100 Recommended reads part 2
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Date: 24 September, 2009


'The word 'belonging' holds together the two fundamental aspects of life.'

Surefish asked a variety of well-known and not so well-known Christians to recommend books that have helped shape their faith.

This second collection of titles includes notes about the books by Charlotte Haines-Lyon. The third and final collection of books will be published shortly.

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Books chosen by: the Reverend Dave Tomlinson
Author of The Post Evangelical,
Re-enchanting Christianity
and vicar of St Luke’s, Holloway

Seeing Green: The Politics of Ecology Explained
Jonathan Porritt
A seminal work in the eighties, explaining what we now call the problem of climate change and the need for governments to take action.

Eternal Echoes: Exploring Our Hunger to Belong
John O'Donohue
Celtic poet and philosopher, argues that “Belonging is a circle that embraces everything; if we reject it, we damage our nature. The word 'belonging' holds together the two fundamental aspects of life: Being and Longing, the longing of our Being and the being of our Longing". See Cole Moreton for further comment.

Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith
Anne Lamott
Christian political activist, novelist, and mother chronicles her life and spiritual journey with great humour.

Theology of the Old Testament: Testimony, Dispute, Advocacy
Walter Brueggemann
Loved and hated by both conservative and liberal Christians alike, this seminal work examines the Old Testament by using the framework of a jury trial.

A New Climate for Theology: God, the World, and Global Warming
Sallie McFague
The celebrated theologian questions our theology and lives in relation to Climate change and creation. She invites us to share a new theology in which praise of God and compassion for creation are central.

Books chosen by: Janet Morley
Author of All Desires Known, Bread of Tomorrow and currently the Head of Christian Communication, Evangelism and Advocacy for the Methodist Church

Cloud of Unknowing Classic Christian text by unknown medieval mystic contemplating the passion and humanity of Christ.

The Stature of Waiting
W H Vanstone
A short book examining the end of Jesus’ life when he submits to the will of others; a powerful message, especially for those forced into a passive state of being.  

The Go-Between God
John V Taylor
A rewrite of eight lectures given by the former Bishop of Winchester at Birmingham University. A popular attempt to recover “a sense of 'beyond - ness' in the whole of life to revive the springs of wonder and adoration."  

Teaching a Stone to Talk
Annie Dillard
A collection of theological and philosophical meditations on the divine cosmos and living in our extraordinary world by a contemporary nature writer.

Marilynne Robinson
A beautiful intimate novel in which a father writes a letter to his son reflecting on faith, relationships, pacifism, abolition which is full of spiritual insight. See Fr Christopher Jamieson's choice for further comment.

Pilgrims Progress
John Bunyan
The classic Christian allegory based on the ultimate journey from the City of Destruction to the City of Eternal Life.

Books chosen by: Canon Mark Oakley
Author of Collage of God, priest in charge of Grosvenor Chapel Mayfair.

Collected Poems 1945-1990
R S Thomas
Often described as prophetic, R S Thomas engages with the spirituality of the everyday.

Some Day I'll Find You
H A Williams
Autobiography of radical 60s theologian exploring concepts of self, sexuality and church.

God and the Creative Imagination
Paul Avis
Contrary to the beliefs in a rationalistic age metaphor, myth and symbols are essential to understanding God and faith.

The Metaphysical Poets
Helen Gardner
Anthology of the poems of John Milton, Thomas Carew, Sir William Davenant, Henry Vaughan, Andrew Marvell, George Herbert, Sir Walter Raleigh, Robert Southwell, John Donne and Richard Crashaw

Love's Redeeming Work: The Anglican Quest for Holiness
Rowell, Stevenson and Williams
Collected writings from the 16 th to 20 th Century that enable Anglicans to discover the rich spirituality of their tradition.

Books chosen by: Rev. Garth Minott
From Christian Aid partner the United Theological College of the West Indies

Faith Works
Jim Wallis
Arguing that spirituality shows itself in action, Wallis illustrates what it really means to have a political faith and to serve our communities.

Mere Christianity
C. S. Lewis
An expanded version of a series of lectures given during the war, making a case a Christianity built on free will and justice.

Basic Christianity
John Stott
A detailed look at Christianity and how to live a life of faith.

Theology of Liberation
Gustavo Gutierrez
The seminal text for liberation theology, placing the poor and oppressed above those who abuse and maintain structures of power.

Real Roots and Potted Plants
(not available on Amazon)
Ashley Smith
A renowned re-imaging of Christ as the black messiah as Smith reinterprets Scripture from the perspective of oppressed Caribbeans.

Books chosen by: Steve Clifford
Director of Evangelical Alliance

Courageous Leadership
Bill Hybels
Convinced that church leaders hold powerful positive influence in the world, Hybels rallies leaders to evangelism and discipleship.

What's so Amazing About Grace
Philip Yancey
What does God’s love for us mean for our love for others?

Surprised by Hope
Tom Wright
A provocative book that looks at how our belief in the afterlife may shape our attitude towards the world now.

Theology of the New Testament
George Eldon Ladd and Donald A. Hagner
A more inclusive update of the comprehensive evangelical books about the New Testament.


Books chosen by: Primavera Quantrill
Marketing Manager, Darton Longman and Todd (after being assured she wasn’t being boring or pompous with her first choices!)


The Documents of the Second Vatican Council (Unavailable on Amazon)


The Summa Theologica by St Thomas Aquinas (Unavailable on Amazon)


The Acts of the Apostles
St Paul 's letter to the Philippians  


Our Duty and Our Joy: Sacrifice of Praise
Robert Llewellyn
Sadly out of print book on prayer: we must praise God for everything.


The Four Loves
CS Lewis
Lewis treatise on the nature of Love which is divided in to four types; Affection, Friendship, Eros and Charity. The last being the most difficult for humans.


Child of My Love
Sue Ryder
The life of Baroness Ryder of Warsaw, who served as part of Churchill’s resistance movement in Poland during the end of the war.  


Seeds of Hope
Henri Nouwen
A collection of much loved priests spiritual wisdom. Nouwen used the themes of community, solitude and compassion as a basis for spiritual life.  


God of Surprises
Gerard W Hughes
Cutting through the hoards of pithy, worthy or guilt inducing books on prayer, Gerard Hughes gently shows how to find God in your day.  

Books chosen by: Reverend Richard Coles
Curate of St Paul’s Knightsbridge, writer, commentator, panellist for Have I Got News for You and ex member of the band The Communards

Tiger in the Smoke
Marjorie Allingham
A Campion detective novel, in which his shrewd uncle Canon Hubert Avril takes part in a murder investigation.

New Collected Poems
Les Murray
Australia ’s leading poet engages with a wide range of subject manner including the Australian pioneers, city life, the land around him and is often rooted in the sacred.

The Brothers Karamazov
Fyodor Dostoevsky
A masterful novel of murder, the human condition and family relationships, explores the blurred relationships between innocence and corruption and good and evil

The Mapp and Lucia Novels
E F Benson
Mapp and Lucia, a collective name for a series of novels that chronicle bitter social rivalry between the eponymous characters. A funny insight to the high society of the 20s and 30s.

Books chosen by: Rita Nakishma Brock
Feminist theologian, founding director of Faith Voices and co-author of Saving Paradise.

Beyond God the Father
Mary Daly
Radical feminist Daly provided one of the first, if not the first feminist critique of the patriarchal western spirituality.

Ordinary Time
Nancy Mairs
A beautiful challenging chronicle of a life affected by disability, adultery and family that doesn’t flinch at questions of faith, motherhood and suffering.

Eros and Power: The Promise of Feminist Theory
Haunani Kay Trask
American feminist explores the concept of Eros and how it can challenge patriarchy.

Black Theology and Black Power
James Cone
The first systematic account of Black Theology, relating the black struggle for liberation to the gospel.

Our Right to Choose: The Ethics of Abortion
Beverly Harrison
The “foremother of social ethics”, according to the New York Times, espouses a pro-choice theology.