Religion Book Reviews (page 2)

ISLAM AND THE FUTURE OF TOLERANCE by Sam Harris
RELIGION
Released: Oct. 6, 2015

"A wider range of viewpoints might have made this discussion even more valuable, but readers with a knee-jerk opinion of Islam will learn a lot."
Can an American atheist who has said that "the West is at war with Islam" and a secular, former Islamist Muslim find common ground? Read full book review >
NOT IN GOD'S NAME by Jonathan Sacks
RELIGION
Released: Oct. 6, 2015

"A humane, literate, and sincere book, one with something truly new to say."
A remarkable exploration of the reasons behind religious violence and solutions for stopping it. Read full book review >

The Still Small Voice of Jesus by Maggie Eriksson
RELIGION
Released: Sept. 30, 2015

"A joyful assertion of the rewards of a one-to-one relationship with Jesus Christ."
A series of reflections on the nature of Christian faith. Read full book review >
CHURCH OF SPIES by Mark Riebling
HISTORY
Released: Sept. 29, 2015

"Not only a dramatic disclosure of the Vatican's covert actions, but also an absorbing, polished story for all readers of World War II history."
Riebling (Wedge: The Secret War Between the FBI and CIA, 1994), an expert on secret intelligence, compellingly explores the papacy's involvement in espionage during World War II.Read full book review >
BLACK FLAGS by Joby Warrick
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 29, 2015

"Warrick stops short of offering policy solutions, but he provides a valuable, readable introduction to a pressing international security threat."
Crisply written, chilling account of the personalities behind the emergence of the Islamic State, or ISIS. Read full book review >

Sightseeing in the Undiscovered Country by Louisa Oakley Green
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: Sept. 23, 2015

"A compassionate, intelligent survey of supernatural experiences."
The wife of a psychic gathers reports from everyday people who believe they've glimpsed the beyond. Read full book review >
A STREET DIVIDED by Dion Nissenbaum
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 22, 2015

"A must-read for anyone interested in the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian drama."
The revealing story of a street "at the epicenter of one of the world's most intractable conflicts." Read full book review >
RELIGION
Released: Sept. 15, 2015

"While Thavis makes no attempt to verify or disprove the authenticity of the phenomena he covers, his book is an engaging introduction to the subject for lay readers—though it may prove dull for those expecting the drama of The Da Vinci Code."
From angelic apparitions to demonic possessions, the realm of the supernatural makes its presence felt in Catholic communities around the world—but the Vatican often maintains a certain distance. Read full book review >
Faith, Doubt, Mystery by James J. Tracy
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 3, 2015

"A sympathetic but unflinchingly honest testament of indoctrination and embattled faith."
An affecting account of one man's experiences with the Catholic faith. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"An incisive sociological lens on a religion in flux, which, though centuries distant, continues to hold relevance for the present day."
How evangelical missionaries, dispatched from New England to the Ottoman Empire in the early 19th century, failed spectacularly to convert the Muslim masses but had a lasting impact on the face of American Christianity. Read full book review >
POPE FRANCIS by Paul Vallely
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"Discovering a pope with a controversial past and a revolutionary style of leadership in the present, Vallely provides a highly worthwhile resource for Catholics and non-Catholics alike."
An exhaustive look at the newest pope. Read full book review >
THE GRAMMAR OF GOD by Aviya Kushner
RELIGION
Released: Aug. 18, 2015

"A paean, in a way, to the rigors and frustrations—and ultimate joys—of trying to comprehend the unfathomable."
A freelancer debuts with a memoir/disquisition about the Hebrew Bible and the difficulties—linguistic and personal—that translators into English have faced. 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 >