The Things He Said: The Story of The First Easter Day

Cottrell, Stephen
SPCK (2009)
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Bishop Stephen Cottrell has surely become the leading exponent of the short book. Following on from the great success of The things He Carried, on the passion and death of Jesus, he remarks in his introduction to his latest work that the calls of Jesus from the cross (known as the "Seven Last Words") have received a great deal of attention but there has been much less consideration of what Jesus said after his Resurrection.

The book is divided more or less neatly into reflections on John 20, centering on Mary Magdalene and Jesus and Luke 24, centering on the Emmaus 'liturgy'. What he has to say about the texts is pertinent but the best passages are the imaginative reflections, notably the prose poem on pre Resurrection darkness, on what it must have been like to be there which go far beyond the cheap Freudianism of Peter's guilt trip.

Just because the book is so beautiful and short, you have no excuse to read it during the forty days after Easter.

Kevin Carey