Advent Recommendations - Books

Find a list of books for Advent chosen by the CTM staff


Reading Mary Alongside Indian Surrogate Mothers: Violent Love, Oppressive Liberation, and Infancy Narratives.

Sharon Jacob

In this book the character of Mary in the infancy narratives of Luke and Matthew is examined alongside the lives and experiences of the Indian surrogate mother living in postcolonial India.


‘Immanuel – the Coming of Jesus in Art and the Bible’

Han- Reudi Weber

This book is a companion to Reudi-Weber’s publication on the Easter event titled ‘On a Friday Noon’. The book includes artistic expressions over a great variety of cultural contexts and times and include an explanation and reflection with each piece of art.  At the back of the book is a more substantial commentary.


Truly our Sister: a theology of Mary in the Communion of Saints

Elizabeth Johnson, (New York: Continuum, 2003)

As a result of Reformation disputes, Catholics developed a severe case of fixation

on Mary, and Protestants developed a severe case of amnesia. This book proposes that the time is now upon us for these polemical stands to melt away and for us to seek new understanding together.


Bethlehem Carols Unpacked

A Book packed with Creative ideas for Christmas carol Services

Bethlehem Carols Unpacked


Growing Young 

All churches grow old, but strategic churches are growing young. Churches are both shrinking and aging as more young people disengage. Based on ground-breaking research with over 250 of the nation’s leading congregations, Growing Young provides a strategy any church can use to involve and retain young people. Packed with ideas, Growing Young shows ministry leaders how to position their churches to reach younger generations in a way that breathes life into the whole church.


Reconciliation: the Ubuntu Theology of Desmond Tutu

Michael Battle, (Cleveland, OH: Pilgrim Press, 1997, 2009)

(A typical section that has Advent resonance is p.59. It reads

 “God is the telos of creation, and in this way creatures can never lose their existence. This faith statement is not just African; it is also the traditional [Christian] emphasis on the incarnation. Here, influenced by both the African emphasis on creation and [Christian] emphasis on the incarnation, Tutu believes the staggering result of kenosis (Greek, “self-emptying” or “pouring out”) is that creation is the outpouring of God’s love. Wherever God’s love is, there is creation. God creates by relating difference. The greatest example of this is the relation between infinite and finite found in Christ.”)


Lost Sheep Christmas stories (x4)

A magnificent collection of colourful children’s books.

Lost Sheep Christmas stories (x4)


Gifts of the Dark Wood: Seven Blessings for Soulful Skeptics (and Other Wanderers)

A guidebook for spirituality in a post-Christian world. This book is for both the insider who has left the traditional church and the outsider who is curious about faith but mistrustful of religious systems and authority.


Martin Luther: Renegade and Prophet

Lyndal Roper, (London: Bodley Head, 2016)

This book is an excellent read and brilliant work by an Australian historian and pertinent to the upcoming 500th anniversary of the 95 Theses.


Who’s Afraid of Relativism: Community, Congtingency and Creaturehood

James K.A. Smith, (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2014).

Advent and Christmas usually prompt some public discussion about the place of Christian festivals in multi-cultural society. This book engages in a very accessible way, including via engagement with popular culture, the nature between practice, idolatry and creaturehood in the making of truth claims in a pluralist society.



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