The beautiful return of religious publishing

Lagged by a few weeks compared to the literary wave, the religious edition will make a remarkable comeback this fall. Relying on recognized feathers, but also risking great challenges, she shows, in a certain way, that difficulties can be a source of creativity. Already roughed up by bad times for the bookstore, religious publishing has suffered, like the entire book chain, the brutal backlash of the Covid-19 pandemic and containment. Which does not prevent daring.

→ MAINTENANCE. “Unprecedented and uncertain situation”: bookstores are banking on the literary re-entry

Three “blockbusters” are announced by the end of September: in order of appearance, Salvator Publishing publishes a monumental annotated Bible, according to the new official liturgical translation adopted in 2013. With more than 25,000 notes, written by 45 exegetes and scholars, the monument – 2,880 pages – will be launched on September 30, feast of Saint Jerome, translator of the Bible. Radically different and innovative, will be released on October 7 at Bayard Jesus. The story of a Word, by Frédéric Boyer, with drawings by Serge Bloch. A sequel, in a way, of the Bible, the founding stories published in 2016. This book “Recounts a contemporary journey through the Gospels”, says the author. Finally, release on October 8 of an impressive collective work by Albin Michel: After Jesus. The invention of Christianity. This book edited by Roselyne Dupont-Roc and Antoine Guggenheim brings together 80 authors recounting the beginnings of the Christian era.

Adrien Candiard on fanaticism

This new school year is also based on “sure values”, particularly in the area of ​​spirituality. Thus we will find, at Éditions du Cerf, the Dominican Jean Druel, or the Dominican Anne Lécu in very beautiful letters addressed To Marie. Martin Steffens publishes two books at DDB, with evocative titles: Walk through the night. Texts of patience and resistance, and Eternity received. Father Zanotti-Sorkine militates For a spiritual revolution (Artège). Finally, the inexhaustible Anselm Grün offers Dealing with conflicts and promises Words for a good life (Salvator). Highly anticipated, in October, Adrien Candiard’s new book on fanaticism (Cerf), and that of Hans Joas, on secularization and the challenges of Christianity (Salvator).

Biographies hold their place in this re-entry, whether spiritual like the itinerary of Madeleine Delbrêl evoked by Raphaël Buyse with All this crowd in our hearts (Bayard), or more political, such as the biographies of Edmond Michelet by Mgr Jacques Perrier or that of the theologian Yves Congar by Étienne Fouilloux (Salvator), while the Deer promises a puzzling and unpublished portrait of Marthe Robin by Conrad de Meester.

When literature takes the world to witness

We will also find several novels explicitly crossed by faith. Starting with the ardent and shameless story of Thibault de Montaigu, describing in Grace the turpitudes and the late vocation of his Franciscan uncle (Plon) or the description with a scalpel of sectarian excesses seen from the inside by Maylis Adhémar with Blessed be Sistine (Julliard).

To read again, the romantic transcription by Étienne de Montety of the assassination of Father Jacques Hamel, carefully describing the dramatic sequence (The Great Trial, Stock). Proof that spirituality is not the preserve of religious publishing. It irritates, fills, displeases or seduces: when literature takes the world to witness and tries to respond to this unfulfilled quest for the other and the most intimate, it also questions the spirit in us.


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