Religion Book Reviews (page 9)

RELIGION
Released: May 7, 2014

"An intriguing, readable memoir aimed squarely at the post-faith modern era."
A faith-oriented autobiography with an unconventional approach."All we have is our stories," writes novelist Schaeffer (Crazy for God, 2008, etc.) in this entertaining, energetic new memoir. Read full book review >
THE GREAT AND HOLY WAR by Philip Jenkins
HISTORY
Released: May 1, 2014

"A work of intensely nuanced research."
A painstaking, densely layered study of the many slippery uses of religion in the making of war. Read full book review >

RELIGION
Released: May 1, 2014

"Thoughtful, clear and informative, if somewhat scattered."
An exploration of what makes Soka Gakkai unique.Strand (How to Believe in God: Whether You Believe in Religion or Not, 2008), a religion writer and former Zen monk, delves into the history and mission behind Soka Gakkai, a Buddhist sect perhaps best known for its peace activism and belief in fair wealth distribution among people. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 29, 2014

"A brief, useful history of the conquerors who came from East and West to build a series of states that continue the fight to this day."
The author of The Real History Behind the Templars (2007) chronicles how the first two crusades helped establish the face of the Middle East. Read full book review >
RADIANT TRUTHS by Jeff Sharlet
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: April 29, 2014

"The pieces are heterodox enough to have commonality only insofar as they address questions of the great beyond, but readers will find plenty here to sustain questions—and perhaps even a few answers—of their own."
Sharlet (English/Dartmouth Coll.; Sweet Heaven When I Die: Faith, Faithlessness, and the Country in Between, 2011, etc.) assembles a highly literate potpourri of writings about religion, faith and other manifestations of "the production of social life." Read full book review >

STRANGE GLORY by Charles Marsh
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 29, 2014

"There is no doubt Marsh's portrayal will infuse new controversy into discussions about Bonhoeffer for years to come."
A fresh look at Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), both intimate and theological. Read full book review >
RELIGION
Released: April 22, 2014

"A fascinating history that, while particularly appealing to those interested in religion, is sure to inform a far wider audience."
An account of the Illinois Mormon settlement Nauvoo and the events that precipitated the church's flight to Utah. Read full book review >
THE CHURCH OF MERCY by Pope Francis
RELIGION
Released: April 20, 2014

"Refreshingly humane, focusing on people rather than institutions. Admirers of Francis and students of church history alike will find this a useful introduction to the pontiff's thought."
In a collection whose original Italian publication marks the first year of his papacy, Pope Francis gathers homilies, sermons and brief essays that point to his most important concerns. Read full book review >
HOW THE BIBLE BECAME HOLY by Michael L. Satlow
HISTORY
Released: April 15, 2014

"Regardless of the reader's familiarity with the material, the author's expertise cannot be doubted."
Satlow (Religious and Judaic Studies/Brown Univ.; The Gift in Antiquity, 2013) explores the holy writings of the Bible back more than 10,000 years. Read full book review >
AMERICAN CHRISTIANITY by Stephen Cox
RELIGION
Released: April 15, 2014

"An uncomplicated, evenhanded work. From hymns to architecture to personalities, American Christianity is simply 'unpredictable.'"
An optimistic, nonpolemical snapshot of the plethora of Christian denominations in America. Read full book review >
WHY SCIENCE DOES NOT DISPROVE GOD by Amir D. Aczel
RELIGION
Released: April 15, 2014

"Aczel dislikes atheists and often descends to their derisive debating points (e.g., religions sponsor charities; atheists don't), but he skillfully combines his specialty and good science to support, without actually proving, the existence of a Creator."
Mathematician Aczel (A Strange Wilderness: The Lives of the Great Mathematicians, 2011, etc.) debated atheist Richard Dawkins in 2010. Here, he presents his arguments, and prominent atheists, Dawkins above all, do not come out well. Read full book review >
SPIRITUAL MISFIT by Michelle DeRusha
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 15, 2014

"An intermittently rambling book that may nevertheless serve as a potent source of inspiration for the spiritually and religiously inclined."
A slight memoir detailing one soul-searching woman's rekindling of her religious faith. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Fatima Bhutto
April 14, 2015

Set during the American invasion of Afghanistan, Fatima Bhutto’s debut novel The Shadow of the Crescent Moon begins and ends one rain-swept Friday morning in Mir Ali, a small town in Pakistan’s Tribal Areas close to the Afghan border. Three brothers meet for breakfast. Soon after, the eldest, Aman Erum, recently returned from America, hails a taxi to the local mosque. Sikandar, a doctor, drives to the hospital where he works, but must first stop to collect his troubled wife, who has not joined the family that morning. No one knows where Mina goes these days. But when, later in the morning, the two are taken hostage by members of the Taliban, Mina will prove to be stronger than anyone could have imagined. Our reviewer writes that The Shadow of the Crescent Moon is “a timely, earnest portrait of a family torn apart by the machinations of other people’s war games and desperately trying to survive.” View video >