The Civic and Parish Church of Bournemouth

Book launch “The Red Stain of Cain” & “The Seven Songs” – Dr Chris Steed

The Rev’d Dr Ian Terry will be launching the two new books after the 10am Communion, at which Chris will be preaching, around 11am.

Ian writes “The debacle in Afghanistan opens up the horror of fresh violence in the name of radical Islam. 
‘Violence is a public health issue. All too often it is legitimated by religion’. This is the theme of a new book by Bournemouth author and academic Dr Chris Steed who shows that Christianity has had a major problem with violence too. In situations where the church has sanctioned ethnic cleansing or white supremacy, this has been an ugly scar!

‘The Red Stain of Cain’ asks what Christian faith can say about the violence of our times. Jesus’ experience of violence was focussed, very sharply, on the cross. Why was this extreme violence done to him? Does it have something to do with systemic power and violence? If we say, ‘Jesus died for my sins’, are we implicitly approving of the violence that killed him? What about psychological and social violence (eg cyber bullying and ‘sending to Coventry’)? Is that as bad as physical violence? If we don’t question members of minority groups being scapegoated (blamed for the bad things that happen in society) are we effectively colluding with violence? 

Chris Steed leads the Dept of Theology and Counselling for the London School of Theology, He has just published two books. They are among four written last year in lockdown. 

1. The Red Stain of Cain
2. The Seven Songs

The other two are ‘What will Spring be like?’ (about the environmental and other crises of our time) and ‘Letters from a Shuttered Country’ (a novel set in lockdown for all those who wanted the chance to begin again). 

‘The Seven Songs’ probes the ultimate beliefs post-pandemic people might be exploring. It is written in a ‘mystic’ style to appeal directly to the wider public. It is subtitled: ‘Seven spiritual undercurrents playing in post-pandemic times. What can make sense of the big themes of the world?’ Chris explores in this book how we navigate the whole order of things after a pandemic shock of simply staggering proportions. He wonders, ‘What has happened to the lazy assumptions we used to have about how life unfolds?’. ‘The Seven Songs’ is a faith-based framework for thinking about our existence. It suggests that a Christian world-view is the most compelling there is. Chris offers the invitation: ‘If you enjoy a somewhat mystical take on things, come for the ride.’

This book comes with an endorsement from Nicholas Holtam, retiring Bishop of Salisbury.

These books are timely, well-considered and easy-to-read