Category Archives: Publications

New Publication from Kevin Treston

Sayings for the Soul: Now I Have Put My Words in Your Mouth: Jeremiah 1:9: Themes for Personal and Communal Meditation  offers a mini resource for those who wish to deepen their spiritual journeys through prayer using mantras and sacred sayings.

In a time of cultural turmoil and declining religious affiliation, at least in the West, Christians are called back to recover time-honoured approaches to prayer. Karl Rahner, a leading Jesuit theologian in the twentieth century, once wrote: The Christian in the future will be a mystic or nothing at all. Mantras and sacred sayings in prayer lead one into this mystical way.

 The first section of the book is a summary of key ideas towards an appreciation of mantras and sacred sayings in religion generally and Christianity in particular.

The second and third sections of the book offer a compilation of over 160 popular biblical and sacred sayings which may be helpful in choosing mantras and sacred sayings for meditation.

The fourth section presents some examples of music and song as expressions of prayer.

To order: kevintreston@gmail.com

Price $12 plus postage (invoice enclosed)

Enquiries: (07) 38561712

Mobile 0408 192 123

I’ve been surprised at the response with a third print already half sold after just three weeks. The little booklet (A5) is really a personal one for people to deepen their own prayer life. Something is at work here with the response. Dr Kevin Treston

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A call for contributing authors

THE ONCE AND FUTURE JESUS Exploring the afterlife of Jesus in world cultures.

Editor: Gregory C. Jenks Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing

ABSTRACT
This set of essays explores the impact of Jesus within and beyond Christianity, including his many ‘afterlives’ in literature and the arts, social justice and world religion. It traces both the impact of Jesus on his devotees as well as his legacy among people who claim no religion.

INDICATIVE TABLE OF CONTENTS

Proposals for contributions around other topics which are clearly relevant to the collection are also most welcome.

Foreword Introduction

SECTION ONE: JESUS BEFORE EASTER

  1. Galilee in the first century 2. First-century Nazareth 3. Historical Jesus research 4. Jesus as a historical figure 5. Jesus the sage 6. Jesus the healer 7. Jesus the prophet 8. Jesus the rebel 9. The crucifixion of Jesus

SECTION TWO: THE CHRIST CULT

  1. The Easter tradition 11. Jesus and the Q community 12. Jesus and the Pauline mission 13. Jesus in the Johannine community 14. Jesus and Judaism after Bar Kochba 15. Jesus and the Byzantine Empire 16. Jesus outside the Chalcedonian matrix

SECTION THREE: JESUS AS A GLOBAL CHARACTER

  1. Jesus in Judaism 18. Jesus in the Quran 19. Jesus in medieval coins, 500–1500 CE 20. Jesus in other major religions 21. Jesus in alternative Christianities 22. Jesus in art 23. Jesus in literature 24. Jesus in film 25. Jesus in popular culture 26. Jesus and human rights 27. Jesus in the Antipodes 28. Jesus through Indigenous Australian eyes 29. Jesus in Pacific culture 30. The Judaic humanism of Jesus

PUBLISHER’S GUIDELINES
• Chapters will normally be no longer than 6000 words • Chapters will be checked for suitability, language and grammar by our Desk Editors before being sent to the Guest Editor, and may be returned to the author for amendment and resubmission • Chapter authors will be asked to sign a short publishing contract on provisional acceptance. Chapters should be free of rights restrictions. Authors should have the authority to submit the chapter for publication. • Royalties will not be paid to chapter authors

To see the Call on the Publisher’s website, please visit: http://cambridgescholars.com/edited_collections/once-and-future-jesus-chaptersubmission.docx where you can download and complete a submission form.

For further information about this project, please contact me directly:
Dr Gregory C. Jenks gjenks@csu.edu.au (+61) 426067344

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Easter Reading

JOHN QUERIPEL PROGRESSIVE AUTHOR

I have written two books to have you thinking over the Easter season. They would make an ideal gift for either a friend or with which to treat yourself.

The first is ‘ON THE THIRD DAY: RE-LOOKING AT THE RESURRECTION’ https://morningstarpublishing.net.au/product/on-the-third-day/ OR https://wipfandstock..com/on-the-third-day.html (the second website offers a preview reading)

‘The Easter story culminating in the resurrection of Jesus stands at the heart of Christian faith and celebration. But in the modern world is the story still believable? And does it still have transformative power for modern living? The scriptures contain a mix of attitudes to life after death, and the resurrection stories themselves contain a mysterious mix of the physical and mystical. John Queripel argues that we can no longer hold to a literal understanding of these accounts, but neither can we see the resurrection as merely delusion and wish-fulfilment.’

The second is ‘BONHOEFFER: PROPHET AND MARTYR’ (Play and essay) https://wipfandstock.com/bonhoeffer.html (Preview reading offered)

The 75th anniversary of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s death will be 8th April. 

‘In the final days of World War II, early one frosty morning, a young German pastor was taken from his cell by his Nazi captors and led to his place of execution. Coming from one of Berlin’s leading families, Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s already brilliant academic and church career was thus brutally terminated. Bonhoeffer found himself in such a strange place for a theologian, being one of the very few in the German Church who stood resolutely opposed to the Nazis to the point where he, as a one-time pacifist, became deeply involved in the conspiratorial plot to kill Hitler and bring down the regime. This course of action saw him enter the murky sphere of secrecy and duplicity as a member of the conspiracy, while two-timing the Nazis as a member of military intelligence. Using that official role, Bonhoeffer was able to travel and communicate with his international ecumenical contacts as part of the conspiracy’s attempt to strike a deal with the Allies to end the war. From a dark period, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, brave and resolute, stands as a bright and shining light.’ Information on my books is available on my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/JohnHenryQueripel/

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Real Estate Parables

Real Estate Escapes – SPECIAL PRICE for Christmas 2019

Another inexpensive Christmas gift idea that informs, protects and warns….

$15.00 from For Pity Sake Publishers

For the real estate enthusiast – Real Estate Escapes by nationally recognised ‘real estate watchdog’ and consumer advocate , Tim O’Dwyer , is just the ticket at only $15.00.

[Tim is a member of our New Farm Explorers group.]

When ‘sold’ isn’t sold and ‘Off-the-Plan’ is just ‘off’

Real Estate Escapes is a collection of timeless property parables where not all agents, solicitors and conveyancers are created equal, and where not all escapes are successful. Drawing from over four decades experience, Tim O’Dwyer combines his deep knowledge of the subject with an uncanny ability to explain, in a simple and entertaining way, these true tales of getting out of contracts, leases, prosecutions and legal liability.

Real Estate Escapes is more than an informative consumer guide. It’s also a really good read – riveting stories of the traps, rorts and misunderstandings that abound in the real estate industry. I highly recommend you read it BEFORE venturing into the minefield.”

– Helen Wellings – Channel Seven Consumer Affairs Reporter

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Christmas Gift Ideas

We are very fortunate to have many productive authors in the Progressive Christian movement. Some have made a major focus on Christmas.

Here are three that you might like to consider when looking for gifts for thinking friends or even for yourself:

Available from Barnes and Noble with free delivery.

  • Rex’s Book has been a great reference for many seminars.

Available directly from Rex Hunt.

  • Borg and Crossan are leading scholars of the historical Jesus.

Available from Amazon.

Enjoy the season!

Paul

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The Impact of the Death of Christianity on Australian Society

Predicting social trends is usually an inexact science, but England’s influential Spectator magazine has boldly put a precise date on the disappearance of Christianity from Britain: 2067.

“What does all this mean? …. First, that reports of Christianity’s demise in the West are greatly exaggerated; and second, that to the extent it does disappear, it will be greatly missed…

The churches will have fewer nominal attendees, so that members are more committed. As they continue their good works, but without much of the moralising of the recent past, the faith will become more attractive. It will be like the fourth century – before Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire and began its fateful courtship of power and authority….

Much of Australia’s social capital over the past two centuries was built by Christians, explicitly motivated by their faith to work not just for themselves but for the community at large. They believed they were called to love their neighbour – all their neighbours – and brought their (now-maligned) “Protestant work ethic” to bear on the problems and challenges of their time. The economy, and in particular the siren call of profit, is the only language that seems to move government or business now. Or at least, it is the most heard….”

To see the full article by Barney Zwartz from the Centre for Public Christianity go to:

Christianity is dying out? Don’t count on it.

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The latest from Kevin Treston now available

Opening Doors: A Seeker’s reflections on the rooms of Christian living
Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me. (Revelation 3:20) Opening Doors: A Seeker’s Reflections on the Rooms of Christian Living takes seriously the invitation of the Lord for us to open the door to him, and with confidence consider how our faith may be enhanced and energised through the wisdoms of contemporary theology and spirituality.
The book is written for those whom Charles Taylor describes as ‘seekers’ – Christians who are searching to reconcile their faith with emerging insights from modern science, cosmology and consciousness.
We are invited to open eleven doors and enter eleven rooms of Christian living. Each room offers a flavour of each of the topics in the Christian Story followed by focused questions for individual reflection and shared conversations in self-directed groups. The topics of the rooms include everyday spirituality, the universe story, humans and religion, the mystery of God, meeting Jesus, the church, ministry, women and faith communities, a Christian ethical way of life, Christian spiritualities and faith communities in a global world.
Kevin Treston graduated BA (Hons), MA (Hons), MEd., PhD (University of Notre Dame USA) and pursued post-doctoral studies in Washington, Boston and Chicago. He was visiting Scholar at Boston College and is a member of the Association of Practical Theology Oceania. He has worked in ministry across Australia and many countries.
To order online go to: www.coventrypress.com.au
Phone: 0477 809 037
Email: enquiries@coventrypress.com.au
Post to: Coventry Press, 33 Scoresby Road, Bayswater Vic
Opening Doors @ $24.95
*Postage: $9.95 for 1-3 books; $11 for 4 and more; free freight for orders over $100
OPENING DOORS
A Seeker’s reflections on the rooms of Christian living
Kevin Treston
Coventry Press
9780648566106 — $24.95

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Towards a Partnership Society in Australia

Not Just a Dream by one of our subscribers, Bev Floyd, poet and author

Not Just a Dream is my attempt to explore how far Australia has travelled along the path to a partnership society. I have not tried to write a learned or academic book. My aim has been to give a panoramic overview of social change from circa 7000 BCE to the present and to illustrate (with examples) the gradual ‘return’ to a partnership society.
My definition of a partnership society is one in which ‘men’ and ‘women’ participate equally and can reach their potential to contribute to society. It is a society where poverty is minimised; race and religion are not hindrances to contribution and the environment is protected. I have tried to describe what a Partnership Society, ¹ might be like in various areas such as business, gender, the environment etc.
I have been influenced by a book called The Chalice and the Blade by Riane Eisler… a work of enormous scope and impeccable research….

It is my hope that Not Just a Dream will clarify issues around contemporary trends and events that threaten our world—that it can be a blue-print for everyone seeking to hasten the return of an inclusive society free of war and want, a society filled with peace, happiness and love….

PARTNERSHIP AND GLADIATORIAL MODELS COMPARED
The partnership model The partnership model is a mediator model rather than a gladiatorial model. People who support this model are active peacemakers. They believe in participation, compassion, inclusiveness. They are kind-hearted and thoughtful. Their role is to take care of children and the family. From early childhood, they develop nurturing skills. They have a full emotional range and use it in their role as peacemakers. Around them develops a flat management system where everyone is valued for themselves without a need to prove their worth. Their role is a virtuous and beautiful one. More females than males are in this category but there are also many males.
Equality for females is extremely important to social change as women are more closely aligned to the partnership model of life and when their voice is truly heard and respected then society is more likely to change for the better.

The gladiatorial model The role of gladiators is to fight. They are reared knowing they will be gladiators and are trained for their role. They are competitive, heroic and tough. They must be courageous and have an intense will to win. In times of war they are in the forefront of the battle and keep the rest of their community safe. The most successful gladiators develop leadership skills, are decisive and good in crises. They learn to guard their emotions and to switch them off when hard decisions are required. Around them develops a hierarchical system where they test their strength and courage against the next gladiator on the ladder. The hierarchical system is valued also for its ability to instil obedience to commands as well as ensuring quick and effective responses to dangerous situations. Gladiators are generally male although not always.

Amongst many of Bev’s publications, she has made this one free, online. Go to: Not just a Dream

Contents
Introduction 1. Not just a dream 2. Social change we have inherited 3. Australia, the lucky country 4. Signs of the times 5. Governance within a partnership society 6. Husbands and wives 7. Religion within a partnership society 8. Gender in a partnership society 9. Growing older in a partnership society 10. Doing business in a partnership society 11. Minding the environment 12. Role of the media in a partnership society 13. Creativity in a partnership society 14. Ethics, responsibility and regulation 15. Australia’s future role in the world

To find other publications from Bev Floyd go to: Bev Floyd

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A timely Vision for a Just Australia – from the UCA

“Our vision, grounded in the life and mission of Jesus, is for a nation which: • is characterised by love for one another, of peace with justice, of healing and reconciliation, of welcome and inclusion. • recognises the equality and dignity of each person. • recognises sovereignty of First Peoples, has enshrined a First Peoples voice and is committed to truth telling about our history. • takes seriously our responsibility to care for the whole of creation. • is outward looking, a generous and compassionate contributor to a just world.”

Our Vision for a Just Australia: Foundations – The Uniting Church’s vision and hope for a just Australia is expressed in seven Foundational Areas, the first four of which are set out below:
An Economy for Life • Our government makes economic decisions that put people first: decisions that are good for creation, that lift people out of poverty and fairly share our country’s wealth. • The economy serves the well-being and flourishing of all people.
An Inclusive and Equal Society • We live together in a society where all are equal and free to exercise our rights equally, regardless of faith, cultural background, race, age, sexual orientation and gender identity. • We defend those rights for all.
Flourishing Communities – Regional, Remote & Urban • We live in communities where we are connected and we care for one another. • In communities all over Australia, from our big cities to remote regions, we seek the well-being of each Australian and uplift those who are on the margins.
Contributing to a Just and Peaceful World • Australia acts with courage and conviction to build a just and peaceful world. • We are a nation that works in partnership with other nations to dismantle the structural and historical causes of violence, injustice and inequality. Our government upholds human rights everywhere, acting in the best interests of all people and the planet.

The full document is available at: UCA Vision for A Just Australia

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New Publication from Tom Drake-Brockman

Now available from Wipf and Stock Publishers (US) or Amazon Australia as hard, paper back or digital copy.

Jesus was murdered by the Jewish religious leaders whose power base was the temple of Jerusalem. Saul of Tarsus–later the Paul of Christianity–was one of these, and his brand of faith theology mirrored their theology of covenantal entitlement. Thus, Christianity’s basic theological principles derive from those who killed Jesus.This is just one of many challenging propositions backed with strong evidence that appear in this book. Jesus, like most Jews, was attuned to faithfulness rather than pure faith, to ethical behavior based on human empathy rather than metaphysical beliefs and rituals.The central focus of Jesus was hesed, the heart of the Jewish covenant with God which linked God’s mercy to human compassion and forgiveness, making both mutually interactive. This hesed forgiveness was anathema to the temple’s faux forgiveness and threatened its very existence.Therefore, Jesus came not to save us, but to show us how to save ourselves. Reinterpreting a key parable of Jesus in this light, the Parable of the Tares, Jesus can be most plausibly understood as an incarnation of Adam, the original prototype human who God, in Genesis, appointed to oversee his creation and guide our spiritual evolution. His mission was not about any sacrificial death, but about establishing the spiritual humanism of Judaic hesed as the central purpose of human existence.

The Author: Tom Drake-Brockman has several degrees, including a Master of Theology from Charles Sturt University. In completing this course, he twice received the Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence. He has also taught secondary school history and has had articles published in university journals, as well as an opinion piece on the subject of his book in The Australian newspaper.

Other Book by this author: Christian Humanism reviewed by Rex Hunt for Insights magazine (NSW UCA Synod).

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