Jack A Life of C.S. Lewis by George Sayer, Hodder & Stoughton £8.99 George Sayer was more than a passing acquaintance of C.S. Lewis, so expect personal insights and sympathies in this new biography. Lewis's method of writing stories "was to assemble the pictures that appeared in his mind". The inspiration for the Narnian Chronicles began with an inquisitive child who wanted to peek into an old wardrobe. Followers of Aslan the Lion may be thankful for such a fertile imagination.
(Britain & Europe in the Twentieth Century) by Roy Denman, Indigo £9.99. Required bedroom reading for all those Euro-sceptic exTory MPs with time to kill. Denman chronicles Britain's relationship with the European Union at times a sad and rather tawdry affair. The British, he says, have consistently failed to recognise the meaning of symbols in
Europe. When Jean Monnet, President of the French Republic, died Germany sent their Chancellor to the state funeral. Britain sent someone from the Embassy in Paris.
The Saints of Scotland (Essays in Scottish Church History AD 4501093) by Alan Macquarrie, John Donald Publishers £14.95
Scotland's contribution to the Golden Age of Saints, including St Patrick of Ireland and St Columba of Iona. This is a scholarly account, with extensive cross
referencing to academic texts, but Alan Macquarrie has some nice touches. Margaret, he says, was portrayed by the Celtic Church "almost as an imperious bully, delivering a `Sermon on the Mound' worthy of a twentieth-century politician with a handbag". It explains everything Catch the Wind by Fr John O'Brien, Pen Press £6.95. Fr O'Brien offers a modern and meaningful interpretation of some of the greatest books in the Bible, such as Job, Ezekiel and St. Paul. His themes are suffering, loneliness, love and belonging. At just under 100 pages, this is easy reading for a weary soul. A short glossary explains key terms for the uninitiated.
I Believe In The Supremacy of Christ by Ajith Fernando, Hooder & Stoughton £7.99. Ajith Fernando has been National Director of Youth for Christ in Sri Lanka since 1976. His apologetic, not surprisingly, seeks to address a wide audience of lay persons, theological students and pluralists. This is a definition of Christianity's absolutism against the challenges of our material world. Required reading for all those who think modern life has lost touch with spirituality.
The Death of Religious Life? by Tony Flannery CSSR, Columba Press £5.99 Fr Flannery is a Redemptorist priest who entered religious life in the 1950s. As he sees it, religious life in the late 20th century is now in terminal decline and he suggests that a new focus is required to take religion through to the 21st century. Flannery calls, controversially, for apostolic religious orders to stop taking on new recruits and to look at means of allocating their present responsibilities. He asks the question: will a new form of religious life rise from the old or must present structures disappear before the new order can be established?
Domestic Violence Picking up the Pieces by Helen L. Conway, Lion Publishing £7.99. Conway is a Merseyside solicitor with a wide knowledge of domestic violence. Her book offers practical advice and explains the legal means available to partners suffering abuse. She includes a Safety Plan, based on an American police initiative, which aims to protect women from violence.