With 2017 drawing to a close, it’s a good chance to think back on a few of the highlights in a busy year…
Back in January we held a panel discussion at St Martin-in-the-Fields entitled “Word Made Flesh”. Panellists including Lincoln Harvey (St Mellitus College), Steve Chalke (Oasis Trust) and Sam Wells (St Martin-in-the-Fields) came together to discuss whether the church needed the academy. The evening offered a rich and fascinating discussion chaired by Julie Gittoes, Canon Theologian at Guildford Cathedral.
In the same month, we also published a new addition to our popular Studyguide series – the SCM Studyguide to Preaching. We also published Becoming Friends of Time by John Swinton. Professor David Ford described it as:
“a profound and moving book, both pastoral and prophetic. It takes further the insights of Jean Vanier, and above all invites us into the truth that ‘time is for God, God is love, time is for love.”
In February, we published a new edition of Bonhoeffer’s moving Letters and Papers from Prison , and in March came Global Poverty: A Theological Guide by Justin Thacker. In a review, the magazine Reform described Justin’s book as “readable, resolute and profoundly relevant to the concerns and pains of a divided world”.
As always, SCM Press, and our sister imprint Canterbury Press were represented at the Society for the Study of Theology conference in Nottingham in April . The event was a great opportunity to introduce academics to some of our key frontlist and backlist titles, and a chance for delegates to discuss book projects.
May saw the publication of the first title in our new SCM Research strand – Animals, Theology and the Incarnation by Kris Hiuser. SCM Research aims to publish new and innovative research from some of the most exciting scholars in theology and biblical studies, and demonstrate something of the field’s breadth and relevance. We’ve published 2 more titles in the series since May, and more are on the way next year.
June saw the publication of two of our standout titles of the year – Walter Brueggemann’s God, Neighbour, Empire and Andrew Rumsey’s Parish: An Anglican Theology of Place . The reviewer for Church Times found a particular resonance in Brueggemann’s account of the ways that the Old Testament counters the imperial narrative of ancient times and of the present, saying that:
Brueggemann’s analysis could not be more pertinent in the wake of the catastrophe of Grenfell Tower. It requires all who exercise power to ask those serious questions that this study evokes, and that includes the Church.
Rumsey’s book received similarly high praise, with Andrew Davison describing it as “magnificent”. If you’ve not seen it yet, do take a look at Andrew’s video introduction to the book.
In July we once again hit the road, this time to the BIAPT conference, held this year at St Mary’s University Twickenham. We also published Michael Moynagh’s follow-up to his seminal book Church for Every Context. His new book, Church in Life , is “groundbreaking” according to Kirsteen Kim, Professor of Theology and World Christianity at Fuller Theological Seminary.
At Greenbelt in August both Justin Thacker and Andrew Rumsey featured on the programme, and proved to be popular speakers, and in September Kate Bruce, author of Igniting the Heart: Preaching and Imagination was a popular speaker at the inaugural Festival of Preaching which SCM Press was proud to support.
We were involved in yet another event in October, this time co-hosting with Church Times a ‘moral maze’ style panel debate on whether the parish has a future. Held at St Mellitus College in London, the speakers during the evening included Paula Gooder, Graham Tomlin as well as SCM authors including Alison Milbank (who recently co-edited Preaching Radical and Orthodox), and Andy Milne (author of The DNA of Pioneer Ministry)
As well as attending the AAR/SBL Annual Meeting in Boston in November, we published several books, including Blue Planet, Blue God: The Bible and The Ocean. Watch Dr Meric Srokosz , an oceanographer based at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, who co-wrote the book with Rebecca Watson, Dean of St Hild College, speak about the book in this video.
Phew – a busy year! There’s lots more to come in 2018 – in a couple of weeks we’ll give you a sneak peek at some of what’s coming up in the spring.