Followers of the Abrahamic faiths are known around the world as
‘People of the Book’, a moniker I just love. As a Person of the Book, I am
always glad to make reading recommendations to those who are hoping to deepen their understanding of religious tradition and the spiritual life. Here you will find listed the titles of some of the more influential books for me,

The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth by M. Scott Peck, psychiatrist and cultural critic (1978)

Care of the Soul : A Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life"" by Thomas Moore, self-proclaimed Zen Catholic and psychotherapist (1992)

The Spirituality of Imperfection; Storytelling and the Journey to Wholeness"" by Ernest Kurtz & Katherine Ketcham, co-authors (1992)

Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith"" by Kathleen Norris, poet and
Benedictine oblate (1998)

The Search for God at Harvard"" by Ari L. Goldman, Jewish journalist and
spiritual seeker (1991)

Going Home: Jesus and Buddha as Brothers"" and Living Buddha, Living Christ"" by Thich Nhat Hanh, Buddhist monk and teacher (1999)

Franny and Zooey"" by J.D. Salinger, late American author (1961)

The New Jerusalem Bible, a lively translation of the Hebrew Bible and Christian Scriptures containing the so-called Deutrocanonical/apocryphal books (1985)

The Essential Jesus: Original Sayings and Earliest Images"" by John Dominic Crossan, professor of Biblical studies (1994)

The Other Bible: Ancient Alternative Scriptures"" edited by Willis Barnstone,
professor of comparative literature and Guggenheim Fellow (1984)

The Saint Helena Psalter"" by the Order of Saint Helena, Episcopalian nuns dedicated to the use of gender-neutral God-language in the liturgy and Psalter (2004)

Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West (Compass)"" edited by Daniel Ladinsky, translator of poems from the Sufi, Christian, and Hindu traditions (2002)

Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith"" by Anne Lamott, a recovering
alcoholic and Christian layperson (1999)

The Case for God"" by Karen Armstrong, a former Catholic nun and scholar of world religions (2010)

Holy the Firm"" by Annie Dillard, Catholic convert, noted essayist, and
modern-day mystic (1977)

Man’s Search for Ultimate Meaning"" (formerly The Unconscious God) by Viktor E. Frankl, Jewish psychiatrist and survivor of the Holocaust (2000)

Three Prophets of Religious Liberalism: Channing, Emerson, Parker"" edited by Conrad Wright, late professor of church history at Harvard Divinity School (1986)

Love & Death: My Journey through the Valley of the Shadow"" by Forrest Church, late Unitarian Universalist minister and author (2008)

All these books are available online from Amazon; just click through the title and you will find the link leads to its site. That said, in my own religious tradition, we sometimes joke about our inclination to “salvation by bibliography”.  I do think it’s important to guard against this. As Thomas Jefferson keenly observed, “It is in our lives and not our words that our religions must be read.” The Reverend Dr. says, Amen to that!

© 2011-2012

One response to “Recommendations

  1. Brad Lichtenstein

    I would add Rabbi Milton Steinberg’s various essay collections on theology and theodicy, which he spent his life trying to marry and then reconcile with philosophy –and the odd book that more or less recasts his arguments in longer form. That he had not died so young… but he felt as the driven leaf he wrote about in his sole fictional work.

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