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


Loss, Transition – and the Gospel of Lament

Dr Karl Möller

On 15 February 2020, Karl Möller and Nicki Pennington facilitated a day on loss, transition and the gospel of lament. Taking Psalm 137, arguably one of the most difficult texts of the Old Testament, as the starting point, the day explored lament as:

  • honest prayer;
  • passionate clinging to God;
  • liberating voicing of anger;
  • struggle against chaos;
  • exposure of violence;
  • demand for justice;
  • resistance against hopelessness, numbness, voicelessness and dehumanisation;
  • a transformative process of empowerment;
  • entailing the seeds of hope;
  • gospel.
The Revd Nicki Pennington

We considered what the process of lament and letting go might have to offer to the church today, as we transition from being a church at the centre to a church on the edge. Reflecting on Isaiah 49:1-6, a text offering hope and a new vision to the people in exile, we explored how loss can turn into a fresh vision and renewed hope, with new opportunities emerging for a church on the edge.

The day ended with an act of worship, which included some prayer stations on loss, struggle, brokenness and exile.

The full text of Karl’s notes on the gospel of lament is available in our Resources section.