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This Risen Existence: The Spirit of Easter [Paperback]

Paula Gooder
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
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Book Description

30 Nov 2009
Although Easter is the most significant event in the Christian year, we rarely take time to explore what it means in detail. So much attention is given to Lent, yet the theology of resurrection is central not only to what we believe about God and Jesus, but to our understanding of ourselves. Following the pattern of her Advent book, "The Meaning is in the Waiting", Paula Gooder leads us on a biblical exploration of the resurrection accounts in each of the Gospels and in Paul's writings, as well as the account of the Ascension and coming of the Spirit at Pentecost in Acts. Arranged for daily reading through the seven weeks of Eastertide, "This Risen Existence" opens with an extended reflection on ancient and contemporary understandings of resurrection. Subsequent chapters lead us on an exciting journey of discovery through the New Testament narratives in a quest to discover what resurrection tells us about life after death, the end times and what it actually means to be a Christian.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Canterbury Press Norwich (30 Nov 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1853119962
  • ISBN-13: 978-1853119965
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 12.4 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 309,271 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Paula Gooder was born in Manchester, where she grew up. She went to University in Oxford where she did both her undergraduate and graduate degrees (first at Worcester College then at the Queen's College). After that she taught for twelve years in two different colleges which train people for ministry (Ripon College Cuddesdon and the Queen's Foundation, Birmingham). Her research areas are 2 Corinthians and Paul's religious experiences.
In the end she left teaching in colleges because she realised that trying to juggle looking after children, teaching and desperately trying to write something was impossible. So now she works freelance, teaching and lecturing to a wide range of different people and, at last, writing the many books that have been waiting to be written for a very long time.
She continues to juggle but now only has herself to blame when it all goes wrong.

Product Description


This is the Easter book that Paula Gooder admits she would have liked to have read, one that unpacks what the risen life really means for us in this present moment. That fact must, therefore, say something about the Churches historic ambivalence in this area of faith, and so makes the book hugely important. She has chosen 42 passages from the New Testament for her discussion so if it is read between Easter and Pentecost that would offer six a week for seven weeks (she allows one day off a week). This commitment is prefaced by a concise resum&éacute; of our tangled ideas of what Resurrection signifies its part in the end times, its part in life after death, and its part in the transformation of our present lives. Paula Gooder has an easy style and is not afraid to reveal herself in her writing, yet this is never self-serving, it is always with a clear purpose, to illustrate or clarify a point. Neither does she want to have the last word, to dogmatise. She takes her reader firstly through the gospels, then the epistles, always informative but scattering jewels along the path, revealing the truth that Jesus Christ has transformed the world, and that we can experience God s new age if only we look. Read this book, and your Easter, and the weeks after it, will never be the same again. --The Good Bookstall

About the Author

DR PAULA GOODER is an honorary lecturer at the University of Birmingham, Canon Theologian at Birmingham Cathedral, a Reader in the Church of England and a member of General Synod.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New light on old truth 14 May 2010
Paula Gooder has an absolute arsenal of information at her disposal, and she knows how to use it. Without swamping the reader with technical detail, she shows the relevance and the importance of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Having set myself the 'task' of reading through Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in quick succession, I was stunned by the Jesus I discovered. No wonder people found Him difficult to understand. Paula Gooder succeeds in showing how 'shocking' and surprising the resurrection really was to those who experienced it. Would highly recommend this book for individual study, (have not yet tried it out in Group study).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth a read on the road from Easter to Pentecost 11 July 2010
By Jeremy Bevan TOP 500 REVIEWER
Are you disappointed by Easter ? Paula Gooder is: so often, she remarks, we pause to study and reflect throughout Lent, but once Easter day has passed, we stop all that and carry on as before. If you know that feeling, This Risen Existence could be the perfect antidote. Focusing on the meaning for us of the resurrection, ascension and Pentecost, rather than their historicity, these 42 short meditations range across most of the New Testament. Gooder's gift is to write in a way that blends the insights of the top-notch New Testament scholar with those of the mother with a young family. So she muses on the generosity of God in the resurrection (from John 21 and Ephesians 4), and ponders whether acquiring the habit of `living the resurrection' might be like adjusting to having swapped the contents of the sock and t-shirt drawers around...

Much to inspire here, then, as well as some tough questions. Can we put aside cynicism and pessimism, and practice the `apparently less sophisticated skill of thankfulness', as Ephesians 1 asks ? I enjoyed the questions, though was occasionally frustrated when they were left hanging: if the whole of the cosmos is changed by the resurrection, what does that mean for our relationship with the non-human creation, for example ? And if the world expects Christians to be harbingers of `creativity, new life, hope and a better future', how must we change ? Perhaps a bit uneven, then - and occasionally (to me) a little trite and obvious. But for all that, Gooder's small but powerful book by and large succeeds in what it sets out to do. Worth a read on the road from Easter to Pentecost ? Definitely.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars After Easter 4 Mar 2010
Many books are intended to guide readers through the six weeks of Lent. Few, if any, Lent books say much about what is beyond the Cross of Good Friday and the silent tomb of Holy Saturday. At best Easter is consigned to an epilogue or an appendix. While understandable from the point of view of authors and publishers, for the reader this is frustratingly unsatisfying. Everybody knows that the death of Jesus was not the end of the story.

Paula Gooder has sought to make good this deficiency by writing her own book to take readers from Easter to Pentecost. She does this by offering a series of forty two reflections. Although these could be read on the basis of one a day, six days a week, the layout of the book does not make this easy. In any case, once into any of its highly readable seven chapters most readers will want to carry on to its end.

The first four chapters cover the Gospels, giving due attention to the particular contribution of each writer to our understanding of the resurrection appearances. The fifth chapter contains twelve reflections, all based on verses from the Letters of the New Testament. Chapters six and seven move us on to the Ascension of Jesus and the coming of the Spirit respectively. An introduction which considers what resurrection meant, what it means and how that affects the way we live our lives, is worth reading both before and after the reflections.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gooder, good for all 21 April 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Wish | had found this book a long time ago. Living the risen existence everyday becomes so much more possible now that Paula has shared her perceptions about the epistle writings on the risen Christ. Paul tells us to put on Christ's attitudes and now Paula tells us this is possible and it is! Thank you Paula for being so open to God to work through your interests and passion of words and their inbterpretations.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Going beyond Easter 16 April 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Good to find a book that actually delivers what it promises.

The author goes beyond the Resurrection to explore the little celebrated Ascension of our Lord, Jesus Christ and onto Pentecost.

She does this via her own personal reflections on separate passages from the Bible and she uses occasions from daily life that we can all relate to, to gain deeper insight into this great mystery. The Resurrection, Ascension and Pentecost, when seen, explored and recognised as parts of the greater plan of redemption and love, brings recognition of the awesome God we serve.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bringing it home. 13 May 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Wonderfully written, easy to read. Really brings home the meaning and depth to the Easter message of the Risen Christ Jesus. I would recommend this for anyone who is old to the Christian Faith and New to the Christian Faith.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Life in the Spirit explained. 12 May 2014
By Colin G
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A challenging description of a life lived with the Holy Spirit.
Resurrection power, God in you, with you, for you.
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