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Distinguished Bibliophile
Peppermill
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Books on Religion and Spiritualiity

[ Edited ]
We have some specialized threads of books related to our board; let this be for those we would like to draw to each others attention, but which don't seem to fit into one of those threads. (At least at the moment we are doing the posting!)
Message Edited by Peppermill on 07-21-2009 04:47 PM
"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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Peppermill
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Re: Books on Religion and Spiritualiity

I'll start the thread with some current suggestions from my local library system:

 

How to Win a Cosmic War: God, Globalization, and the End of the War on Terror by Reza Aslan

 

 "In this 'thoughtful analysis of America's war on terror' (The New Yorker), Iranian-American writer Reza Aslan explains that the 'War on Terror' cannot be won because it is a conflict of ideology, with each side taking the stance of an 'us versus them' battle of good against evil. Aslan, the author of No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam, examines the rise of Islamic fundamentalist groups such as al-Qaida while comparing them to religious zealots in other faiths and cultures. He also suggests that by making these groups participants in the political process, it is possible to change extremist religious narratives into more moderate ones. Recently featured on The Daily Show, this book is sure to be widely read and discussed."

 

 

 

God Is Back: How the Global Rise of Faith Is Changing the World by John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge

 

"Despite the late 20th-century belief that greater modernization would spell the end of religion worldwide, 'the very things that were supposed to destroy religion--democracy and markets, technology and reason--are combining to make it stronger,' claim authors John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge. The pair, who write for the Economist, explore how some of the same forces that have made capitalism successful (choice and competition), have had a similar effect on some religions--for better or worse. For an intriguing look at religion's role in modern society, be sure to read God is Back."

 

 

 

Standing Alone in Mecca: An American Woman's Struggle for the Soul of Islam by Asra Q. Nomani

 

"In 2003, Wall Street Journal reporter and American-raised Muslim Asra Nomani made a pilgrimage to Mecca, in Saudi Arabia, for the Hajj (the 5th pillar of Islam, which is required of every able-bodied Muslim at least once in his or her lifetime). Yet by her own admission, Nomani is hardly a model Muslim woman: a single mother whose son was born out of wedlock, Nomani has led a campaign in her hometown mosque in West Virginia to allow women to enter and pray in the male-only main hall. As Nomani and her son complete the Hajj, she explores the historical roots of Islam and reflects on some of the major issues surrounding the faith today, as well as her own experiences as both a Muslim and a feminist."

 

"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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Peppermill
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Re: Books on Religion and Spiritualiity

Borg and Crossan are at it again:

 

The First Paul by Marcus Borg and John Crossan (March, 2009)

 

 

"Widely perceived as the founder of Christianity and an enduringly controversial figure, Paul is often seen today by the church as a conservative icon. But many others see him as an offensive figure, given his views on women, homosexuality, and slavery. Borg and Crossan paint a different picture of the apostle. In this scholarly and engaging account, Paul is situated firmly in his first-century context and portrayed against the backdrop of history as a revolutionary figure who chose the way of Jesus as a countercultural alternative over the way of the Roman empire. Through the lens of history, Borg and Crossan transform Paul's theology into a mystical experience with the risen Jesus and a reimagined form of Judaism that bears little resemblance to the modern stereotypes that often surround him. Borg and Crossan successfully argue that we must separate the genuine writings of the apostle from the writings attributed to him, which were in essence reactionary attempts to conceal Paul's radicalism to a later generation living comfortably in the midst of Roman imperial culture."  Library Journal

 

"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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Choisya
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Re: Books on Religion and Spiritualiity

I would quite like to discuss this one P if anyone could recommend it.  I saw a documentary about Paul recently and his important influence upon Christianity.  He seems an intriguing figure.

 

 


Peppermill wrote:

Borg and Crossan are at it again:

 

The First Paul by Marcus Borg and John Crossan (March, 2009)

 

 

"Widely perceived as the founder of Christianity and an enduringly controversial figure, Paul is often seen today by the church as a conservative icon. But many others see him as an offensive figure, given his views on women, homosexuality, and slavery. Borg and Crossan paint a different picture of the apostle. In this scholarly and engaging account, Paul is situated firmly in his first-century context and portrayed against the backdrop of history as a revolutionary figure who chose the way of Jesus as a countercultural alternative over the way of the Roman empire. Through the lens of history, Borg and Crossan transform Paul's theology into a mystical experience with the risen Jesus and a reimagined form of Judaism that bears little resemblance to the modern stereotypes that often surround him. Borg and Crossan successfully argue that we must separate the genuine writings of the apostle from the writings attributed to him, which were in essence reactionary attempts to conceal Paul's radicalism to a later generation living comfortably in the midst of Roman imperial culture."  Library Journal

 


 

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IBIS
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Re: Books on Religion and Spiritualiity

Peppermill and Choiysa, I agree with you both; I've always been fascinated by St Paul. I too would like to read this book and hear your thoughts about it.

 


Choisya wrote:

I would quite like to discuss this one P if anyone could recommend it.  I saw a documentary about Paul recently and his important influence upon Christianity.  He seems an intriguing figure.

 

 


Peppermill wrote:

Borg and Crossan are at it again:

 

The First Paul by Marcus Borg and John Crossan (March, 2009)

 

 

"Widely perceived as the founder of Christianity and an enduringly controversial figure, Paul is often seen today by the church as a conservative icon. But many others see him as an offensive figure, given his views on women, homosexuality, and slavery. Borg and Crossan paint a different picture of the apostle. In this scholarly and engaging account, Paul is situated firmly in his first-century context and portrayed against the backdrop of history as a revolutionary figure who chose the way of Jesus as a countercultural alternative over the way of the Roman empire. Through the lens of history, Borg and Crossan transform Paul's theology into a mystical experience with the risen Jesus and a reimagined form of Judaism that bears little resemblance to the modern stereotypes that often surround him. Borg and Crossan successfully argue that we must separate the genuine writings of the apostle from the writings attributed to him, which were in essence reactionary attempts to conceal Paul's radicalism to a later generation living comfortably in the midst of Roman imperial culture."  Library Journal

 


 


 

 

IBIS

"I am a part of everything that I have read."
Distinguished Bibliophile
Peppermill
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Re: Books on Religion and Spiritualiity

Choisya and Ibis -- Crossan and Borg are as tough or tougher than Karen Armstrong (especially Crossan) to read in my experience.

 

While I have read both of them previously (but not this book), I would hesitate to do this one as a group other than under the guidance of a strong leader.  I have studied Paul from his Biblical writings under such a teacher, and it was not easy going.  We spent about nine months, meeting weekly.  I also would hesitate to study Paul from the perspective of only one source.

 

Perhaps I am unduly cautious.  I can be persuaded, but those are my two cents for now.


IBIS wrote:

Peppermill and Choiysa, I agree with you both; I've always been fascinated by St Paul. I too would like to read this book and hear your thoughts about it.

 


Choisya wrote:

I would quite like to discuss this one P if anyone could recommend it.  I saw a documentary about Paul recently and his important influence upon Christianity.  He seems an intriguing figure.


Peppermill wrote:

Borg and Crossan are at it again:

 

The First Paul by Marcus Borg and John Crossan (March, 2009)

 

 

"Widely perceived as the founder of Christianity and an enduringly controversial figure, Paul is often seen today by the church as a conservative icon. But many others see him as an offensive figure, given his views on women, homosexuality, and slavery. Borg and Crossan paint a different picture of the apostle. In this scholarly and engaging account, Paul is situated firmly in his first-century context and portrayed against the backdrop of history as a revolutionary figure who chose the way of Jesus as a countercultural alternative over the way of the Roman empire. Through the lens of history, Borg and Crossan transform Paul's theology into a mystical experience with the risen Jesus and a reimagined form of Judaism that bears little resemblance to the modern stereotypes that often surround him. Borg and Crossan successfully argue that we must separate the genuine writings of the apostle from the writings attributed to him, which were in essence reactionary attempts to conceal Paul's radicalism to a later generation living comfortably in the midst of Roman imperial culture."  Library Journal

 




 

 

 

"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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Choisya
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Re: St Paul

You both may be interested in this BBC radio documentary on St Paul 'the father of a world faith'.
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RebeccaLynn
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Re: Books on Religion and Spiritualiity

Have you read the about the young girl who used spirituality to make a miracle out of cancer?  Her mom heard God say, "When I heal her I will change the lives of many."  Wow....she changed to lives of so many.  She healed so many.  The miracle was her healing of others.  She could be a saint.  A must read if you are strong in your spiritual convictions or if you are struggling to believe!  Anyone else read it...thoughts?  It was written by a sports writer (Jerry Brewer) who started to follow her story as a sports piece on her dad (a high school basketball coach) and then ended up on a spiritual journey himself. 

http://www.gloriasmiracle.com/

Distinguished Bibliophile
Peppermill
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Re: Books on Religion and Spiritualiity

Just finished a book that I highly recommend to others -- I read it in an afternoon, evening, and next morning.

 

It is The Samurai by Endo and translated by Gessel.  Based on historical records of the early 1600's, it recreates the spiritual journey of a samurai and of a Franciscan priest as their entourage travels from Japan across Mexico to Spain and eventually Rome, before returning to a Japan that has closed its boundaries to the outside world.  I found the story mesmerizing and haunting.

 

I didn't realize until well into the story that Shusaku Endo is apparently considered one of Japan's greatest 20th century writers.  The B&N biography with the book description has some tidbits I don't see on the Wikipedia site.

"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
Distinguished Bibliophile
Peppermill
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Registered: ‎04-04-2007
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Re: Books on Religion and Spiritualiity

 


Peppermill wrote:

Just finished a book that I highly recommend to others -- I read it in an afternoon, evening, and next morning.

 

It is The Samurai by Endo and translated by Gessel.  Based on historical records of the early 1600's, it recreates the spiritual journey of a samurai and of a Franciscan priest as their entourage travels from Japan across Mexico to Spain and eventually Rome, before returning to a Japan that has closed its boundaries to the outside world.  I found the story mesmerizing and haunting.

 

I didn't realize until well into the story that Shusaku Endo is apparently considered one of Japan's greatest 20th century writers.  The B&N biography with the book description has some tidbits I don't see on the Wikipedia site.


 

Incidentally, Willa Cather's The Archbishop very much came to mind for me as these men traveled across Mexico, although her setting in New Mexico is perhaps 200 years later. 

 

"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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Choisya
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Re: Books on Religion and Spiritualiity

My eldest son teaches the Chinese martial arts, including the art of the Samurai sword, and he recommend this book to me some years ago.  Endo has also written A Life of Jesus which may be of interest to you, although it has an unusual slant and does not accord with christian teaching.   You can sample it on Google.  Endo's novel Silence is being filmed by Martin Scorsese and should be out later this year.

 

(PS to Joseph:  Add Product is not working.)

 

 


Peppermill wrote:

 


Peppermill wrote:

Just finished a book that I highly recommend to others -- I read it in an afternoon, evening, and next morning.

 

It is The Samurai by Endo and translated by Gessel.  Based on historical records of the early 1600's, it recreates the spiritual journey of a samurai and of a Franciscan priest as their entourage travels from Japan across Mexico to Spain and eventually Rome, before returning to a Japan that has closed its boundaries to the outside world.  I found the story mesmerizing and haunting.

 

I didn't realize until well into the story that Shusaku Endo is apparently considered one of Japan's greatest 20th century writers.  The B&N biography with the book description has some tidbits I don't see on the Wikipedia site.