Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Top Religion and Spirituality Books of 2015

Booklist, which is a free online and print magazine you can pick every month at our main desk, recently shared their top 10 religion and spirituality books of 2015.  Learn more about the top picks below, and check them out from the library by clicking on the titles!

Augustine: Conversions to Confessions by Robin Lane Fox
Fox’s richly detailed narrative takes readers beyond Augustine’s conversion through 11 years of further transformations. Exceptionally insightful.

Battling the Gods: Atheism in the Ancient World by Tim Whitmarsh
Whitmarsh traces a lineage of unbelievers among the ancient Greeks that includes the historian Thucydides, the philosopher Democritus, and the poet Diagoras of Melos. An intriguing look at early atheists.

The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope by Austen Ivereigh
Although there are many books on Pope Francis, consider this presentational biography, which draws upon his early writing and public statements, as well as the testimony of friends and associates, as the cornerstone of any Francis collection.

How to Read the Bible and Still Be a Christian: Struggling with Divine Violence from Genesis through Revelation by John Dominic Crossan
In this substantial but accessible book, Crossan, an expert on the historical Jesus, urges readers to note the history and cultural background against which biblical events occurred and proposes viewing the nonviolent Jesus movement—and not some apocalyptic bloodbath—as Christian centrality.

The Mahabharata: A Modern Retelling by Carole Satyamurti
An indelible epic that dramatizes the implications of dharma—Hinduism’s moral and religious laws—this version of the Mahabharata is an exquisitely lucid and involving retelling.

Not in God’s Name: Confronting Religious Violence by Jonathan Sacks
Sacks embraces religion as the pathway to peace but understands that violence in scripture is disturbing. He digs deep into the Hebrew Bible, finding both a universal justice between all peoples and a profound sense of God’s particularizing love for diverse communities.

One Islam, Many Muslim Worlds: Spirituality, Identity, and Resistance across Islamic Lands by Raymond William Baker
Extremists dominate the headlines, but Baker believes it’s Islamic centrists who are forging Islam’s future. This thoughtful survey provides a much-needed counterweight to dehumanizing caricatures of Islam.

Our Promised Land: Faith and Militant Zionism in Israeli Settlements by Charles Selengut
In this invaluable resource, the author examines Yesha, the movement to reestablish Jewish control of all of biblical Israel by resettlement.

Paradise Now: The Story of American Utopianism by Chris Jennings
A lively yet thoughtful look at utopian communities whose members thought they could bring heaven to earth.

Uncovered: How I Left Hasidic Life and Finally Came Home by Leah Lax
In large part to escape her dysfunctional family, Lax becomes a Hasidic Jew; then, after years in a marriage and seven children, she realizes she is gay, forcing her to make some heartbreaking decisions. An insightful and honest memoir.

Happy reading!

Posted by Kyla Waltermire, Branch Manager-Collinsville