Religion Book Reviews (page 177)

THE SOUL OF THE AMERICAN UNIVERSITY by George M. Marsden
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 1, 1994

"Jewish or Catholic institutions, most Southern and African-American colleges, and conservative Protestant colleges."
In pleading for universities to give religious teachings the same respect they give feminist and multicultural perspectives, Marsden (History/Notre Dame, The Secularization of the Academy, etc.) cogently argues that major American universities, founded essentially as religious institutions, are now so hostile to religion that they largely exclude religious viewpoints. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 1994

"A realistic yet positive approach to the great questions of death and life, the value of the human person, and faith."
A moving and highly personal account of Roman Catholic priest Morrissey's work with the terminally ill as a member of the Visiting Nurse Service of New York City. Read full book review >

RELIGION
Released: April 1, 1994

"She too easily confuses the Catholic Church that banned her with Christianity as a whole."
German theologian Ranke-Heinemann (Eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven, 1990), who was barred from teaching by the Vatican because of her view that the Virgin Birth is a theological idea rather than a biological truth, discusses some of the traditional teachings of the Christian faith and the Catholic church in this pedantic and overly didactic volume. Read full book review >
RESURRECTION by John Shelby Spong
RELIGION
Released: March 21, 1994

The Episcopal bishop of Newark, New Jersey (Living in Sin?, etc.—not reviewed), offers a controversial view of the key element in Christianity—the resurrection of Jesus. Read full book review >
NEVER ALONE by Joseph F. Girzone
RELIGION
Released: March 11, 1994

"A refreshing alternative to the feel-good bromides on the personal religion market."
The author of the best-selling Joshua series offers a practical guide to the challenges and pitfalls of the Christian's spiritual life. Read full book review >

HISTORY
Released: March 1, 1994

"And his subject, genocide in Eastern Europe, is right up to date."
In the summer of 1942, the Nazis rounded up 300,000 Jews at the Umschlagplatz (Transfer Square) in Warsaw for deportation to death camps. Read full book review >
RELIGION
Released: March 1, 1994

"Likely to appeal to social historians and cynics everywhere."
The commercialization of religion, discussed in a detailed historical survey that is also a critique of American religiosity. Read full book review >
RELIGION
Released: Feb. 15, 1994

"More journalistic than inspired or in any way convincing."
Rebirth of the story of Isis and Osiris in modern times: the 12th book by Cott (Wandering Ghost, 1991, etc.), a contributing editor for Rolling Stone and Parabola. Read full book review >
RELIGION
Released: Jan. 31, 1994

"Belongs alongside Martin Marty and R. Scott Appleby's The Glory and the Power (1992) as a notable study of orthodoxy and its political ramifications."
An informative history, previously published (1991) in France, of one of this century's more unexpected developments— the explosive popularity of religious orthodoxy. Read full book review >
ROOTS SCHMOOTS by Howard Jacobson
RELIGION
Released: Jan. 21, 1994

"Despite some nice miniatures, a snide, rather pointless, lazy book."
In his fiction (Redback, 1987; Peeping Tom, 1985, etc.) and now with this travelogue/sociologue/personalogue about his semi-Jewishness, Jacobson seems fated never quite to cast off the perception of him as a Philip Roth wannabe perpetually one step behind (both in talent and intellectual plasticity) his American master. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Jan. 20, 1994

"A difficult and very affecting odyssey, told with charm and grace."
Kopelnitsky—a young Jewish girl from the Ukraine—keeps a moving diary about her family's emigration to America. Read full book review >
RELIGION
Released: Jan. 19, 1994

An incisive study of ancient religion and the rise of belief in an impending apocalypse, by the author of the classic study The Pursuit of the Millennium. 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 >