Religion Book Reviews (page 10)

WANTED by Chris Hoke
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 3, 2015

"A liberating, transformative chronicle of how spirituality can foster inspiration and hope while emboldening the downtrodden through their darkest days."
A jail chaplain's memoir of a life spent ministering to the prison populations of northwestern Washington. Read full book review >
GOD'S BANKERS by Gerald Posner
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 3, 2015

"A meticulous work that cracks wide open the Vatican's legendary, enabling secrecy."
A dogged reporter exhaustively pursues the nefarious enrichment of the Vatican, from the Borgias to Pope Francis. Read full book review >

ONE NATION, UNDER GODS by Peter Manseau
HISTORY
Released: Jan. 27, 2015

"An eye-opener. After reading Manseau, readers will see the influences he writes about not only dot, but shape, the landscape."
Smithsonian fellow Manseau (Rag and Bone: A Journey Among the World's Holy Dead, 2009, etc.) unspools a web of gods who have had an impact on the development of the United States.Read full book review >
THE NUNS OF SANT'AMBROGIO by Hubert Wolf
HISTORY
Released: Jan. 13, 2015

"An eye-opening story of evil in a holy place."
The long-hidden story of the ultimate convent scandal, masterfully retold. Read full book review >
RELIGION
Released: Jan. 9, 2015

"A field guide of armchair psychological diagnostics to be used within a congregation."
A pastor trained in psychology examines the personality dynamics at work in any diverse congregation. Read full book review >

The Wisdom of Huineng, Chinese Buddhist Philosopher by Chu Dongwei
RELIGION
Released: Jan. 2, 2015

"A comprehensive, landmark English translation of a key Buddhist text."
A new, scholarly translation of the Platform Sutra of seventh-century Buddhist philosopher Huineng, among other works. Read full book review >
Wrestling with God by Daniel Arnold
RELIGION
Released: Dec. 6, 2014

"A comprehensive, intensely readable analysis of the broader significances of a well-known biblical tale."
An exhaustive exegesis of the Book of Jonah. Read full book review >
LIVING THE SECULAR LIFE by Phil Zuckerman
RELIGION
Released: Dec. 4, 2014

"As Zuckerman makes clear, without resorting to smugness, secularity is not nothing but rather a way of living that enhances moral virtues and promotes human decency."
Zuckerman (Sociology and Secular Studies/Pitzer Coll.; Faith No More: Why People Reject Religion, 2011, etc.) seeks to sever the association of secularity with nothingness.Read full book review >
CHRISTENDOM DESTROYED by Mark Greengrass
HISTORY
Released: Dec. 2, 2014

"A tour de force of scholarship that begins with a gradual and accessible buildup and then descends, like the century, into a convulsion of dynastic entanglements."
Greengrass (Emeritus, Early Modern History/Univ. of Sheffield; Living with Religious Diversity in Early Modern Europe, 2009, etc.) reaches deeply behind the early myth of a united Europe.Read full book review >
ENEMIES OF THE GOSPEL by Veronica Ligteringen
RELIGION
Released: Dec. 2, 2014

"A brief, upbeat endorsement of the Apostles' faith in Christ that should please the firmly faithful."
Ligteringen's debut theological work investigates the messages of the Apostles and the impact on modern Christians. Read full book review >
BEN-GURION by Anita Shapira
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 25, 2014

"A brief but full-color biography of an essential leader."
In her valuable new biography, Shapira (Emerita, Humanities/Tel Aviv Univ.; Israel: A History, 2012) provides a concise appraisal of a founding father of the nation that was once only the dream of generations.Read full book review >
IN THE SHADOW OF ZION by Adam Rovner
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 21, 2014

"A conceptually challenging intellectual history of the global search for a Jewish homeland."
Travel down some of the lesser-known roads to Jerusalem with an expert guide. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Michael Eric Dyson
February 2, 2016

In Michael Eric Dyson’s rich and nuanced book new book, The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America, Dyson writes with passion and understanding about Barack Obama’s “sad and disappointing” performance regarding race and black concerns in his two terms in office. While race has defined his tenure, Obama has been “reluctant to take charge” and speak out candidly about the nation’s racial woes, determined to remain “not a black leader but a leader who is black.” Dyson cogently examines Obama’s speeches and statements on race, from his first presidential campaign through recent events—e.g., the Ferguson riots and the eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney in Charleston—noting that the president is careful not to raise the ire of whites and often chastises blacks for their moral failings. At his best, he spoke with “special urgency for black Americans” during the Ferguson crisis and was “at his blackest,” breaking free of constraints, in his “Amazing Grace” Charleston eulogy. Dyson writes here as a realistic, sometimes-angry supporter of the president. View video >