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Cranmer staff members have been busy writing several books recently, ranging from major theological works through to general and popular books designed to serve the wider Church.

We are committed to breaking down barriers between being academic and being accessible: good theological thinking can work at all levels to inform all God’s people as well as speak to a wider world. Catch up on some of the highlights of our recent books here.


Theological Hermeneutics and the Book of Numbers as Christian Scripture
Theological Hermeneutics and the Book of Numbers as Christian Scripture (Reading the Scriptures)
Edited by: Richard S. Briggs
Publisher: University of Notre Dame Press (25 Jun. 2018)

How should Christian readers of scripture hold appropriate and constructive tensions between exegetical, critical, hermeneutical, and theological concerns? This book seeks to develop the current lively discussion of theological hermeneutics by taking an extended test case, the book of Numbers, and seeing what it means in practice to hold all these concerns together. In the process the book attempts to reconceive the genre of “commentary” by combining focused attention to the details of the text with particular engagement with theological and hermeneutical concerns arising in and through the interpretive work. The book focuses on the main narrative elements of Numbers 11-25, although other passages are included (Numbers 5, 6, 33).

With its mix of genres and its challenging theological perspectives, Numbers offers a range of difficult cases for traditional Christian hermeneutics. Briggs argues that the Christian practice of reading scripture requires engagement with broad theological concerns, and brings into his discussion Frei, Auerbach, Barth, Ricoeur, Volf, and many other biblical scholars. The book highlights several key formational theological questions to which Numbers provides illuminating answers: What is the significance and nature of trust in God? How does holiness (mediated in Numbers through the priesthood) challenge and redefine our sense of what is right, or “fair”? To what extent is it helpful to conceptualize life with God as a journey through a wilderness, of whatever sort? Finally, short of whatever promised land we may be, what is the context and role of blessing?

This book is a sophisticated meditation on the nature of theological interpretation flowing from an extended discussion of the text of Numbers. Of particular value is the manner in which the book uses some of the central passages of the text as test cases for exploring possible paths through complex hermeneutical quandaries. I cannot think of other texts in the burgeoning literature on ‘theological interpretation’ that manage this task so successfully...”

Lewis Ayres, Durham University and Australian Catholic University

A Perfect Priest
A Perfect Priest
Edited by: Nicholas J. Moore and Richard J. Ounsworth
Publisher: Mohr Siebeck

Albert Vanhoye is one of the most prominent French biblical scholars of the period following the Second Vatican Council, with an academic career spanning eight decades and publications in numerous European languages. Amidst diverse interests, the Letter to the Hebrews has remained the central focus of his scholarship throughout his career. This volume collects sixteen of his most significant essays on Hebrews, covering a variety of topics and approaches, with an emphasis on the key themes of priesthood and sacrifice. The essays are presented for the first time in English translation, with an introduction by the editors summarizing Vanhoye’s contribution and analysing the central features of his work.

Survey of contents:

Part One: Priesthood and Sacrifice
Christ as High Priest in Hebrews 2.17–18 – The Place and Meaning of Hebrews 5.1–10 – The teleiōsis of Christ: Chief Point of Hebrews’ Priestly Christology – ‘By the Greater and More Perfect Tent’ (Hebrews 9.11) – Eternal Spirit and Sacrificial Fire in Hebrews 9.14 – Earthly Sanctuary and Heavenly Sanctuary in the Letter to the Hebrews – Historical Recollection and Theological Creativity in the Letter to the Hebrews

Part Two: Thematic Studies
The Law in the Letter to the Hebrews – The God of the New Covenant in the Letter to the Hebrews – Universal Salvation through Christ and the Validity of the Old Covenant – Christ as Re-creator of Humanity and Restorer of Human Rights, according to the Letter to the Hebrews

Part Three: Exegetical Studies
The οἰκουμένη in the Letter to the Hebrews – Long Journey or Imminent Access? The Biblical Context of Hebrews 3.7–4.11 – Hebrews 6.7–8 and the Rabbinic Mashal – The Faith of Jesus? On Hebrews 12.2: ‘Jesus, Author and Perfecter of Faith’ – The Literary Question of Hebrews 13.1–6


Ecclesiology and Theosis in the Gospel of John
Ecclesiology and Theosis in the Gospel of John
Edited by: Andrew Byers
Publisher: Cambridge University Press

For the fourth evangelist, there is neither a Christless church nor a churchless Christ. Though John’s Gospel has been widely understood as ambivalent toward the idea of “church,” this book argues that ecclesiology is as central a Johannine concern as Christology. Rather than focusing on the community behind the text, attention is directed to the vision of community prescribed within the text. This vision is presented as a “narrative ecclesiology” by which the concept of “church” gradually unfolds throughout the Gospel’s sequence. The theme of oneness functions within this script and draws on the Jewish theological language of the Shema. To be “one” with this “one God” and his “one Shepherd” involves the believers’ corporate participation within the divine family. Such participation requires an ontological transformation that warrants an ecclesial identity expressed by the bold assertion found in Jesus’ citation of Psalm 82: “you are gods.”

Growth and Decline in the Anglican Communion. 1980 to the Present
Edited by: David Goodhew
Publisher: Routledge

The Anglican Communion is one of the largest Christian denominations in the world. Growth and Decline in the Anglican Communion is the first study of its dramatic growth and decline in the years since 1980. An international team of leading researchers based across five continents provides a global overview of Anglicanism alongside twelve detailed case studies. The case studies stretch from Singapore to England, Nigeria to the USA and mostly focus on non-western Anglicanism. This book is a critical resource for students and scholars seeking an understanding of the past, present and future of the Anglican Church. More broadly, the study offers insight into debates surrounding secularisation in the contemporary world.

The book arises out of a research project led by Cranmer’s Director of Ministerial Practice, Rev Dr David Goodhew, and you can read more about the project here.

‘This is a truly valuable book. In a collection of outstanding essays, the contributors seek to find firm ground for statements about growth and decline in the Anglican Communion, one of the world’s largest religious institutions. At every stage, what they find repeatedly challenges conventional assumptions, and also raises fundamental questions that demand to be applied to other global churches. This is truly eye-opening. I cannot speak too highly of this excellent volume.’

Philip Jenkins, Distinguished Professor of History, Baylor University, USA

‘David Goodhew and his diverse team of collaborators have produced a timely, illuminating, and comprehensive collection of essays. This landmark volume represents an essential text for students of global Christianity, as well as worldwide Anglicanism, at the turn of the twenty-first century.’

Michael Snape, Michael Ramsey Professor of Anglican Studies, Durham University, UK

‘We welcome and appreciate the comprehensive and challenging contribution of this book to this phenomenon of the Church and what it means. The book brings us to where Anglicanism stands (and falls) today and tomorrow, the outcome and witness of both its internal character and external outreach rubbing shoulders, to the Glory of the Lord.’

John Mbiti, Emeritus Professor of Theology, University of Bern, Switzerland


Wrestling with the Word: Preaching on Tricky Texts
Author: Kate Bruce
Publisher: SPCK Publishing

In Wrestling with the Word, well-known and accomplished preachers grapple with a range of notoriously difficult Old and New Testament texts. As well as providing sample sermons – in an exhilarating variety of structural styles and voices – they offer ideas to help in the planning process of applying and interpreting such passages.


Becoming Reverend. A diary.
Author: Matt Woodcock
Publisher: Church House Publishing

For Paul it was the Damascus Road. In Matt Woodcock’s case it was the A19 to Selby.

Meet Woody.
Former journalist.
Die-hard Oasis fan.
High energy.
Low sperm count.
Training to be a vicar. Obviously.

Woody trained at Cranmer Hall. We still bear the scars.

A thoroughly recommended read. Expect to laugh… a lot.

Human Being - Jocelyn Bryan

Human Being
Author: Jocelyn Bryan
Publisher: Hymns Ancient & Modern Ltd

The book provides a psychological perspective on key aspects of human nature and behaviour drawing on recent research and reflect on the issues this raises for theology and ministry. The aim is to introduce theology students, those studying practical theology and those engaged in ministerial formation or ministry to the significant current research in psychology which will deepen understanding of some of the core aspects of human nature.

The interdisciplinary nature of the exercise aims to model the benefits of such an approach for both theology and ministerial practice and as such the book aims to cross traditional boundaries. The objective is to introduce the reader to new fields of academic psychology beyond those of counselling and psychoanalysis, dated personality psychology and the popular psychology which is often referred to in publications in the area of ministerial practice and enable the reader to engage with recent psychological research and developments.

Other recent books by Cranmer staff include:

Repetition in Hebrews: Plurality and Singularity in the Letter to the Hebrews, Its Ancient Context, and the Early Church (WUNT II/388) by Nicholas J. Moore (Assistant Lecturer and Tutor at Cranmer Hall). Published by Mohr Siebeck, 2015

When I Pray, What Does God Do? by David Wilkinson (St John’s College Principal). Published by Monarch Books, 2015

Igniting the Heart: Preaching and Imagination by Kate Bruce (Cranmer’s Deputy Warden and Tutor in Homiletics). Published by SCM Press, 2015

Towards a Theology of Church Growth edited by David Goodhew (Cranmer’s Director of Ministerial Practice). Published by Ashgate in its Contemporary Ecclesiology Series, 2015

Fairer Sex by Richard Briggs (Cranmer’s Lecturer in Old Testament and Director of Biblical Studies). Published by Grove Books, 2015

Theomedia by Andrew Byers (Cranmer’s Free Church Tutor and Teaching Fellow). Published by Lutterworth Press, 2014

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