Religion Book Reviews (page 2)

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 >
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 >
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 >
ARDOR by Roberto Calasso
RELIGION
Released: Nov. 18, 2014

"'The whole of Vedic India was an attempt to think further,' writes Calasso. He demands no less from his readers."
An alternately illuminating and baffling exploration of the primary texts of Indian philosophy and religion. Read full book review >
CHRIST ACTUALLY by James Carroll
RELIGION
Released: Nov. 18, 2014

"An in-depth, thought-provoking challenge to two millennia of Christian interpretation."
To understand Jesus today, writes novelist and religion expert Carroll (Warburg in Rome, 2014, etc.), he must first be understood as a Jew.Read full book review >
THE GREAT REFORMER by Austen Ivereigh
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 18, 2014

"A quick, efficient job of fairly sketching this extraordinary life."
An admiring defense of the new pope, who is not afraid to shake things up. Read full book review >
Myth and Ideology : Creating History in the Bible by Stuart A. West
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 16, 2014

"A bitter pill for ultra-Orthodox Jews; others will find the intellectual adventure quite thrilling."
A highly detailed textual analysis of the Old Testament. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Frank Bruni
March 31, 2015

Over the last few decades, Americans have turned college admissions into a terrifying and occasionally devastating process, preceded by test prep, tutors, all sorts of stratagems, all kinds of rankings, and a conviction among too many young people that their futures will be determined and their worth established by which schools say yes and which say no. In Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be, New York Times columnist Frank Bruni explains why, giving students and their parents a new perspective on this brutal, deeply flawed competition and a path out of the anxiety that it provokes. “Written in a lively style but carrying a wallop, this is a book that family and educators cannot afford to overlook as they try to navigate the treacherous waters of college admissions,” our reviewer writes. View video >