Rowan Williams ‘Faith In The Public Square’. London: Bloomsbury, 2012
An excellent read in which Williams tackles the thorny debate of whether secularism is real or not, whether it effects the church or not, and looks at some of the effects of secularism on church and society. Williams – “I’ve suggested … That we need a distinction between ‘procedural’ and ‘programmatic’ secularism. Procedural secularism is … A public policy which declines to give advantage or preference to any one religious body over others … Programmatic secularism … In which any and every public manifestation of any particular religious allegiance is to be ironed out so that everyone may share a clear public loyalty to the state unclouded by private convictions …” pp. 2 – 3. Williams goes on to explain that the former poses no problem for the church, whereas the latter does. William’s explores secularism and law, religion, multiculturalism, pluralism, human rights, climate and more.
Giorgio Agamben. ‘Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life’. California: Stanford University Press, 1995.
Agamben’s Homo Sacer looks at the notion of sovereignty as power over life, he traces how kings and governments have argued for absolute control and in particular how the National Socialists claimed power over life, especially over those deemed to be outside any state rights, in this case the Jews. It is a clear theory of how we can descend to dehumanising anyone if we claim to have implicit sovereign authority. Insightful work that looks at how entire populations and groups can be vilified, punished, even eradicated!
Andrew Davison (Ed.) ‘Imaginative Apologetics’ SCM: London, 2011.
Includes essays by John Milbank, Graham Ward, Alister McGrath … This is definitely an imaginative look at theology, philosophy, and the catholic tradition. The essays cover faith, reason, ethics, atheism, natural science, apologetics, and more.
Thomas Moore. ‘A Life At Work: The joy of discovering what you we born to do’ London: Piatkus, 2008.
A brilliant insight into authentic living from Moore, an accomplished psychotherapist. Uses case studies, auto-biography, to help the reader understand their deeper purpose. Great read, great resource.
Daniel J. Siegel. ‘Mindsight: Change Your Brain And Your Life.’ Melbourne: Scribe, 2009
Siegel leads us to an understanding that we have the ability at any stage of our lives to transform our thinking and therefore transform our well being and relationships. We can rewire through mindfulness.
Christopher K. Germer. ‘The Mindful Path To Self-compassion.’ New York: Guilford, 2009
Dealing with self. Germer discusses freeing self on destructive thoughts and emotions, another great resource and a wonderful journey into a mindful approach.
Gordon Hempton and John Grossmann. ‘One Square Inch of Silence.’ New York: Free Press, 2009.
This is Hempton’s drive and hike from west to east coast America in order to speak with state and federal officials about preserving silence in public and natural spaces. An interesting concept and contrasts the noise of busy urban life with previous urbanities and natural spaces. It is a journey of mindfulness, meditation, and reverence for nature and wholeness of life.
Richard Rohr. ‘The Naked Now’ Mulgrave: John Garratt, 2009.
For me this is his best writing. Rohr writes to encourage us to see the wholistic nature of the contemplative life. He wants to see healthy community and relationships which can be achieved through meditation, self-awareness, indeed, mindfulness. Rohr wants to deconstruct negative and needless institutionalism and replace it with authentic, loving, compassionate people.
Eben Alexander. ‘Proof of Heaven’ Sydney: Pan Macmillan, 2012
Gavin Hyman. ‘The Predicament of Postmodern Theology.’ Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press, 2001.
Irvin D. Yalom. ‘The Shopenhauer Cure’. New York: Harpers Collins, 2v
Adam C. Clark, Michael Mawson, Michael Green et al. ‘Ontology and Ethics: Bonhoeffer and Contemporary Scholarship’ Eugene, Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2013.
Alan Thomas ‘Culture in a Post-Secular Context: Theological Possibilities in Milbank, Barth, Bediako’ Eugene, Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2014.
Robert C. Miner ‘Vico, Genealogist of Modernity’ Indiana, Notre Dame Press, 2003.
Charles Taylor ‘A Secular Age’ Cambridge, The Belknap Press, 2007
Alasdair MacIntyre ‘After Virtue’ London, Bloomsbury, 2011 (3rd edn) (rereading)
Slavoj Zizek ‘Disparities’ London, Bloomsbury, 2016