Book Review: Contemplative Prayer by Thomas Keating


Author: Thomas Keating Title: Contemplative Prayer Publication Info: [Louisville] : Sounds True, 1995 Summary/Review: Several years ago I attended a retreat where I learned about contemplative prayer.  I found this guide by one of the major proponents of contemplative prayer, Thomas Keating, narrated by Keating himself and decided to listen to is as a refresher.  Keating begins…

Book Review: Walking the Bible by Bruce Feiler


Author and Narrator: Bruce Feiler Title: Walking the Bible Publication Info: HarperAudio (2005) Summary/Review: So, I read and reviewed the book Where God Was Born without realizing that it was a sequel to a previous journey until the author responded to my review on Twitter (oops!).   This journey goes to the places of the five books…

Book Review: American heretics : Catholics, Jews, Muslims, and the history of religious intolerance by Peter Gottschalk


Author: Peter Gottschalk Title: American heretics : Catholics, Jews, Muslims, and the history of religious intolerance by Publication Info: New York: Palgrave McMillan (2013) ISBN: 9781137278296 Summary/Review: I received a free early reviewers copy of this book via the Library Thing Early Reviewers program. As Americans, we proudly proclaim our religious tolerance and maintain that our country was…

Book Review: Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan


Author: Reza Aslan Title: Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth Publication Info: Random House (2013) ASIN: B00BRUQ7ZY Summary/Review: I’ve not read a lot about the historical Jesus so this short summary of his life and times was engaging and enlightening.  “His times” is an important part of the title as few historical documents survive outside…

Book Review: When spiritual but not religious is not enough by Lillian Daniel


Author: Lillian Daniel Title: When spiritual but not religious is not enough : seeing god in surprising places, even the church Publication Info: New York, NY : Jericho Books, 2013. ISBN:  9781455523085 Summary/Review: A Christian minister writes several essays about contemporary religious life, challenging people to go beyond seeing God in sunsets and waterfalls and seeking out God…

Book Review: Religion for Atheists by Alain de Botton


Author: Alain de Botton Title: Religion for Atheists Publication Info: New York : Pantheon Books, c2012. ISBN: 9780307379108 Summary/Review: An erudite atheist, de Botton makes a good case for religion.  Not for the belief in god or the supernatural, but the basic fact that humans invented religion and carried it down through the ages that it must serve some…

Book Review: As It Was in the Beginning by Robert McClory


Author: Robert McClory Title:  As It Was in the Beginning Publication Info: New York : Crossroad Pub., c2007. ISBN: 9780824524197 Books by the same author: Faithful Dissenters Summary/Review: McClory boldly declares that democratization is coming to the Catholic Church, and soon, something not readily evident by the Church hierarchy’s growing conservatism in the past 3…

Book Review: Poverty of Spirit by Johannes B. Metz


Author: Johannes B. Metz Title:  Poverty of Spirit Publication Info: Paulist Pr (1976) ISBN: 0809119242 Summary/Review: This is a short, but profound book reflecting on the humanity of Christ incarnated and our own human condition.  It’s one of those books that I really ought to reread and meditate upon to do it justice.  Nevertheless I…

Book Review: Ambassadors of reconciliation by Ched Myers & Elaine Enns


Author: Ched Myers & Elaine Enns Title: Ambassadors of reconciliation Publication Info: Maryknoll, N.Y. : Orbis Books, 2009 ISBN:  9781570758317 Summary/Review: This beautiful book explores the ideas of forgiveness and restorative justice based on the Gospel and Christian teaching.  As a modern example of the teaching of Christ the authors frequently cite the writings and…

Book Review: Tattoos on the Heart by Gregory Boyle


Author: Gregory Boyle Title: Tattoos on the Heart Publication Info: New York : Free Press, 2010. ISBN:  9781439153024 Summary/Review: Not really a memoir, but more illustrative vignettes from Fr. Greg’s work with gang members in Los Angeles.  This beautifully written book is both inspiring and heartbreaking.  Inspiring because of the wonderful humanity of the “homies”…

Book Review: Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller


Author: Donald Miller Title: Blue like jazz : nonreligious thoughts on Christian spirituality Publication Info: Nashville : T. Nelson, c2003. ISBN: 0785263705 Summary/Review: It’s hard to know what to make of this book.  At first it seems to be a hipster reflecting on Christian ideas in the secular world.  Then I learn that the author…

Book Review: From the Pews in the Back edited by Kate Dugan and Jennifer Owens


Author: Kate Dugan and Jennifer Owens Title: From the Pews in the Back Publication Info:  Collegeville, Minn. : Liturgical Press, c2009. ISBN: 9780814632581 Summary/Review: This excellent collection of essays allows young women to focus on their lives and identity in the Catholic faith (Full disclosure: I know Jen Owens from when we both part of…

Book Review: Catholic Does Not Equal the Vatican by Rosemary Radford Ruether


Author: Rosemary Radford Ruether Title: Catholic Does Not Equal the Vatican Publication Info: New York : New Press, c2008 ISBN: 978-1-59558-406-9 Summary/Review: This short “manifesto-style” book is a call for a more authentic experience of church in the Catholic tradition.  The author  – a scholar, activist, and feminist theologian – compiles a half-dozen essays that…

Book Review: Young Children and Spirituality by Barbara Kimes Myers


Author: Barbara Kimes Myers Title: Young Children and Spirituality Publication Info: New York : Routledge, 1997. ISBN: 0415916550 Summary/Review: This book disappointed me mostly because it was not what I expected – namely a book that would help me as a parent understand my child’s spiritual needs.  This book is more of a psychology and…

Book Review: Quest for the Living God by Elizabeth A. Johnson


Elizabeth A. Johnson, C.S.J. explores the many ideas of God that have emerged in the past century in Quest for the Living God: Mapping Frontiers in the Theology of God (2007).  The book functions as a quick summary of these many “new” theologies of God – albeit rooted in ancient tradition and faithful to scripture….

Book Review: Googling God by Mike Hayes


I’m a fan of Mike Hayes from the BustedHaloCast so I read his book Googling God: The Religious Landscape of People in their 20s and 30s (2007). This thin volume is basically a guide for ministers to young adults in the Catholic Church, although I read it more as a young adult looking for ministry….

Book Review: The Misunderstood Jew by Amy-Jill Levine


The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus (2006) by Amy-Jill Levine is like Jesus Before Christianity in that it puts Jesus in a historical context of his time.  Levine is a Jewish scholar with a lifelong interest in Jesus and Christianity.  Her simple thesis for this book is that Jesus…

Book Review: The Rapture Exposed by Barbara R. Rossing


Revelation is a difficult book of the Bible to understand so I turned to The Rapture Exposed: The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation (2004) by Barbara R. Rossing for some insight. I was particularly intrigued by the subtitle since Revelation is known for his scary, albeit symbolic, imagery. First order of business…