Christian Retailing

Random House launches new Christian imprint Print Email
Written by Eric Tiansay   
Thursday, 08 November 2012 11:00 PM America/New_York

The Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, has announced the launch of Convergent Books, a new Christian imprint. Random House is the parent company of WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group, comprising WaterBrook Press and Multnomah Books.

Convergent will "explore the contemporary faith experience for a broad range of Christians who are drawn to an open, inclusive and culturally engaged exploration of faith," company officials said.

Convergent will publish approximately eight to 10 books per year, which will be written by "leading voices who are giving new shape and direction to Christianity," company officials said. Debuting in fall 2013, the imprint will feature five books, including Losing Your Faith, Finding Your Soul by David Anderson; The Quaker Way by Philip Gulley; A Necessary Rebellion by Elizabeth Esther; Good God, Lousy World and Me by Holly Burkhalter; and Who's There by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove.

The imprint, based in Colorado Springs, Colo., like WaterBrook Press and Multnomah Books, will be headed by Stephen W. Cobb, president and publisher of Crown's Christian imprints for the past 11 years.

"The audience for Convergent Books represents a growing movement of consumers," he said. "These readers typically don't see themselves as either liberal or conservative, evangelical or mainline. Yet they frame their spiritual journey in Christian terms, and they're absolutely passionate about what theologian Brian McLaren has called, 'the sacred endeavor of loving God and neighbor, stranger, alien, outsider, outcast and enemy.' Convergent will publish writers who offer fresh perspectives in this important contemporary dialogue."

Cobb told Christian Retailing that he "doesn't see any impact" from Convergent Books on WaterBrook Press and Multnomah Books. "They will continue to publish with the same mission and scope as before," he said.

Last month, Germany's Bertelsmann media company and British publisher Pearson agreed to merge the book publishing units Random House and Penguin Group, forming the new Penguin Random House company, said to be the world's largest publisher of consumer books. Bertelsmann owns Random House. WaterBrook Multnomah officials declined comment on the move, but the Oct. 29 merger "should have little impact" on Christian publishing, according to industry observers.

Click here for more information on Convergent Books.