Study Materials & Resources

On this page we gather study resources that members of the CSBV have written. These are all free to download. We welcome feedback!

Hidden in Plain Sight – The Violence That Surrounds Us

A study guide released March 2024 inviting us to reflect on the many ways in which violence manifests itself in our world. This guide was written in the aftermath of the October 2023 Hamas attack on Israel, which once again brought the complex and tragic situation of Israel-Palestine to the world’s attention.

Violence in Worship

Why should we watch our language in public worship week by week? And what might it mean to begin to do this? The aim of this collection of resources is to begin to answer both those questions, and to offer some tools for ministers and other interested people to reflect on the words used in worship week by week and to ask whether they are fit for purpose. Click on the titles to access the content.

Some Reflections on the Purpose and Problems of Music in Worship
A Checklist for Worship Leaders
Thematic Reflection: Hymns & Songs of Warfare
Thematic Reflection: Hymans & Songs of Violent Atonement
Thematic Reflection: Hymns & Songs of Nationalism

The Bible Doesn’t Tell Us So

A six-part video-led group study to equip the church to resist domestic abuse and coercive control created to work alongside on Helen Paynter‘s book “The Bible Doesn’t Tell Me So”.

(please note, we suggest a £3 donation per participant for this study)

A Declaration on the “Russian World” (Russkii Mir) – Teaching Study Guide

Six studies on the Declaration on the “Russian World”

On March 13 2022, the Orthodox Christian Studies Center of Fordham University posted online A Declaration on the “Russian World” (Russkii Mir) Teaching. The Russkii Mir teaching, which the Declaration challenges, has been promoted by certain branches of the Russian Orthodox Church in order to justify the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Along with many Christians from a wide range of ecclesial traditions, we have been pleased to sign this statement in solidarity with our Orthodox brothers and sisters.

Drawing on the Bible and the teachings and practise of Orthodoxy, the Declaration is addressed specifically to the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but there would seem to be much in it that has a wider relevance to the church at large and that challenges us in the churches of Western Europe and North America.

In response to this, CSBV research associate Peter King has written a short study guide for use by church study groups or individuals. Over six sessions, participants are invited to join in solidarity with those who journey with us in the Orthodox Churches in reading and reflecting on the Declaration. As we do so we ask ourselves what it might be saying to us in our very different churches and contexts, that together we might grow in our understanding of what it means to be the People of God in a violent and fragmented world.

God of Violence Yesterday, God of Love Today?

Six studies based on Helen Paynter’s book of that name.

Reading the Bible Responsibly

Three Old Testament studies by Peter King.

What does it mean to read the Bible responsibly? I would suggest that responsible reading of the Bible is reading aware of other ways in which our sacred texts can be understood and interpreted. A responsible reading will be open to the voices of all who have read and engaged with the text, whatever their perspective, and will seek to engage with the challenges they raise for our understanding of the story, however difficult this might be for the community of faith.

Above all else, we need to be honest, both about the way in which the text in question has been interpreted through the Christian tradition, and the important
ethical and religious questions it raises now. This means that we need to look beyond our own assumptions about the text, informed as they may be by sermons and commentaries, and approach it with an openness to having our minds changed.

“I’ve never liked this story”

Four linked studies wrestling with issues of inclusion and exclusion brought up by ‘The Parable of the Ten Virgins’, also know as ‘The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins’, from the New Testament, by Peter King.

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