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Find more Top 10 Religion and Spirituality Books
A wide range of religious thought appears in this top 10 list, which features books reviewed between November 15, 2013, and November 1, 2014.
American Crucifixion: The Murder of Joseph Smith and the Fate of the Mormon Church. By Alex Beam. 2014. PublicAffairs, $26.99 (9781610393133).
A captivating look at Smith’s rise and fall and at the colorful cast who contributed to the internal politics that led to Smith’s death, driving the Mormons forward to their destiny.
America’s Pastor: Billy Graham and the Shaping of a Nation. By Grant Wacker. 2014. Harvard/Belknap, $27.95 (9780674052185).
Rather than a biography, this is an appraisal of the roles Graham, the great evangelist, played during his career, which began during the late 1930s and extended through his last crusade in 2005.
Rodriguez brilliantly examines his continuing belief in God and in the Catholic Church in the context of his life as a gay man
Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence. By Karen Armstrong. 2014. Knopf, $30 (9780307957047).
Biblical scholar Armstrong again impresses with the breadth of her knowledge as she explains the relationship between religion and violence and how it arose.
Leaving Alexandria: A Memoir of Faith and Doubt. By Richard Holloway. 2013. Canongate, $14.95 (9780857860743).
Holloway, former bishop of Edinburgh, presents a nuanced view of religion and discusses his struggles as he veered between doubt and belief.
Rebbe: The Life and Teachings of Menachem M. Schneerson, the Most Influential Rabbi in Modern History. By Joseph Telushkin. 2014. HarperWave, $29.99 (9780062318985).
This highly readable book details the life of the Jewish religious leader who started a worldwide outreach movement to his fellow Jews—and who some of his followers felt was the long-awaited Messiah.
In this bracing, fascinating, and utterly timely exploration of music, race, and cultural identity, Aidi examines young European and American Muslims and their search for what he calls, “a nonracist utopia.”
Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace. By Anne Lamott. 2014. Riverhead, $22.95 (9781594486296).
Lamott is irreverent, hilarious, thoughtful, wise, and smart by turn, in this much-anticipated volume of new and selected essays.
The Story of the Jews: Finding the Words, 1000 BC–1492 AD. By Simon Schama. 2014. Ecco, $39.95 (9780060539184).
An unconventional but masterful and deeply felt history of the Jews, which seamlessly integrates themes of art, religion, and ethnicity as it illustrates how Jews both influenced and were influenced by those they lived among for more than 1,500 years.
Why Science Does Not Disprove God. By Amir D. Aczel. 2014. Morrow, $27.99 (9780062230591).
Aczel, a mathematician, wields impressive intellectual weapons in countering the New Atheists’ claims that science has disproven the existence of God
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