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March 15, 2017 BOOKLIST
Find more Top 10 Religion and Spirituality Books
These 10 titles, reviewed in Booklist between November 15, 2015, and November 1, 2016, cover the world and go back and forth in time, looking at the ways religion has impacted both individuals and society.
Apostle: Travels among the Tombs of the Twelve. By Tom Bissell. 2016. Pantheon, $27.95 (9780375424663).
Bissell melds travelogue with intensive biblical scholarship as he visits the tombs of the 12 apostles. A thoughtful journey to be savored.
The Big Question: Why We Can’t Stop Talking about Science, Faith, and God. By Alister McGrath. 2015. St. Martin’s, $28 (9781250077929).
This challenge to twenty-first-century New Atheists offers a perspective in which science and faith enrich rather than threaten each other. Profound engagement with life-defining issues.
Finding Peace through Spiritual Practice: The Interfaith Amigos’ Guide to Personal, Social, and Environmental Healing. By Don Mackenzie and others. 2016. Skylight Paths, $16.99 (9781594736049).
These interfaith friends, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim, take on the big topics and show how spiritual practices can inspire readers to action.
Genghis Khan and the Quest for God: How the World’s Greatest Conqueror Gave Us Religious Freedom. By Jack Weatherford. 2016. Viking, $28 (9780735221154).
Weatherford’s fascinating history makes the case that the Mongol leader’s policies concerning religion—allowing his subjects the unfettered practice of their various faiths—anticipates those of the U.S.
God’s Armies, Crusade and Jihad: Origins, History, Aftermath. By Malcolm Lambert. 2016. Pegasus, $27.95 (9781681772240).
This intensive look at the Crusades allows readers to experience the epic journeys and bloody battles while introducing the leading personalities of a tumultuous time. The continuing effects of religious wars are also explored
How God Became God: What Scholars Are Really Saying about God and the Bible. By Richard Smoley. 2016. Tarcher, $19 (9780399185557).
This look at what state-of-the art scholarship says about the Bible’s historicity keeps the pages turning. The book also succeeds at providing a better understanding of what God is in mainstream and mystical Christianity, as informed by Jewish tradition.
The Murderous History of Bible Translations: Power, Conflict, and the Quest for Meaning. By Harry Freedman. 2016. Bloomsbury, $28 (9781632866011).
Freedman’s engrossing history of biblical translations documents the high human cost of the easy availability of Bibles, including the deaths of translators. A fascinating look at a tangled backstory.
A None’s Story: Searching for Meaning inside Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, and Islam. By Corinna Nicolaou. 2016. Columbia Univ., $35 (9780231173940).
Humorously and respectfully recounted, this follows Nicolaou’s journey as a “none,” not an atheist but someone who does not identify with a specific religion, as she explores the four largest faith communities in America.
Rescuing Jesus: How People of Color, Women, & Queer Christians Are Reclaiming Evangelicalism. By Deborah Jian Lee. 2015. Beacon, $26.96 (9780807033470).
In this timely book, Lee writes as the journalist she is but also uses her strong narrative skill as she describes how the evangelical church is evolving because of the infusion of the young, people of color, and members of the LGBTQ community.
Threading My Prayer Rug: One Woman’s Journey from Pakistani Muslim to American Muslim. By Sabeeha Rehman. 2016. Arcade, $25.99 (9781628726633).
The immigrant’s dilemma of retaining one’s identity while assimilating into American society is always intriguing. In this autobiography, readers experience Rehman’s transformation from a young woman in Pakistan to a Pakistani American in New York.
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