A holy history of hairy faces
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'As informative as it is entertaining - read it, you won't regret it' Paula Gooder Beards have had cultural and religious significance for thousands of years. A fascinating story is to be told of the religious significance of beards from the ancient civilisations to today. This book will survey beard theology from ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome and Mesopotamia, to the Jews of Jesus's day and through to the early Church fathers who strongly promoted the beard, the Latin church which outlawed it leading up to and after the Great Schism of 1054. We will pursue the story of the protestant reformers and leaders of the evangelical revival of the 19th century all had plenty to say about the beard. This largely untold and intriguing story of the religious significance of beards and will contain a series of entertaining true historical stories, such as the cardinal who lost the papacy due to his beard, the female pharaoh who wore the fake beard and how beards were cited in the papal bull of excommunication that formalised the split of the Eastern and Western churches in the great schism. As well as providing a unique historical narrative, it also provides a subtle basis for reflection on current theological disputes and debates, gently inviting you to consider what parallels there are to the historical theological disputes which today seem trivial but caused heated passions in their day. It will entertain and inform in equal measure. 'A profound exploration of the way beliefs turn to rules . . . smart, funny and absolutely fascinating' Cole Moreton
It's in the book's many diversions that the real joy is to be had * Premier Christianity * 'Smart, funny and absolutely fascinating. Lurking behind all that facial hair is an unexpectedly profound exploration of the way beliefs turn to rules and change the way we look and act. You'd think a man calling himself Mouse and writing about beards would be hiding something, but this book is wonderfully revealing about human nature.' Cole Moreton, writer & broadcaster Despite not having a beard (the occasional pre-menopausal random chin hair aside) this is a hairy good read. Beard theology? I mean, who knew? A must-read for everyone from 70s-style Oxbridge chin-stroking theologians to church-in-an-industrial-unit hipster evangelicals. * Revd Kate Bottley, priest in North Nottinghamshire & BBC Radio 2 presenter * On the face of it, tracking the history and theology of men's facial hair throughout the Bible and the history of the Church may "be-a-rd-iffi cult" concept for some of us to take seriously. But I "moustache-sure" you that it leads to an unusual yet intriguing read. Beyond the fuzz Mouse helps us to explore male identity, gender disparity, cultural appropriation and the contextualisation of the gospel. This book does not shortcut the issues, trim off the rough bits or split unnecessary theological hairs. Razor sharp in its wit and charm, it off ers us a whisker-stop tour of all sorts of hairy and prickly issues. * Dr Krish Kandiah, Founding Director of Home for Good & author of God is Stranger and Paradoxology * I love this hirsute "horrible history" of the Church. It's funny, enlightening and completely novel - which is some achievement given the history of Christendom! * Revd Dave Tomlinson, vicar & author of Black Sheep and Prodigals * Ever wondered about beards and their theology? No, me neither, but this little book has persuaded me that I should have. It is as informative as it is entertaining - read it, you won't regret it. * Dr Paula Gooder, Chancellor of St Paul's Cathedral, London *
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