, and in the ecumenical discourse between East and West.

Siu Fung Wu, Suffering in Romans
(Eugene, OR: Pickwick, 2015).
ISBN 9781498208734

Suffering in Romans by Dr Siu Fung Wu is the edited text of a doctoral thesis for the University of Divinity, supervised by Revd Associate Professor Sean Winter. Don’t let any of that put you off reading it! Yes, there is detailed argument and evidence here—much of it in the footnotes or appendices—but the rest reads very clearly and gives a challenging perspective on texts that we need to hear differently in today’s world. This is not a book about the theme of suffering in Romans, but a reading of Paul’s most influential letter from the perspective of those who suffer in diverse ways. This is because such people comprised the majority amongst the ekklēsial groups in Rome at the time, as Wu demonstrates, and because this is still the experience of many today including Wu’s own background in the garment industry in Hong Kong. As a theme, suffering is explicit in Romans 5 and 8, though there has been no full-length treatment of it until this book. As a reality of first-century urban life (as for many still today), the daily struggle to survive in an environment that alternates between hostility and indifference towards the poor and powerless provides a perspective on the interpretation of the whole of Romans that we would all do well to wrestle with.

— Associate Professor Keith Dyer, Whitley College

Methodism in Australia: A History, edited by Glen O’Brien and Hilary M. Carey
(Ashgate, 2015).

“Methodism has played a major role in all areas of public life in Australia but has been particularly significant for its influence on education, social welfare, missions to Aboriginal people and the Pacific Islands and the role of women. Drawing together a team of historical experts, Methodism in Australia presents a critical introduction to one of the most important religious movements in Australia’s settlement history and beyond. Offering ground-breaking regional studies of the development of Methodism, this book considers a broad range of issues including Australian Methodist religious experience, worship and music, Methodist intellectuals, and missions to Australia and the Pacific.

Contributors:  Russell E. Richey, Hilary M. Carey, Glen O’Brien, Malcolm Prentis, Renate Howe, David Hilliard, John Harrison, Alison Longworth, Troy Duncan, Ian Breward, Samantha Frappell, Jennifer Clark, D’Arcy Wood, David Andrew Roberts, Margaret Reeson, Anne O’Brien, Garry W. Trompf, William Emilsen.