A Lent Study to learn lessons from the past
‘Moral Dilemmas in Challenging Times’ is a new study guide that encourages groups to delve into divisive issues such as nationalism, populism and extremism from a faith perspective, published by the Council of Christians and Jews (CCJ) and the educational foundation, Cumberland Lodge, in time for Lent 2018.
The opening chapter is written by the Revd Bonnie Evans Hills, from this diocese, with guest contributors including Dr Rowan Williams, (who wrote the introduction), Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg (Senior Rabbi of Masorti Judaism) and the novelist and speaker, Salley Vickers.
The brief guide accompanies the new edition of Amy Buller’s groundbreaking 1943 book, Darkness over Germany: A Warning from History, which explores how young people were drawn into National Socialism in the 1930s and sheds light on many of the most pressing social issues we face in current times. It was this book that inspired King George VI and Queen Elizabeth to establish the educational foundation at Cumberland Lodge in Windsor Great Park in 1947, to try to avoid a repeat of the events of 1930s Germany.
Moral Dilemmas in Challenging Times draws on key conversations with Nazi Party members and public figures relayed in Darkness over Germany. It offers six short reflections, each with questions for discussion, and is designed to be suitable for Lent courses in churches and other faith settings.
Rowan Williams has described Buller’s work as, ‘a really remarkable book by a very remarkable woman, who was driven by her Christian faith’. He spoke of the spiritual vacuum that emerged in the inter-war period in Germany, the risks of a generation growing up without hope, seeking a magical ‘problem-solver’ to meet their needs, and the resonances of 1930s Germany for many of the issues we face today.
The new guide can be downloaded free of charge from January 2018 from the CCJ website: www.ccj.org.uk
Darkness over Germany: A Warning from History by E. Amy Buller (1943; 2017 edition) is published by Arcadia Books, ISBN 978-1-911350-19-4, RRP £15 and available from all good online book retailers and bookshops.
Pam Rhodes’ Christmas Companion
Pam Rhodes, BBC Songs of Praise presenter well known to people in St Albans Diocese, has a new paperback out in time for Christmas.
Her ‘Tidings of Comfort and Joy – A Christmas Fear of Faith & Fun’ is a collection of poems, stories, hymns, carols and Bible readings with a Christmas theme. As well as the usual old favourites – from Hark the Herald Angels Sing to the stories of the shepherds and the wise men visiting the baby Jesus – there are plenty of lighter moments, with excerpts from Gervase Phinn’s memoirs and funny poems by modern writers. Alongside the items themselves Pam shares some of her own Christmas reminiscences and explores the resonance of the Christmas story for all our lives in her trademark inviting and heartwarming style.
Hodder & Stoughton 9781473630048 paperback £9.99