In his latest book, (released in time for Christmas) Rex A E Hunt, a retired Uniting Church minister suggests the festival called Christmas is a celebration still “under construction”. He describes it as “a weaving of story, myth, customs and ritual, which since its inception has been debated, ignored, celebrated, banned and from the mid 1800s, reinvented”.
In his introductory chapter Hugh Mackay looks at the Utopia complex being sold to us by business, the media and general societal pressure. He suggests that the pursuit of happiness can actually make you miserable. We seem to think that happiness is our default position whereas often we grow through pain. Wholeness can involve the whole range of emotions and experiences.
In Sophia & Daughters, Rosalie Sugrue offers reflections on 29 wise women from the Bible, some expressed in dialogue form. Some of the women such as Eve, Sarah, Esther, Ruth, Martha and Lydia are reasonably well known. Others such as Mahlah, Achsah, the wife of Manoah, Joanna and the wife of Cleopas are largely buried in the biblical text.