book announcement

Jonah’s Story, Our Challenge: Reading a Biblical Narrative in Today’s Church and World

We are delighted to announce the publication of Karl Möller’s latest book: Jonah’s Story, Our Challenge: Reading a Biblical Narrative in Today’s Church and World (London: SCM Press, 2023).

Jonah’s Story, Our Challenge introduces readers to the most inspiring readings of the book of Jonah from a range of angles, including historical, literary, and psychological ones. It specifically facilitates engagement with contextual, liberationist, and postcolonial readings that afford us fresh and often challenging perspectives from around the world. And it embraces ecological interpretation and its insights about Jonah, thus seeking to encourage ecological reading of the Bible more generally. The book is designed to let different and at times contradictory readings stand alongside each other, thus allowing for multiple voices to be heard. Questions interspersed throughout the text encourage further reflection and discussion of the range of interpretations showcased here, while seeking to tease out their implications for our engagement with the biblical text.

This is an extraordinarily wide-ranging study of many possible ways of reading the book of Jonah, based on close knowledge of all the major types of biblical interpretation in use today – from now traditional ‘historical-critical’ approaches all the way to postcolonial and ecological readings. In the process, Karl Möller introduces the reader into the current scene in biblical studies in an attractive and approachable way. An ideal book for anyone beginning to study the Bible, but with much to teach even experienced readers who may be bewildered by the variety of methods now encountered, and who need a re-orientation. Jonah turns out to be an ideal text to try out various methods. Highly recommended!

John Barton, Emeritus Oriel & Laing Professor of the Interpretation of Holy Scripture, University of Oxford

This thoughtful and far-reaching book emphasises the inherent plasticity of the book of Jonah and reveals its interpretative richness and diversity. Möller challenges us to re-evaluate our own preconceived ideas of what the book of Jonah is all about and guides us towards a fuller appreciation of the multiple and often mutually contradictory interpretations of the book.

Lena-Sofia Tiemeyer, Örebro School of Theology, Sweden


  • Jonah’s Readers: Perspectives on Interpretation
  • Jonah’s World: Historical and Social Science Perspectives
  • Jonah’s Art and Reception: The Poetics of a Biblical Narrative
  • Jonah’s Challenge: Contextual, Liberationist and Postcolonial Interpretation
  • Jonah’s Depths: Psychological Biblical Criticism
  • Jonah’s ‘Otherkind’: Ecological Readings

Preview and purchase options


The Church Times Festival of Faith & Literature

On 19 February 2022, Frankie Ward will be speaking at The Church Times Festival of Faith & Literature, an online festival that seeks to encourage a love of literature as it relates to faith, and to create a thoughtful and relaxing space in which to consider works of literature and their religious and moral themes. It’s for anyone who is interested in the big questions of life.

Other speakers alongside Frankie include Sr Teresa White, Mpho Tutu van Furth, Catherine Fox, and Hazel Southam.

For further information, see the festival website.


Growing Good Toolkit

We are pleased to promote a new resource from The Church Urban Fund called the Growing Good Toolkit – a free six-session course for small church groups that provides reflection on scripture, discussion, prayer, and practical tools for churches who want to connect with and serve the needs of their local community.

The Growing Good Toolkit is based on a three-year research project from Theos and Church Urban Fund that explored the relationship between social action, growth, and discipleship in churches across England. This research identified five common themes shared by churches that are growing faithfulness and fruitfulness:

  • presence,
  • perseverance,
  • hospitality,
  • adaptability,
  • participation.

For more information, download the Toolkit overview flyer, or visit the Growing Good website.

It’s had great feedback from the churches that piloted the resource, and a personal endorsement from Archbishop Stephen Cottrell, and CUF are looking forward to sharing it more widely throughout 2022. There are case studies, short films, and suggestions for discussion and action, and it is all about celebrating what churches are doing, and how they could be more impactful.

The Church Urban Fund are encouraging churches to consider using the Toolkit during Lent 2022 or later in the year.