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: Where God Was Born by Bruce Feiler


Author:Bruce Feiler Title: Where God Was Born Publication Info: HarperAudio (2005) ISBN: 9780060888572 Summary/Review: Feiler’s book is a unique combination of travelogue, history, theology, and personal growth.  Feiler documents his journeys to Israel, Iraq, and Iran to visit the sites of places mentioned in the Hebrew scriptures.  There’s a lot of interesting discussion of the Israelites and the…

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: God After Darwin by John F. Haught


Author: John F. Haught Title: God After Darwin Publication Info: Boulder, Colo. : Westview Press, 2000. ISBN: 0813367239 Summary/Review: This is a complicated book which I didn’t thoroughly comprehend so I may not be able to justice to it in a review.  Nevertheless, it tackles an issue near and dear to me that is how to reconcile the theory of…

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: The Battle for God by Karen Armstrong


Author: Karen Armstrong Title: The Battle for God Publication Info: HarperAudio (2004), Edition: Abridged, Audio CD ISBN: 0060591870 Summary/Review: Karen Armstrong explores fundamentalism in the three monotheistic churches – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.  Some of the material covers the same ground as her later book (which I read earlier) The Case for God and follows…

Book Review: The Case For God by Karen Armstrong


Author: Karen Armstrong Title: The Case for God Publication Info: Random House Audio (2009), Edition: Unabridged, Audio CD ISBN: 0307702375 Summary/Review: From the title this book appears to be an apologetic approach to theism.  Close but not quite.  Karen Armstrong in fact writes an history of religious belief and practice (and the parallel growth of…

Book Review: A Portrait of Jesus by Joseph Girzone


In A Portrait of Jesus(1998), Joseph Girzone uses a similar approach that he uses in his fictional series of Joshua novels to understanding the historical Jesus.  That is, to avoid theology, doctrine, and Christology and look at Jesus as a real person who came to earth to spread His message of love and freedom through…

Book Review: Faithful Dissenters by Robert McClory


Robert McClory puts the Catholic church under the historical lens in Faithful Dissenters: Stories of Men and Women Who Loved and Changed the Church (2000) to show instances when individuals have stood up against official Church teachings and hierarchy.  These dissenters are sometimes punished in their time, but all have been revealed to be prophetic…

Movie Round Up


Constantine’s Sword (2007) Journalist and former priest James Carroll takes a journey through his own life and through the history of Christian-Jewish relations.  The documentary covers persecution of the Jewish people at the hands of Christians and the influence of religious belief in making wars (including Christian evangelism in the US Air Force Academy).  The…

Links of the Day for 9 January 2008


Open up: Despite a growing backlash, the boom in migration has been mostly good for both sending and recipient countries, says Adam Roberts (The Economist, 1/3/08) Gods Don’t Kill, People Do by Bernard Chazelle (A Tiny Revolution, 1/6/08) We Forget What It Was Really Like Under the Clintons by David Morris (Alternet, 1/7/08) Actually, happiness…