Religion Book Reviews (page 8)

IF THE OCEANS WERE INK by Carla Power
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 7, 2015

"Intelligent and exceptionally informative."
An award-winning journalist's account of the year she spent probing the meaning of the Quran with a conservative Muslim religious scholar. Read full book review >
ONE NATION UNDER GOD by Kevin K. Kruse
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: April 7, 2015

"In a book for readers from both parties, Kruse ably demonstrates how the simple ornamental mottoes 'under God' and 'In God We Trust,' as well as the fight to define America as Christian, were parts of a clever business plan."
Kruse (History/Princeton Univ.; White Flight: Atlanta and the Making of Modern Conservatism, 2007, etc.) explains the links between capitalism and Christianity.Read full book review >

AGNOSTIC by Lesley Hazleton
RELIGION
Released: April 5, 2015

"Atheists and devout worshipers alike may never accept the agnostics' philosophy. But even in defense of simply not knowing, Hazleton does not deny possibilities; she denies only assured and implacable dogma."
A seasoned reporter on religion and an old hand on the Middle East beat, Hazleton (The First Muslim: The Story of Muhammad, 2013, etc.) is Jewish by blood and convent-educated by nuns. After more than a decade in Jerusalem, she finds that accepted pious practice is not for her.Read full book review >
ORDINARY LIGHT by Tracy K. Smith
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 2, 2015

"Guilt and regret pervade Smith's recollection of her mother's illness and death, darkening the edges of this light-filled memoir."
A daughter's journey to claim her identity. Read full book review >
For Goodness' Sake by Robert Cuttino
RELIGION
Released: April 2, 2015

"A spirited argument that challenges what the author sees as the hypocrisies of contemporary American Christian faith."
Cuttino introduces a new, ecologically conscious Christianity in this theological work. Read full book review >

RELIGION
Released: March 31, 2015

"Contains a wealth of information for secular or mixed-religion families preparing for the God talk with kids."
Written for secular parents from a nonreligious perspective, this guide explores methods of teaching youngsters about God, religion, and spirituality. Read full book review >
ALL WHO GO DO NOT RETURN by Shulem Deen
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 24, 2015

"In this moving book, Deen lays bare his difficult, muddled wrestling with his faith, the challenges it posed to everything he thought he knew about himself, and the hard-won redemption he eventually found."
A former member of an extremely insular Hasidic sect tells his story of becoming curious about the outside world—and the consequences of that curiosity. Read full book review >
ISIS by Jessica Stern
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 24, 2015

"Despite being dense reading, this book offers much to learn about ISIS and an expanded understanding of current events."
A detailed study of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria from its rise out of al-Qaida to its intended fulfillment of apocalyptic prophecies. Read full book review >
Aha Moments in the Bible by Della Stewart
RELIGION
Released: March 24, 2015

"A serene, all-embracing explication of the ways of modern-day Christianity."
A personal account of finding inspiration in Scripture. Read full book review >
RELIGION
Released: March 17, 2015

"One has the sense that the author set out to write a kind of rejoinder to Into the Wild, but the result lacks Jon Krakauer's sense of insight into what drives people in their quest of something beyond."
A diffuse tale of spiritual misadventure. Read full book review >
THE FUTURE OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH WITH POPE FRANCIS by Garry Wills
RELIGION
Released: March 10, 2015

"A welcome, thoughtful menu for the new pope on how to proceed with reform."
Beautifully conceived and wrought essays that systematically address the wrongheadedness of the Catholic Church over centuries—and the space therein for Francis' long-needed reforms. Read full book review >
BAD FAITH by Paul A. Offit
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: March 10, 2015

"A thought-provoking discussion of the conflict between society's right to protect all children and the constitutional guarantee of religious freedom."
"Every year, tens of thousands of Americans refuse medical care for their children in the name of God," writes Offit (Vaccinology and Pediatrics/Univ. of Pennsylvania School of Medicine; Do You Believe in Magic: The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine, 2013, etc.) in this exposé. 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 >