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Scene from "The Invisible Woman."

WATCH LIST: January 2014

By Observer Staff

The Invisible Woman
DIRECTED BY RALPH FIENNES, STARRING RALPH FIENNES, FELICITY JONES AND KRISTIN SCOTT THOMAS (BBC Films/Headline Pictures/Magnolia Mae Films)


Nelly Ternan (Felicity Jones) is in her late teens when she first meets Charles Dickens (Ralph Fiennes). The famous novelist, then 45, casts her in a play he’s adapted, and the two begin a secret relationship that spans the rest of his life, inspiring characters and scenes in some of his best-known works. Jan. 10

A Church with the Soul of a Nation: Making and Remaking the United Church of Canada
By PHYLLIS D. AIRHART
(McGill-Queen’s University Press)


Historian Phyllis D. Airhart tells the story of the United Church from the late 19th century onward, describing how its founding vision of a Christian social order unravelled after the Second World War. With secularism on the rise, the uniquely Canadian church realized it had to adapt to a new pluralistic world. Jan. 1

The Age of the Spirit: How the Ghost of an Ancient Controversy Is Shaping the Church
BY PHYLLIS TICKLE AND JON M. SWEENEY (Baker Books)


In 1054, the Christian church split into East and West branches, driven in part by differences over the nature of the Holy Spirit. A thousand years later, interest in the Holy Spirit has revived. Phyllis Tickle and Jon M. Sweeney trace the forces behind today’s great upheaval, heralding in the Age of the Spirit. Jan. 7

Sabbath as Resistance: Saying No to the Culture of Now
BY WALTER BRUEGGEMANN (Westminster John Knox Press)


Often the Sabbath is seen as restrictive — no work, no shopping, no fun. Yet in an age of excessive consumption and incessant distraction, society needs a day of rest like never before. Old Testament scholar Walter Brueggemann encourages readers to pause and embrace the wholeness of life as God intended, one Sabbath at a time. Jan. 31


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