This page will be changing frequently! If you have book recommendations – please feel free to post a comment here or elsewhere.
What I’m reading right now
E.P. Sanders, Jesus and Judaism
Wendy Mogel, Blessing of a Skinned Knee
John Shelby Spong, Living in Sin
Some of the Books I’ve read
Sumbul Ali-Karamli, The Muslim Next Door
Anonymous, The Way of the Pilgrim – about a Russian peasant in the 19th century who devotes his life to reciting the Jesus prayer (Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me) and living as a wandering pilgrim. Seems to me like a brilliant case of pre-Internet viral marketing for the Eastern Orthodox book The Philokalia which is constantly referenced. On a more serious note, it is an interesting example of Eastern Orthodox spirituality – and it seems to me to have features in common with traditions of Eastern meditation.
Karen Armstrong, A History of God*
Karen Armstrong, The Battle for God*
Karen Armstrong, The Case for God*
Reza Aslan, No god but God: The Origins, Evolution and Future of Islam*
Courtney Bender, Heaven’s Kitchen: Living Religion at God’s Love We Deliver* A fascinating exploration of the role of faith and spirituality among volunteers at God’s Love We Deliver -the non-profit organization that serves meals to homebound victims of AIDS. The author is professor of the Sociology of Religion at Columbia University.
Peter Berger, The Desecularization of the World: Resurgent Religion and World Politics*
A Testament to Freedom, The Essential Writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer (edited by G.B. Kelly and F.B Nelson)
Marcus Borg, Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time*
Marcus Borg, The Heart of Christianity*
Cynthia Bourgeault, Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening
Frederick Buechner, The Alphabet of Grace*
Francis Collins, The Language of God
Grace Davie, The Sociology of Religion*
Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion* I disagree with many of the points in this book (as I will explain in posts) but of the ‘new atheist’ books I’ve read I think this one is my favorite. He is clear, coherent, and I give him extra points for his excellent sense of humor. He makes a worthy opponent, as opposed to some others.
Daniel Dennett, Breaking the Spell
Dennis Dutton, The Art Instinct
John Esposito & Dalia Mogahed, Who Speaks for Islam?: What a Billion Muslims Really Think
Jonathan Haidt, The Happiness Hypothesis
Sam Harris, The End of Faith – the only part of this book that is marginally worth reading is the last chapter where Harris talks about Eastern Spirituality. Otherwise, you can either read this or Hitchens – both of them focus on the same critiques of religion based on the evils that have been done in the name of religion in the past. They are both pretty poorly structured rants and in some ways I find Harris’ even more problematic because of his no holds barred attack on Muslims. If Al Qaeda needed any further ammunition to prove how the West is out to get all of Islam, they have got all they need in this book.
Sam Harris, The Moral Landscape
Sam Harris, Free Will
John Haught, God and the New Atheism
Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow, The Grand Design
John H. Hayes and Carl R. Holladay, Biblical Exegesis: A Beginner’s Handbook
Christopher Hitchens, God is NOT Great In contrast to Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion stands Christopher Hitchen’s rambling diatribe against all the horrors he has seen in his years as a journalist. I believe he has seen terrible things committed in the name of religion. I do not believe he can write a coherent book. I particularly take issue with this book because most people who study these sorts of conflicts recognize that religion is simply an excuse used by those in power to justify violence that is pursued to achieve economic or political objectives. Religion certainly helps stoke the flames, but absent religion other sources of ignition would, and have been, found. The lack of depth in his analysis of these conflicts leaves me underwhelmed.
Dennis P. Hollinger, The Meaning of Sex: Christian Ethics and the Moral Life
Michael Horton, God of Promise
William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience
Malcom Jeeves & Warren S. Brown, Neuroscience, Psychology and Religion
Timothy Keller, The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism*
Soren Kierkegaard, The Sickness unto Death
Bernard Lewis & Buntzie Ellis Churchill, Islam: The Religion and the People
C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
Dr. Armand Nicholi, The Question of God* This book is a comparative biography of C.S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud, written by a professor of psychiatry at the Harvard School of Medicine. This book was one of the books that started me on my new spiritual path. Of particular interest are the professor’s references to the positive impact that faith has had on the psychological health of some of his students.
Derek Parfit, Reasons and Persons
Albert Schweitzer, The Quest of the Historical Jesus*
John Shelby Spong, Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism
Victor Stenger, The New Atheists*
Gerd Theissen and Annette Merz, The Historical Jesus: A Comprehensive Guide*
Paul Tillich, Systematic Theology
Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations*
Robert Wright, The Evolution of God