Friday, May 26, 2006

On Spirituality & Religion

On Spirituality & Religion: Popular Library ("7-Day") Books Explore A Variety of Perspectives


Madeleine Albright, THE MIGHTY AND THE ALMIGHTY: Reflections on America, God, and World Affairs (HarperCollins, 2006)

Publishers Weekly Interview: “After 9/11 I couldn't pick up a newspaper without thinking about how policy and religion and morality fit together. In the worst case, we're headed toward a religious divide between Islam and the West, and that's really what al-Qaeda wants. In the best case, we'll move toward a world in which there's a broader respect for values that are common to every religion. And so the challenge for policy makers is going to be a way to make religion a force for stability.”

Michael Baigent, THE JESUS PAPERS: Exposing the Greatest Cover-Up In History (HarperSan Francisco, 2006). "Michael Baigent has been much in the news lately, given his failed lawsuit against Dan Brown in a Paris court."

Bart D. Ehrman, MISQUOTING JESUS: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why (HarperSanFrancisco, 2005).

Interview on NPR's FRESH AIR: "Scholar Bart Ehrman's new book explores how scribes -- through both omission and intention -- changed the Bible."

Elizabeth Gilbert, EAT, PRAY, LOVE: One Woman's Search for Everything across Italy, India, and Indonesia (Viking, 2006).

Barbara J. King, Elizabeth Gilbert's Year of Prayer, BookSlut.Com: “If Gilbert prays half as skillfully as she writes, she’s got some divine gifts headed her way.”

Pamela McFarland (Raleigh Library), Memphis Reads Review: “Eat, Pray, Love is a fun and funny read about some very serious subjects. Whenever Gilbert's spiritual quest threatens to get ridiculously New-Age-y, her common sense and humor pull it back to the feet-on-the-ground real world.”

Jacqueline Jakes, GOD'S TROPHY WOMEN: You Are Blessed and Highly Favored (Warner Faith, 2006). The author is the sister of Bishop T.D. Jakes. Book Excerpt: “I know life sometimes can feel like a cocoon of misery. When it does, one enters the greatest battle of the soul: the battle to believe.”

James D. Tabor, THE JESUS DYNASTY: The Hidden History of Jesus, His Royal Family, and the Birth of Christianity (Simon & Schuster, 2006). "James Tabor has studied the earliest surviving documents of Christianity for more than thirty years and has participated in important archeological excavations in Israel. Drawing on this background, Tabor reconstructs for us the movement that sought the spiritual, social, and political redemption of the Jews, a movement led by one family. The Jesus Dynasty offers an alternative version of Christian origins, one that takes us closer than ever to Jesus and his family and followers. The story is surprising and controversial, but exciting as only a long-lost history can be when it is at last recovered."


Matilde Asensi, THE LAST CATO (Rayo, 2006).

Book Description: "Holy relics are disappearing from sacred spots around the world -- and the Vatican will do whatever it takes to stop thieves from their incredible goal; to steal what is left of the scattered and miniscule splinters of the True Cross the Catholic Church has in its possession."

Phillip Roth, EVERYMAN (Houghton Mifflin, 2006)

A S Byatt, "The Dying Animal," New Statesman: “Roth's characters inhabit a truly post-religious world, in which we do not have immortal souls, only sick, lively desire, and the dying of the animal. The title of this new, bleak tale is taken from a mediaeval morality play in which Everyman, the human soul, is called by Death to appear before God's judgment seat. He is deserted by his strength, discretion, beauty, knowledge and five wits, leaving only his Good Works to speak for him at the end.”


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